My novel, Underpainting, is going to be published! Seeing as I’m a painter, I’ve been asked to do the cover illustration. My agents, Jean Naggar and Jennifer Weltz, had several terrific ideas, and I began by sketching them out. Together, we refined them down to this one.
The illustration will be realistically representational where Rafe is silhouetted against the mist, and turn flat and graphic as we move upward into the trees, black branches against a dark night sky. The face looking down at him is meant to appear as smoke or fog. Right now, my plan is to hide icons from the story within the branches, but I want that to be subtle. You shouldn’t notice it at first glance. The title, Underpainting, will be a luscious scarlet red. I’m still searching for the right font.
I’ll be posting my progress as I paint–let me know what you think!
New York City, 1992. Popular opinion has it that Raphael Sinclair is a vampire, a rumor he does nothing to dispel.
Underpainting, a tale of art, love, vampires and the Holocaust, tells two intertwining stories of forbidden love, beginning with the powerful attraction between Raphael Sinclair, the handsome and mysterious founder of the American Academy of Classical Art, and Tessa Moss, a gifted art student. On the wall of Tessa’s studio, he finds a sketch of a young woman covering the eyes of a small child, flames reflected in her eyes. The suitcase at her feet has the name Wizotsky printed on it. Sofia Wizotsky, the love of his life, was lost in the flames that engulfed European Jewry during the Holocaust.
Or was she? Tessa may be the key to discovering what really happened to Sofia that terrible night in 1943. And Rafe’s shadowy past may hold the answers to Tessa’s questions about her family’s catastrophic losses in World War II.
At the heart of the story are secrets and lies with their roots in a doomed love affair between two art students in Paris on the eve of World War II. One night, with his art school under siege, and her future as an artist in the balance, Rafe tells Tessa a tale of undying passion that consumes the talented daughter of a wealthy Jewish family and the playboy son of a knighted British aristocrat.
By turns comic, tragic, and romantic, touching on themes of loss, redemption, and the enduring, healing power of love, Underpainting spans the overlapping worlds of academia, the New York art scene, Upper East Side charity balls, high-fashion magazine publishing, the glittering cafe society of pre-war Paris, and the evil lurking in the back roads of Nazi-occupied Europe.