It's hard for me to express what a strange honor it is for me to be working on the writings and jacket design for William's second posthumous release, Stoneburner. Long before I became involved with the archive project, I was a fan. I would read William's books and imagine what I would do for the covers. His writing spoke to some of my imagery and I felt a commonality. And so the years pass and an unlikely fate intervenes.
My original proposal for the Stoneburner cover was to do it entirely of my own design. JM White, William's friend, publisher, and director of the archive pushed for inclusion of one of William's paintings. He explained that William always wanted his paintings on the covers of his books, and it bothered William when the larger publishers didn't use them. During his lifetime, only two books had his paintings on the covers, Wittgenstein's Lolita and Time Done Been Won't Be No More, both published by JM White and Wild Dog Press.
I looked over many of William's paintings and selected a snowy farm house scene. There is a location in the novel where this is fitting, and I liked the painting's somber tone. The symmetrical composition of the painting naturally lent itself to both front and back covers. I made an effort not to manipulate any of the image, and to cover as little of it as possible and still have it work in a larger design.
In adding the ink brushstrokes and drips, I was thinking about the growing unraveling for the characters in the novel, the sense that things are falling apart and becoming uncontrolled. At some point during the design of this book, I began to realize the cover was an unexpected collaboration with one of my favorite authors. I can only hope William approves.