New website design

Thanks to the clever ministrations of Carol Tomalty of Carric Design, today I launch a brand new website. This update was long overdue; I could barely use my old site. Every few weeks it would crash or grind to a halt. Yet I loved the clean and simple design and wanted to preserve that.

My book cover designer, David Drummond had created the original homepage. I still loved it.


Screenshot 2015-02-11 16.59.28

The question was, how to maintain that clarity and air of slight mystery, while improving the site’s functionality?

First I picked a WordPress theme; this is a fairly new one for authors called Preface.

I didn’t have three self-authored books to feature on the home page as per the template, so Carol and I played around with a bunch of different possibilities. First we tried two author photos flanking the book cover—that felt like too much attention on me and not enough on my book. Then we experimented with different borders, and a single author photo paired with book cover. All of these looked “fine”—but somehow flat. They left no room for imagination.

Finally Carol hit on the idea of an enlarged detail from one of my author photos, paired with the book cover.

“Don’t laugh,” she said. “I like Big Eye. She looks like a person who knows something that you don’t…and is going to tell you in a book.”

Juxtaposition. Fragmentation. Refraction, magnification, shifts of perspective. These are among my strongest writerly signatures. So the pairing of my asymmetrical book cover with Big Eye seemed oddly fitting. I like the subtle mirroring of eye and drain, lips and print.

I’m thrilled with the way the new site looks and functions. Thanks Carol, and thanks to David Drummond and John. W. MacDonald for the original author photo.

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