Wild Ride: The Collage

The Wild Ride collage is missing a few details–I never did get the scans of the tarot cards in–but it’s 99% done. Mab had several placeholders, but Robin Tunney was the closest vibe, if she’d gain about twenty pounds and dye her hair red she’d probably even look like her. Bob picked Clive Owen for Ethan–he doesn’t do this, you understand, he just answers my questions and then does his own thing–but I always thought Ethan was Adam Baldwin-ish. I played fair, though, and put Owen on the collage. Almost all of these characters had several placeholders, the characters in the book are not these actors, except for one: Glenda was always Maddie from Burn Notice, for me, with a little less dithering and a lot more rage. Thank you, Sharon Gless.

So here’s the first pass, early in the first draft:

Here’s a later pass:

And here’s the 99% finished final collage (click the thumbnail, please):


And before anybody asks, those are the Airstream trailers up there on the top right. There are no elephants in Wild Ride. Pity, really.

43 thoughts on “Wild Ride: The Collage

  1. Hi Jenny, enjoyed Wild Ride very much. If you don’t mind my asking, who were your place holders for Oliver and Weaver? Thanks! Looking forward to your next book.

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    1. Bob picked Sigourney Weaver and Renee Russo. Oliver was very specific photo shoot of Kiefer Sutherland where he didn’t look like a serial killer. But those are always just starting points. I know what they look like in my head, and they don’t look like that. It’s just that vibe.

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      1. In my mind, Oliver looks like the blonde guy (Eric?) in NCIS-LA, with the dark glasses.

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        1. Too wimpy and eager. Oliver’s the calm, cool balance for Weaver and then for Mab who keeps his head while all those about him are losing theirs. Kind of a Master of the Universe with curiosity instead of ego, coupled with a need to take to take care of people (there’s that whole doctor thing, which Bob gave him).

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  2. dumb question: do overseas sales count for the NYT-List, too? I’m sorely tempted in spite of holes in the budget…
    especially after seeing Clive Owen as placeholder (for Ethan?)

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    1. I think it depends on where you buy it. Amazon counts for the NYT, but only American Amazon.
      But really, don’t worry about the NYT. I’m just grateful you want to READ it.

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  3. Mine came in the mail yesterday and I’m so excited to have it! Have maniacally avoided spoilery threads on the subject so can’t wait to shove my men out the door to their concert tonight and settle in with some popcorn!

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  4. This is amazing. Clicking on that thumbnail delivers a real treat. I spent ages scrolling back and forth over the collage, there’s so much detail and it really does tell a story. My collages would be like your first day of glueing on random things, yet it’s my finished product. Hah.
    I’m having a spot of trouble with a rough draft and forced myself to write through it last night, but I’m not 100% certain that I took it in the right direction. Today I’ll go to the Scrapbook store and find some goodies and just play a bit. Maybe by having fun with my story I’ll solve the mystery around the part where I’m sure something is missing.

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    1. You know, I haven’t seen that Potter movie yet, but the picture of Staunton was one Bob and I agreed on right away. So it wasn’t the character in the movie, it was the picture. Which I think is a tribute to Staunton, who is fabulous.
      The collage really is a huge help in collaborations. You can argue out your placeholders, not just by “How about this guy?” but by “I think it’s this picture,” which is a big difference.

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  5. I always learn something through your process. I haven’t written any of my last 30,000 words for my novel in 3 weeks. Now I see that maybe I need to add to my collage and create an end of the book soundtrack. I kind of soundtracked the beginning. I did a collage before starting but I haven’t consulted it since.
    I loved WR. I’m looking forward to the Cherry Forums discussion. So happy for you and Bob that it made the NYT.

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  6. I love the evil little teddy bears in the tree. What craft store sells those?

    I am a craft geek and one of my must have magazines is Cloth, Paper Scissors. The first issue I ever bought was the Winter 2004 which featured two of your collages and an article on inspiration. It was cool beyond words to find my favorite author not only writes incredible books, but she is also crafty and does collages.

    Thanks for sharing your work with us.

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      1. Quilting Arts makes me drool even more than Cloth, Paper Scissors. I covet my DVR recordings of her PBS show. I need to become a Cherry so when I see Pokey again this year at the Long Beach International Quilting Arts Festival I can say… Hey, I’m a Cherry too.
        Jenny – you rock!

