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Monday, September 26, 2011


Judge a book by its cover

The brute in black and white, his rough-hewn face a reflection of his battered soul, stands over a delicate beauty. Hair spilling gold, over pale, slim shoulders, she covers herself with a scarlet sheet that only serves to make her creamy skin glow, drawing the eye to the beauty she seeks modesty for.

That is Sin City, the 2005 Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller film, in my own words. The contrast of black-and-white with blocks of bright colours – reds, yellows, greens - mimics the feel of old-print comics. Satine on the Elephant, in her red dress (Moulin Rouge). Marilyn Monroe in the pink dress, singing that diamonds are a girl's best friend (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes). These are moments in film that stuck indelibly to my mind, impactful images that reinforce the stories they tell.

Vermeer's Girl has a wide-eyed, luminescent gaze whose Pearl Earring complements, that draws one in, the Mona Lisa with her mysterious smile annoys me, Munch's Scream petrifies me still, Warhol's Soup Cans amuses.

Somebody Help Me, Please!!!

I don't know about you, but where I come from, viewing paintings is considered to be an upper-class thing, which I think is a pity (since many museums don't charge a cent for entrance). Linking the written and the visual does not limit the imagination, but expands it. Contrary to many critics of TV in the TV vs reading debate, I do not think that TV robs one of imagination or creativity. In fact, much of 'fine' art, from the Renaissance to the Pre-Raphaelites, is driven by texts, stories, or poems.

Romance as a genre has been rubbished by many snobs, as has TV. Fine art has been held in such reverence that it has become unapproachable. Two ends of a spectrum that should be bridged – a world where pop culture is not denigrated and art not placed on a pedestal. In the same way, book covers, especially romance covers, are not generally considered to be art. Yet, in the way the covers draw the eye and set expectations, the images 'slapped' on the front act in the same way as the visuals of a film, or a painting. The rich velvets and colours in Moulin Rouge, sets the scene, as do scantily-clad cover models set the mood for a sexy read, or the hearts and roses for sweet romances. I enjoy looking at a book cover; it adds to the enjoyment of a book. For me, the best books, electronic or not, have a good story and a beautiful cover. I can even forgive an average story for a fantastic cover.

I have been fortunate in that my book covers reflect the mood of the books, and that I love them.

My sweet and shy heroine

Deshabille and sexy (and man, I want her hair!)]

What image has stuck to your mind – be it from a music video, movie, cartoon, painting or book cover?

A commenter will win a copy of either of my books (Out of Joint or Wings of a Butterfly, your choice) and a set of postcards of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Also, commenters are automatically entered into the big draw, as part of the blog tour.

Blog tour picture; weblink

A. Faris: Love distilled lives sweet

A Faris is the author of time-travel paranormal romances, Out of Joint and Wings of a Butterfly, both published by Decadent Publishing. She has an upcoming fantasy, The Golden Harp, a romantic re-telling of Jack and the Beanstalk, also with Decadent Publishing. You can find her at

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