I am looking for a cover design for a book titled Washing the Bones: A Memoir. The target audience is women age 30-60. The book would be considered inspirational memoir.
The title is a reference (made in the book) to a Greek ritual in which bones are disinterred, literally washed and reburied a year after the death. "Washing the Bones" symbolizes the process of grieving, of going over and over the pieces of the life and loss and what it all means, until it begins to be metabolized.
This book begins with the loss of my 30 year old husband--a pilot and a wealthy blue blood with a sexual secret--in a plane crash, seven months after we were married. This loss touched on a far older loss of my father when I was eight, and it propelled me into a seach for meaning. The story is written in the style of Eat, Pray, Love but the subject matter here is deeper and more soulful: there is meaning in suffering. The ability to fully grieve opens us to spiritual transformation.
To facilitate and underscore the idea of grief as metamorphosis, the manuscript is arranged in four parts, using the imagery and metaphor of the transformation of the caterpillar to butterfly (a symbol of both transformation and of psyche, or “soul.”) The book is divided into four sections, each of which is headed by the description of a caterpillar going into metamorphosis.
Part 1: THE INCUBATION or HANGING BY A THREAD (The initial stage of loss)
Part 2:THE DISSOLUTION or HOLY SHIT (Dealing with the daily slog of grief)
Part 3: PUDDLING or EATING AT BURGER KING (Learning to date again, making mistakes)
Part 4: THE ECLOSE or THE OTHER SIDE OF NIGHT (Coming to see the profound spiritual aspect of loss and grief--finding myself)
This narrative is very cinematic and reads like a novel. It's a romance, a tragedy and a guide to grief.
I want the imagery to be very clean, dramatic and compelling. I prefer a minimalist, zen-like aesthetic and I favor the use of photography. I like the color blue. It's important that it "read" well as a thumbnail and Kindle e-book cover. I am including book covers that I like to give a sense of my aesthetic. The one with the nautilus is completely "me." As a psychologist and spiritualist, I like images that are meaningful and evocative, but please, no graves or actual images of "washing the bones." In other words, no "Goth" stuff. This is a serious and powerful book, written in the hope of inspiring and raising consciousness through loss.
There is an obvious tendency to go with the butterfly/cocoon in the design, and this is fine as long as it doesn't get "cutsey" or sacchrine. There is a fine line to walk between not going Stephen King and not being lost in the spiritual ethers. I'm open to all serious, spiritual, powerful ideas.
Please feel free to ask questions, and thank you!