Imagery – with giveaway of a pre-release copy of IN A TREACHEROUS COURT

THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS JAN O’HARA! CONGRATULATIONS, JAN!

I love reading books that contain clever imagery. I try to write books like that, too. In IN A TREACHEROUS COURT, I play on the themes of illumination and light through the book. In KEEPER OF THE KING’S SECRETS, which I’m revising at the moment, the imagery is more on the contrast of light and dark. And what the nature of both are, compared to what they appear to be.

Books absolutely rich in imagery are Terry Pratchett’s DISCWORLD series and Iain M. Banks’s The Culture series. Pratchett loves exploring a different theme with each book, whereas I think Banks’s series has the over-arching theme and matching imagery of who is good and who is evil. And how close the two can be.

I recently read CHANGELESS, the steampunk Victorian-set novel with vampires and werewolves by Gail Carriger. The imagery there was on the constancy of character, and really cleverly dovetailed with the plot and title of the book. I find that satisfying.

In Edie Ramer’s DRAGON BLUES, the imagery is of beauty and the beast, and what is beautiful and what beastly. Love it!

My favorite Nora Roberts novel, ANGELS FALL, uses imagery of good and evil, layering both with so many shades of grey, the outcome of the novel is incredibly powerful.

Do you pick up on imagery when you read, and does it improve your reading experience, or is it something you are happy to know is there, enhancing the book, but in an unconscious way? What book struck you as having powerful imagery? I’m giving away a pre-release copy of IN A TREACHEROUS COURT to one lucky commenter.

The name thrown up by our random giveaway generator: Jan O’Hara. Congratulations, Jan!

About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction for Gallery Books. Her debut novel, IN A TREACHEROUS COURT, released in August, 2011, is set in the court of Henry VIII. It features the real historical figures of illuminator and painter, Susanna Horenbout, and Henry's Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King's Robes, John Parker. A second book, also featuring Susanna and Parker, THE KEEPER OF THE KING'S SECRETS, was published on April 3rd, 2012. THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY, a historical novel set in London during the Napoleonic Wars, is set for a November 27th, 2012 release.
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42 Responses to Imagery – with giveaway of a pre-release copy of IN A TREACHEROUS COURT

  1. Pingback: A pre-release copy of IN A TREACHEROUS COURT up for grabs - Michelle Diener » Michelle Diener

  2. Amy Atwell says:

    Michelle,

    I’m a huge fan of imagery and tone in writing. Lara Adrian uses description to wonderful effect in her MIDNIGHT series. And Jude Morgan’s INDISCRETION had wonderful imagery of acting roles, authenticity and lies. When it’s done well, it’s nearly invisible (I don’t usually find myself saying, “This is great imagery,” WHILE I’m reading). I find great imagery makes a book stick in my mind much longer after I’ve finished reading it.

  3. Amanda nellist says:

    I don’t mind a little bit of imagery, so long as it is subtle. I much prefer the story to stand forth.

  4. Edie Ramer says:

    Michelle, thanks for the shout out! I love subtle, and you’re brilliant at that. I love how Susanna sometimes goes into her own mental and emotional world and sees the the brilliant images she’ll in her mind that she’ll paint. While Parker sees the darkness in people and immediately understands the twisted way they’re thinking. But I never thought about it before, so you do subtle very well.

  5. I’m with Amanda. I don’t mind it as long as it’s subtle. I pay more attention to the subtext and the foreshadowing. I love intricate plots so I’m always looking for the setups and payoffs.
    Cindy Carroll`s last blog was …The final launch

  6. I would rather the imagery blend into the story so that I subconsciously grasp it rather than having it front and center. For me, getting lost in a story is a wonderful experience.

  7. Jan O'Hara says:

    I was oblivious to imagery until I began to write and now it’s one of the things I most appreciate when done well. Would love to be entered in the draw, Michelle. (Pick me, oh Random Number Generator.)
    Jan O’Hara`s last blog was …Interview and Giveaway with Teresa Frohock, Debut Author of MISERERE: AN AUTUMN TALE

  8. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I love imagery in a book, again it has to be subtle, but seeing it weave through a story can be a magical experience. I use the theme of darkness and light in many of my books, and the theme in my YA books is freedom.

