My second book, The Frame-Up, is now out in the world!
I'm so proud of this book and the love it has been receiving:
“This chapter book’s most memorable element is also its most unusual: the imaginative conviction that art is alive.” Booklist, starred review
If I am being truly honest, I always assumed that the second book I'd publish would be a sequel to It's a Mystery, Pig Face!
But the publishing gods are wiser and had different plans.
They decided my second book would be a fantastical adventure set in a real-life art gallery, and filled with lovable and interesting characters.
I wrote the first sentence of the first draft of The Frame-Up on November 1, 2015.
It is a NaNoWriMo baby, and at times it seemed as if it were writing itself.
In her book Big Magic, author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the mysterious grace that sometimes assists writers in their work.
The writing process certainly felt like grace to me, although I have often wondered if it wasn't guided by the creative energy of the paintings who live at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.
They had stories to tell, and I am fortunate that they decided to share them with me.
And I am even more fortunate that my readers will get to not only engage with those paintings in my novel (and perhaps someday in real life), but also with paintings in their own local art galleries or museums.
The inherent conceit of The Frame-Up is that all original art work is alive.
I have believed that since I was a young child.
The idea that the things we infuse with our creative selves have lives separate and apart from ourselves, is not a new idea, but it is a profound one, which, in my opinion, can't be repeated too often. How many of us see a sculpture and it seems alive to us or hear a song that speaks to our souls?
Dickens characters have long outlived him, and they are as alive as the day he first put ink to paper.
In The Frame-Up, my main character, Mona Dunn, interacts with other residents who in some cases, have lived almost five hundred years behind the frame. Imagine the things they have seen, the tales they could tell!
|Mona Dunn, William Orpen, 1915, Oil on Canvas|
In my own small way, I hope that The Frame-Up conveys that magic. It asks us to look again at the art on our walls, to see beyond the one-dimensional surface until we reach the miracle of its creation in our mind's eye.
As the tagline for the book says: Look beyond what you think you see.
Every lover of art, in whatever form, can understand that sentiment.
And so to honour my wild ride since I wrote the very first line: Mona Dunn was late two and a half years ago, I am thrilled to finally be able to share the book with you.
I hope you'll buy a copy of your own or borrow one from the library, but as a thank-you, I'm giving away an autographed copy!
Simply leave me a comment below, telling me what's inspired YOUR creativity lately, and you're automatically entered to win!
Good luck! And I hope you love the world of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery as much as I do!