Early versions of Diurnal were illuminated manuscripts. I created many of Susan’s journal pages as handwritten manuscript with sketches. I planned to publish the first half of the story as images and text, but the drawings and the handwriting competed with what I wanted readers to visualize in their mind’s eye–the interactions between the characters, the landscape, the way the themes echoed back and tied the story together, the way the characters felt. The visual art was getting in the way of this, so I took it out, but the exercise produced one image that served as a touchstone throughout the process. I kept it on my desk as I wrote, and decided to weave the drawing into the fabric of the story. I imagined Susan and Gabriel returning to this page the same way I did, as a visual puzzle that somehow helped them contemplate the flightpath of their lives.
One of our cover designs used the drawing (see below).
I would love to hear what you think about the drawing. Is this what you imagined when you read the passage describing it in the story? Do you think seeing it in the book would have added another dimension to your experience, or would it have interfered?