During this long and difficult period of enforced isolation, Bela and I are continuing to work on the novel The Pilgrim Mara that we wrote together. It’s the story of a young woman who has suffered a horrific personal tragedy, and is trying to find her way in the world again. She goes down several wrong paths before she finds meaning and renewed purpose in her life through a meditation practice.
We plan to sell The Pilgrim Mara to a mainstream publisher. If that happens, we won’t have a say in the book cover. Publishers have designers who would do that work. If we end up publishing through Odeon Press, our own imprint, as we did with A Book of Fields, we’ll select the cover image ourselves and produce the cover with the help of a local designer.
In early February this year, before the quarantine began, we took a research trip to San Francisco where much of The Pilgrim Mara is set, to check our memories and our writing against the current reality. As part of this research we went to Green Gulch Zen Center on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais. While there I took this picture in a Zen garden:
We would love to hear what you think of this photo as a book cover image. A main theme of our novel is the idea of a pilgrimage and a search for meaning. Thanks for your comments and suggestions. We appreciate your energy and support as we move forward on this project. You can post comments on this blog.
If you have a minute, please go to www.stephenbillias.com and take a look at the pages there. In the near future we’ll be revising the website to make it a shared site for both me and Bela, who is hard at work on a book project of her own that will be the subject of a future blog.
Stephen and Bela