the dagger path

welcome to a brief description of a recent journey i took along the dagger path with the artist paul owen newman creator of the pulp art brand.

pulp art as a brand was really aligned with the type of themes i deal with in my writing. which always has a 'speculative fiction' element to it. i would define my work as, 'new age' fantasy, with a touch of inky black.

the focus on death, soul and spirit, sign, symbol and archetype. 

using horror, but looking at it through a different lens to provoke reaction, is the symbiosis between my work and the pieces of art paul creates.


the multi media artist paul owen newman, really resonated with me as a professional and a fellow creative. he had this to say about part of his process,

"pulp art is real, i feel it has more value to the project in hand than a digital format hanging out on some computer."

Paul owen newman 2020. 

this approach was what I was searching for. the cover designs i had seen previously were aesthetically pleasing, but lacked the depth and soul i was seeking for a representation of my work, and the characters in my stories.

Paul brings to the dagger path project, organic, natural beauty, a sense and feel of the true artistic intent poured or pulsed into a work of art. 

not flawless and pumped up with silicone digitisation, which i think it is safe to say, can dominate fantasy cover designs.

it is my deepest desire that when a fan or someone new to the series sees one of the dagger path e-books, they will eventually know it by its art, they will recognise the style as quintessentially pulp art. 

and by that token they will know the narrative style and story making within the pages are about the psycho-spiritual journey that is The Dagger path.

marama rawa the cover design for book one is an actual painting.

she is communicating sign, symbol, soul and spirit. a gift of subliminal conversation given to her by the artist.

her narrative, her-story between the pages

given to her by the author.

the work conveys depth and character, it made me feel something.

I didn't just say, 'that's beautiful,' then move on.

the art moved me and continues to!

which is all i want my work and the art on its cover to do.

why are our fantasies without spirit and soul, plastic and perfect? albeit some are stunning and beautiful, visually!

but, like the characters in my stories; i was looking for perfection in imperfection. the emotion that is conveyed in art that is created firstly by a 'human' with an emotional landscape hidden from the world.

 but through the process of creation, it cannot help but imbibe the canvas with a subconscious story.

my own writing process is pretty organic to begin with. which is usually an initial download of stream of consciousness as i live and breathe inside my characters, like a hungry ghost who has walked into their soul, seeking the light and the dark that lives there. other times i ask them how they feel, i interview them. then, i re-engineer, i re-write.

we decided early on in our discussions that we would let Our co-creative process and outputs develop organically too which produced some surprising insights and results.


i feel the best outcome from this approach was our ability to re-imagine and reverse engineer what we could assume the process of creation and the end product should be.

pulp art originally was about using recycled paper to create art. the environment and recycling or up-cycling are ideals dear to my own heart; it was this ethic we captured in our collaboration, but with a twist!