silly children– pictures are for grown-ups!

You know what novels ought to have?


Not just illustrated children’s books. Novels. Adult novels. Preferably excellent old fashioned black and white penmanship in fine crosshatching. Illustrate a lantern, a snowy countryside, a lady’s dress, a tapestry. Something related to the story, but not the scenes itself, which might intrude into a reader’s sense of visualization. Scatter where appropriate.

Why isn’t this done in the publishing industry?

9 thoughts on “silly children– pictures are for grown-ups!

  1. Too much work, makes the book more expensive in terms of time, and gone out of fashion.

    I have some beautiful old books with wonderful colour plates or black and white illustrations. It does add something.

    But today is all about the mass-market paperback. I doubt the beautiful days will come back.

    • But it can, is the thing. If an author is willing to spend so much time and energy writing a fantastic book, if quality in writing is such a focus, why not quality in presentation? People like beautiful things, beautiful craftsmanship.

      I’d never really consider subsidy or self-publishing, of course, but in some ways I envy them their freedom. As is, when I try to go agent hunting, I’m going to have to ask very nicely that the cover I had commissioned for Blue Crystal be considered for the cover art, and hope they don’t slap me with some dime-store photo manipulation (something I knew when I had the art made in the first place).

    • When (if) I’m rich and famous, it will be so! 😉

      I’ve thought for years now that we’ve sunk into an artistic dark age. Even images for each new chapter would be really neat. Does anyone do this anymore, do you know? Last time I remember seeing this in an adult novel… Dang, I don’t even remember the publishing date.

      • The only recent adult novel I can think of is Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which was published in 2004. The illustrations can be found here at the illustrator’s site. I thought they fit the quaint feel of the novel perfectly.

  2. Hi.

    This comment is a bit late, but Clive Cussler’s books often have black and white pictures (or drawings, I suppose) in them, usually at the beginning of each part of the novel.

    Matthew Reilly also has images in his novels, everywhere. They’re usually diagrams, but they’re still pictures, right?

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