Catherynne M. Valente’s collection The Bread We Eat in Dreams is published! Beautiful, velvety, three-dimensional and smelling of ink. I really like the finish Subterranean Press uses for their dust jackets.

The Bread We Eat in Dreams

I’ve loved Valente’s work for years and it was a delight to be asked by Subterranean to illustrate this collection. There is an immense variety here – poems, stories, lists, far-futures, travelling rooms, unexpected facts, fallout and fairytales, blood and bone and apples (the author’s comments on the stories are here on Subterranean’s website). If I had to pick one favourite, it would be “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland, for a little while” a prequel to (utterly enchanting) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. I read this when I was only two chapters into the novel, however, which created a perfect tension of suspense/devastation on finishing both. But images from so many of the stories linger with me.

Proposed illustration for The Girl Who Ruled...

Proposed illustration for The Girl Who Ruled…

The jacket is another full wrap-around design, with references in it to all the stories and poems, which is a game I like to play when I have the chance to read a whole collection before illustrating (and the art director lets me!).

Cover Art for The Bread We Eat in Dreams

If you click on the image, you should be able to see a much larger version, however here are a couple of my favourite details:

Details of Cover Art for The Bread We Eat in Dreams

I will follow up with another post on the process, and the internal illustrations. Watch this space…

Edit: Part two of the cover process is now up.