Wednesday, April 2, 2008

MoonQuest by Mark David Gerson

Book Title: The MoonQuest
Author: Mark David Gerson

Did you design the cover? No

Did your publisher design the cover? I commissioned the cover design.

Did you get to give any input about the cover design? Absolutely

Is there an interesting story behind the cover design? If so, please share the details. See below:

I open my email on May 1 of this year to a message and image from British artist Courtney Davis. The image is The Chariot card from his sadly out-of-print Celtic Tarot deck. He has sent me a copy so that I can write a caption for an upcoming retrospective of his art.

The card, as I mention on the acknowledgments page of The MoonQuest played a significant role in the book's birth...

It's March 1994. I see The Celtic Tarot in Toronto's Omega Centre bookstore and it so seduces me that I can't not buy it. Days later, I use the deck in a writing class I'm teaching: With eyes closed, each student draws one of the major arcana cards and then, with eyes open to the chosen card, is led through a guided visualization into writing.

Generally when I teach, I don't write. I watch the students and hold space for them.

But this night's group is different. These five women are a subset of a larger University of Toronto class that I have just led through 10 weeks of creative awakening. They don't require my usual overseeing and so, once they're settled into writing, some inner imperative has me draw a card of my own:
The Chariot.

That same imperative has me pick up a pen and push it across the blank page. What emerges is the tale of an odd-looking man in an even odder-looking coach that is pulled by two odd-colored horses.

Next morning, I'm drawn back to the story. I add to it. I keep adding to it daily, almost obsessively. And a year later in Amirault's Hill, Nova Scotia, on the anniversary of that Toronto class, I complete my first draft of The MoonQuest.

When I see The Chariot again for the first time in a decade, I'm startled. Even though the cover designer never saw the tarot card and knows nothing of The Celtic Tarot or how it inspired me, there's a definite connection between the two.

Today, many drafts and many years later, the manuscript is a book. And although the book's opening has changed and the odd-looking man has been superseded in importance by other characters, The Chariot's inspiration is still evident throughout The MoonQuest.

Who is the cover artist? Angela Farley of Angela Farley Graphics,
Kansas City, MO

Are you happy with the cover? Unequivocally!

If not, what would you change and why? There's nothing I would change. Angie did an awesome job!

Tell us what you think is the best part of the cover. There's no single aspect that stands out for me. Rather it's the synergy of all the parts that makes it so powerfully evocative.

Is there anything else about your cover that we need to know? Feel free to share. A just-for-fun thing: The horses are the actual colors of the horses in the story.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?

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