I’ve found that since I have been publishing my novels on Kindle and have had to design my own covers, it has been helpful in pulling the actual narrative together to have that image which I associate with the story I am working on.
Magick is the story of a family called Magick, of the genealogical research that is done to discover who they are and where they come from… there are several themes as you might imagine, and several images in my head which are wandering around trying to find the right picture to go with them. I thought at first that there might be a door; a door or gateway is a good metaphor to the past. The door could open into a sunny courtyard, or it could open into a gloomy hall; there could be delightful surprises, or their could be stories of despair and grief.
Thomas Radwinter is researching the Magick family, his maternal line, and has some photos. One is of a supposedly happy occasion of a family together, but one of the young daughters is looking sideways out of the picture and can obviously see something which fills her with fear. I have a picture of a Victorian firm on a works outing, and one of the men is looking sideways out of the picture… he is smiling, but the idea of someone in a photo seeing something while the photo is taken stayed with me.
As well as searching for the Magick family, Thomas is also searching for a missing girl; there is also a mystery in his own family as to why his grandmother changed her name… something happened in her childhood. There is an underlying theme of bullying, of children being bullied by their peers, their family or their teachers; it’s not graphic and it’s not sadistic, but it is a theme so seeing a child who is free and happy could represent the ‘might-have-beens’ of their stories.