I have found that, with nearly all of my creative pursuits, I serve more as a conduit than a creator. I can craft a methodical melody using music theory, I can direct the dialogue of a given written scene, and I can manipulate a photograph in post-edit to transform it in whatever way I desire. The quality of the end-product in each of those instances though seems always to pale in comparison with those that arise from more organic places--ones where I cede control to the moment and allow IT to direct ME. Whether it's a song, a story, or a photograph, by subjugating my creative intentions and subsuming myself to that instant of creative flow, I'm able to bring forth something far greater than I could concoct solely on my own.
With regards to The Lion In The Desert's cover, when I had finished the manuscript (and its subsequent multitude of edits and rewrites!), I once more had an idea of what the end product should be. I assumed that the cover would be of a desert sunset--one that would be an obvious and literal connection to the novel and its title but serve simultaneously as symbolism of an ingrained metaphor as well. I scoured my collection of photographs but failed to find any that conveyed the mental image that I had--one that stemmed from a particular scene in the final quarter of the novel.
Relinquishing that control once more, I perused my portfolio and found a far broader variety of photographs jumping out at me. Most were still sky shots but I noticed that the common link between them was a far ominous vibe portentous of some terrible danger or darkness to come. Recognizing that THIS was the key component to the final cover, I came upon the photo that I ultimately used and knew immediately that it was the one that I was looking for: it was dark, cold, and creepy AND, to my surprise, it too had a direct link to a scene in the manuscript...
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