My illustrator, Lori Smaltz, is a brilliant photographer and her work has been featured in Life magazine. I go to her for most of my collage type covers. At my urging she went to work on a pictorial story of the cemeteries here in Savannah, drawing from her catalog of over 10,000 photos. These fabulous photographs of the celebrated cemeteries in Savannah, Georgia are brilliant. Fog shimmering through morning sunlight, statuary that tells a story, grave stones worn smooth by time. Lori catches the serene mood of eternity as Spanish moss drips from hundred year old oak trees.
So she’s working on her first book, (Bone Garden Enchantment) and she calls me one day and asks, ‘could she use some of my Haiku poetry in her book?’ Of course I replied. She went on to ask, ‘Could she show me the proof to see what I think before she goes to print?’ So began our collaboration.
I like to think that I cracked a door open for her and she is flying now. She is working on a series of Journal books with themes (landscapes, historic squares, horses, faith-based, flowers) and beautiful Guest books. Lori recently published a collection of her weird and wonderful poetry that’s been hiding in a drawer for years.
Many writers might think that collaboration is fraught with problems and egos. And thinking this they might shy away from a wonderful opportunity. Our collaboration has resulted in a beautiful picture book featuring both of our poetry and the opportunity to present it in my book store.
So I repeat, ‘ain’t collaboration a wonderful thing…?
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