    I’m really looking forward to reading your debut novel!

  9. Yes, subtle is the key. Courage to overcome adversity is a theme that resonates in my books. Characters that project the desired imagery linger long after the story is finished. I’m sure your new release will be just such a book. I can’t wait to read it.

    • Sylvia, I think that’s the key. The characters stand out more, and because there is something deeper there, your mind works on it more, making the book stay in your thoughts for longer.

  10. Jill James says:

    Michelle, love a post that makes me think. I had not thought of imagery in a story. But maybe those are the stories I love more and remember longer. Will have to read with more attention now. Yeah!! another excuse to read. Thank you.
    Jill James`s last blog was …Blog The Writer – Teresa Medeiros

  11. I agree with Amy how well Lara Adrian (I’m a huge fan) uses imagery…not to mention her amazing voice. Which is the most important thing, a fantastic voice. Edie has one, and Michelle, I hear you do, too, so I look forward to reading IATC! :-)

  12. Allison says:

    I would love to read this.

  13. Na says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Imagery is a huge part of my reading experience. I am a visual reader and find that vivid and detailed descriptions will enhance the experience tremendously especially in historical fiction. With this genre I can’t rely on my own (contemporary) world and surroundings and the only way I can really immerse myself in the story and be transported there is if the words and the images they trigger do so. Similarly clever imagery in which the images themselves play into the plot is just as important. I recently finished “Shadowfever” from Karen Marie Moning’s “Fever” urban fantasy series and loved the world the imagery created.

    • Hi, Na. I’m a fan of KMM, but haven’t read her Fever series yet, just her Highland series. Need to remedy that. And glad to find another reader who loves imagery.

  14. Michelle, I loved the imagery in Edie’s Dragon Blues, too! I also really loved what Sue Miller did in her novel While I Was Gone, and some of the descriptive images in Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond have stuck with me for decades ;).
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …National Ice Cream Day!

  15. Cynthia Eden says:

    I love imagery–it can really set the mood for the book and draw me in. :)
    Cynthia Eden`s last blog was …Kindle Deal: ETERNAL FLAME

  16. Liana Brooks says:

    Michelle,
    The Discworld novels are some of my favorites, but you already stole that idea.
    I love imagery and themes that balance the book, the ones you don’t notice until you set the book aside and wonder why you love it so much.
    CORDELIA’S HONOR by Bujold is like that. There are scenes so vivid that you can visualize them perfectly. There’s a juxtaposition between new and old, light and dark, hope and despair that’s very poignant in the book.
    Liana Brooks`s last blog was …3D Printer Video

    • Liana, always happy to ‘meet’ another Discworld fan. My first Discworld book was The Colour of Magic, and I never looked back. My brother actually met and had dinner with Terry Pratchett years ago, the lucky devil! And I was the one who got him hooked on Pratchett, but wasn’t in town when Terry was there on a book tour, so I missed out. Sniff, sniff!

      And thanks for the recommendation for Cordelia’s Honor. Will definitely get that one, too!
      Michelle Diener`s last blog was …A pre-release copy of IN A TREACHEROUS COURT up for grabs

  17. Like everyone else said, being subtle is the ticket. I’m not a big fan of steampunk, but I will definitely try some of these other authors. As a mystery author, I use smoke and mirrors, and of course, red herrings.

    In a Treacherous court sounds awesome, BTW.

  18. Joanne Pooley says:

    Like the rest of you, I feel imagery can make a book – and leave you thinking about it for weeks. I’ve just finished reading all of Deon Meyers books. I started with one, and had to track the rest of them down, because I counldn’t stop thinking about the characters. His main characters are all flawed, and there is this imagery of good and evil in us all. I think you’d really enjoy his books Shell.

  19. Misty Evans says:

    Imagery, especially in historical or fantasy books, is important to me since otherwise, I can’t get a handle on the world. I especially enjoyed the world building in the Hunger Games books and in Phillipa Gregory’s historical fiction novels.

  20. Joanne Pooley says:

    I loved the imagery in the Hunger Games books as well.

  21. The name thrown up by our random giveaway generator is: Jan O’Hara. Congratulations, Jan!

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