Power is pornographic
Can love sustain light when the forces of evil close in?
Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German Occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers, a bullfighter and a musician working in the fledgling Resistance. Can she save them and the Jewish widow and her child that she has come to love, or will betrayal take them all?
One of the benefits of being an independent publisher is getting to choose cover art. I put a lot of care and thought into the covers of books from Parvati Press, because a cover has to persuade a customer to give up hard earned cash to buy one of our books. So the cover has to be appealing. It’s the first and most important marketing task: choosing a knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark-with-bases-loaded cover. It’s also really fun.
My husband Sabin Howard (www.sabinhoward.com) is a famous classical figurative sculptor. He’s plugged into the current art world. He has many Facebook friends and Twitter followers who are also artists. One day he was posting his latest drawings on Facebook—he’s an exceptional draughtsman, and Sabin prepares for a sculpture by designing the figure on paper—when he saw a painting that put him in mind of the novel I was working on.
“Traci, come here,” he beckoned. He pointed to his screen, where there was an image of a gorgeous painting of an angel by Italian painter Robert Ferri (www.robertoferri.net ).
The painting, Liberaci dal Male, shows a dark-winged angel pulling a snake from her arm. The lovely angel is nude but seated and twisting, so her genitals and breasts aren’t visible. What is immediately striking is the lush, sensual curve of her back and legs. That snake being spun out of her arm is also visually arresting.
I was far enough into the first draft of Broken at that point to be completely enchanted by Ferri’s painting, which seemed to encapsulate so many of the novel’s themes.
Sabin emailed Roberto and set up a time to Skype with him. Sabin’s mother is from Torino and his first language was Italian, and he grew up half in Italy and half in the US, so his Italian is flawless. He and Roberto had an animated conversation about Roberto’s painting and my book, and Roberto agreed to give me the rights to use his painting on the cover of my novel. A few days later, he emailed me some documents and a super high-res image of Liberaci dal Male. Ecco!
When it came time to turn the image into a book cover, I discussed with Gwyn Snider (www.gkscreative.com ), the cover designer, ways to mitigate that beautiful naked ass, which I knew from experience would give certain retailers pause. Gwyn came up with the idea of a piece of tape covering the fleshy buttocks. And that was a perfect place for the tagline for the book: Power is pornographic.
Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, and the award-winning, internationally published author of books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She is also the founder of Parvati Press, an independent press which was recently recognized by the IRS as a 501(c ) (3) not-for-profit corporation. She lives in Manhattan and her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novelIMMORTAL, which was published around the world and achieved bestseller status in Italy, Russia, and Brazil. BROKEN tells the sensual, heart-rending story of a fallen angel in occupied Paris from 1939-1942. Her novel THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR is a contemporary romp through the art history byways of vampire lore. Her novel FALLEN is the first of the acclaimed romanticAfter Series set during the end times. Its sequel COLD LIGHT and Book 3 FAR SHORE further the dystopian tale. The quirky, bittersweet sci fi love story THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFEseeks to answer the question: What worlds would you move for your soulmate? DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE is her first book of poetry; PIERCING TIME & SPACE is a non-fiction look at the meeting of science and spirit. THE ART OF LIFE is a photo-essay of sculpture history and philosophy written with her husband Sabin Howard, whose work is also showcased.