After months of work, I am finally able to reveal the cover I designed for Blackout Odyssey! The line-art is a nod to that most cherished of Toronto Landmarks, Honest Ed’s Department Store (and home in the novel to a mysterious enchantress. RIP, Honest Ed, both the man and the building; you were a symbol of Toronto as it used to be). For the cover art, I wanted to go with something fun, off-kilter, a little spooky (atmospheric?), that is a big shout-out to the Toronto I knew at the turn of the century (yikes that makes me sound old) without alienating people who weren’t there. I think the final incorporates all that. I hope it does. Like the book itself, it’s a dreamy trip down memory lane to things like tokens, unairconditioned transit, restaurants and landmarks long gone. My first cellphone. A night you could see all the stars.
As if finally getting to show off the cover wasn’t enough, I had like, an official launch, on the instagram page @taylorswift_as_books:
Run by the fabulous Amy Lorraine Long, the Instagram account matches small press book covers with the fashion of the indomitable Ms. Swift, both as a tribute to the hard work of the designer (who often never gets credit or mentions in traditional promo pieces) as well as bringing the book before the attention of people who might otherwise not see it–small presses rarely get the attention that a TS tribute page does, after all. It’s an inspired choice, and I am so lucky and grateful to be Amy’s first foray into cover reveals! May there be many more to come!
Having a finished cover to share feels like I finally have A Real Book. There’s so much about publishing that is ephemeral; but a cover is a solid thing, and soon enough to be a tangible thing. If you’re interested in my little genderbent Odyssey, here’s a link to the pre-order page.
It’s very odd, after a year and a bit of *gestures at everything* to be in a headspace that is starting to feel like… like normal? A weird sort of normal. I’m still working from home, and Toronto remains a dumpster fire being consumed by the 3rd wave–we’ve been in lockdown of one sort or another for 400+ days now–so absolutely nothing is like what it was in the Before Times. But I have the spoons once again to take on more work… and thus, more urgently, there is enough on my plate that I need to make up to-do lists again. It feels very weird.
The past year has been very… “pick something that needs to get finished that day and anything else that gets done is a miracle”. But with BOO, AQA2, and a variety of other professional projects on my plate (some of which I can’t speak on right now) I am having to prioritize my time, which feels very odd. Rusty. But at the same time kinda wonderful… like a big long stretch after sitting for too long. One of these days I’ll even be back at my old coworking space (if it survived all the lockdowns, that is).
Lil and I were vaccinated last week (AstraZeneca). It, and the allergies of this time of year, knocked us both on our asses for days. (We’re grateful that we could take the time to rest it out. We have been very lucky in many ways throughout all of *gestures at everything*.) It wasn’t until I had to take much of the week off to rest that I realized just how much I had been doing… I’m not back up to peak yet, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.