As I work on editing and revising Breathe and Survivor I am looking ahead at the publishing paths I want to take for each of them. For Breathe I am intending to submit to traditional publishing houses and agents in hopes of landing a contract through one of them while I will be maintaining my indie status by self publishing Survivor.
One of the most difficult things I am finding for survivor however as I start the editing process is that I cannot picture the cover in my mind. I have always had the idea for my first novel in my head and while it changed as we prepared for publishing a year ago it stayed with the theme I had always planned. Now however I find myself completely at a loss for a story that is extremely personal to me.
Survivor is a short story about fighting back against domestic violence. It follows the physical, and even more so the emotional abuse suffered by a teenage girl dedicated to a man that sees her as nothing more than an accessory to his narcissism. It is the background story for one of the characters in my full length novel Sharing Strength that continues to see Jasmine fight with the effects of what she has gone through. Most important of all from my perspective s that it is all the story of what happened to me and was the initial cause of my Post Traumatic Stress diagnosis.
Names have been changed. Locations are fictional but the story is at least ninety percent true and that makes it both imperative as well as impossible for me to write. the first draft was completed back around thanksgiving and within a week I found myself in the hospital having a severe emotional breakdown. The anxiety does not go away but it can be dealt with and by sharing my past I hope to let others know they are not alone and that they can fight back as well.
This brings me to a question I have been wrestling with when it comes to the cover, is it self absorbed to be the person on the cover? I have been a cover model for books written by fellow authors before I became a published author myself. I have experience in front of the camera and it is my own story so would it be completely out of the question to be the model for this project? Or does that come across as untrusting of someone else to portray Jasmine and make me look selfish?
I do not possess the artistic eye of a photographer nor the imagination of an artist. I do not conceptualize visual art well. I have always been better with the written word. In this case I am completely torn. I can go out and look for inspiration and I can easily, though emotionally portray a girl that is essentially myself but I do not want to take away from the story just because I chose to use my own picture for the cover.