4

August 31, 2007

4

days

until

Auralia

makes her way out into the world.

This morning, I was sitting in a coffee shop chatting online with Kristopher Orr, the artist who created that amazing imagery on the cover of Auralia’s Colors. We were brainstorming the cover imagery for the sequel, Cyndere’s Midnight. And who should come up to the table and surprise me with a handshake but David Bazan, a fellow whose fearless songwriting means a lot to me. (Have you heard the lyrics on his latest EP, “Fewer Moving Parts”? That kind of honesty is so powerful, it’s unsettling.) 

We talked for a while about music (Vigilantes of Love, Aracade Fire), and about what we’ve been reading. Bazan mentioned he had just finished reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, an unforgettable, harrowing journey that I myself just finished.  Have you read it? It’s McCarthy’s most accessible work, but it may also be his most haunting. I’ve read four of his books, and it’s quite different than the rest. It’s a nightmare that’s difficult to shake. By imagining a world after the apocalypse, he shows us a world so devastated, so devoid of beauty, that we find ourselves with renewed appreciation and hunger for the kind of beauty that surrounds us every day. And we’re reminded that we should be cultivating relationships of love and trust, because those bonds are all too fragile. Companionship is a privilege.

I gave Bazan a copy of Auralia’s Colors.  

I’m finding that there is something different about sharing Auralia’s Colors with an artist. I realize that this story took me through so many questions and struggles about the role of art, the source of art, and the influence of art on the people who encounter it, that I think artists might have a different understanding of the story than anyone else. We’ll see.

Whether you’re an artist or not, I’ll be very interested in your thoughts on the story. After all, if art was not important to you in some way shape or form, why would you bother reading fiction at all?’

Four more days, and there she goes. It’s like sending my kid off to college. Will she find a quiet, secretive path through the world? If she finds only a few readers, it will be worth all of the trouble for the pleasure I had writing the story, and for what I learned along the way. If those readers respond and we get to talk about the story, its strengths and weaknesses, and the questions that Auralia explores, that will be an even greater privilege.

We’ll see what happens.

I loved the journey of writing it. I do sincerely hope that you enjoy it. Nothing would please me more.

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