I’m all about what I call Signature Images.
Provoking the imaginations of readers, inciting them to imagine in glorious detail the scenes on the written page, is the sacred duty of the writer. I take it very seriously. Not only should we intimately portray the thoughts and emotions of the characters, but we should construct their circumstances vividly, essentially granting the wish of the reader and provide for them a fantastical escape from the mundane world. This is certainly what I look for in authors, dream weavers who can whisk me away into their wonderful worlds.
Whenever I write, I dwell on the visual aspect. Sometimes I’ll spend hours on a single paragraph, days on getting passages just right. The words must be a conjuring, a spell cast over the reader to invoke the images contained there on the page. There must be literary equivalents of grandiose set pieces in movies. And I must surprise myself in order to surprise a reader.
It took several years to write my novel The Angels of Autumn. It had to be perfect. I had to get everything just right. From fanciful hallucinatory sequences to nightmarish monsters expressed in graphic detail, I wanted to give myself the chills as I wrote them. When I did, I knew the scenes would do their job. I remember clearly seeing those moments in my imagination, brought to extraordinary life in a small Pennsylvania town.
Cradle had to have signature images as well, the bizarre first encounter, the evil phantom in Radley’s house, psychic visions of crooked creatures in the snow, and the lurid charm of the forest. It’s a decidedly adult fairy tale, extremely grim and intensely emotional. What would a young man do when plunged into the worst possible relationship scenario? Would not the very nature of it force him to retreat into the shadows carving out an existence born of heartache? I imagined the darkest possible side of promises undone and presented it with some delightfully lurid signature images to the brave and curious reader.