When I write, I surround myself with photos and other visuals. In front of me now, for example, are images of
a vintage March of Dimes poster,
a wooden figure of a black Scottie dog,
a vintage photo of mealtime in Georgia Warm Springs Foundation dininghall
a photograph of Fred Botts (an early Warm Springs “polio”)
a picture of my editor!
All serve as motivation and inspiration for my writing.
Those particular items are representative of the project I’m working on at present. But writing projects tend to overlap quite a bit so today I have to reach behind me for some material related to my next book which is now in the hands of the copyeditor and will be published in spring of 2008.
I promised to send my editor some photos, maps, etc that represent my middle grade novel about leprosy in Hawaii. So now I must dig out all my best resources as well as photographs I took on my research trip.
And crank up the old scanner...
There’s a chance that none of this will appear in the finished book. But then again, there’s always the possibility that one or more of the images will be included in the author note or influence cover art in some way.
The cover of BLUE, for instance, utilizes photos of wisteria I took in my backyard.
But visual material serves another purpose as well – it often becomes documentation for the facts in my story. My editor requires a bibliography and extensive footnoting even for fiction manuscripts. Footnotes go a long way toward providing evidence of research done. But as they say – seeing is believing!
And so I go digging. At moments like this I’d give anything to be organized! Where DID I put the photos from my Hawaii trip?