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        1. I’m so lucky cause I live 45 minutes from Paducah, KY home of the National Quilt Museum. The first time I went I felt like such a geek…but not for long. That place is like a textile art museum. I can’t believe what people can do with fabric.

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      2. Not sure if you’ve addressed this before, but how do you deal with moving things on the collage without destroying it? It’s the reason I don’t scrapbook, because I’m certain that halfway through I’ll want to move things and it’ll just end up destroyed. Removable glue?

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        1. Mostly I don’t care if I destroy it. It’s a tool, not an art work. I use a lot of double stick tape just because it’s quick and easy, and I think they have that in repositionable now, but I’m ripping things off the collages right and left as I work. The things in back I put on with glue because that has to support everything else, and while I’m still trying to decide where to tape things, I use straight pins since my backing is foam core, but even after I glue or tape things down, I rip them off again a lot. It’s about the story, about what happens when different images are next to each other, how that changes when I move them, not how tidy the collage is. If you look at a lot of my collages up close, they’re a mess.

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          1. I like the straight pin idea. I’ll have to try that. I get caught up in the idea of mess (despite the state of my apartment and the pile of laundry my neutered, 15 year old foster cat was humping the other night–they say it’s him trying to say he belongs to me because my scent was on those clothes–at the time it was just shocking).

            Foam core. Must buy some.

            Thank you. The background is very appreciated.

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  7. Holy Cannoli! Your collages always amaze me. I did Lani’s Discovery class and was surprised that doing a soundtrack was easier for me that I thought [considering I haven’t listened to the radio in over a decade] but my collages still look like something my 3 year old would make.

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  8. Where do you get those neat little buildings you use in your collage? Do you MAKE them? If so I’m out of luck. No time!

    I finished listening to Wild Ride on the way to the NECRWA conference in Framingham, Mass on Friday. I love to be able to listen to a good read when I drive. Of course, that also means I wasn’t pondering my latest WIP, which driving is also good for. But WR was well worth it. Wonderful, wonderful story. You and Bob did good, Jenny!

    As an aside, You were quoted in three or four of the workshops I attended, and in mine I made reference to your collages and soundtracks. AND, get this: I met a Cherry in PERSON!! Yay! That was so much fun.

    As a second aside, I also met LOTS of people who bought Moonlighting because Cherries had recommended it to them. So my love to the Cherries. You have saved me!

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    1. The two in front? The pink Dream Cream was from Hobby Lobby, plain brown wrapping paper and I painted it, and the blue Fortunetelling Machine was a box that a bottle of liquid bath soap came in. I have boxes of this stuff that I’ve saved including old Kleenex boxes and those little boxes that jewelry and watches come in–drives Mollie and Lani crazy–because SOMEDAY I’ll NEED IT.

      As for the Cherries, they’re everywhere. A real gad-about bunch.

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  9. Your collage is amazing. I’m about halfway through Wild Ride – and lost hours of sleep last night because of it. It’s a great story. I love the characters, the evil bears, the raven, the ice cream, and most of all the Fortune Telling Machine with its magical cards. It’s neat to see those images in the collage, and wonder about what’s coming in the story.

    Seriously, do you have a recipe for anti-depressant lemon flavored ice cream?

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    1. Some of the ingredients she listed were natural anti-depressants, but no, I’ve never actually made the ice cream.
      Note to self: Get ice cream maker.

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      1. No need to get an ice cream maker. My daughter makes ice cream every night in a ziplock bag. I don’t even remember where we got the directions anymore, but these are pretty close:

        http://www.ehow.com/how_5259810_make-cream-ziploc-storage-bag.html

        The only things not mentioned there are that 1) you should take out most but not all of the air from the smaller bag (too little air and your ice cream won’t get fluffy, too much air and your bag may pop), and 2) rinse the smaller bag well before emptying it or you may get salt in your ice cream.

        Also, vanilla is boring. My daughter likes to use my Torani coffee syrups to make hazelnut or caramel ice cream. One last note: if you make baggie ice cream regularly, just keep the same large bag of ice and salt in the freezer. It won’t freeze solid, and can be reused many times. Oh, but put it in another large ziplock, that way when it leaks you don’t have a huge mess.

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  10. ooh, i love the grumpy treed teddy bears!

    and the timing is wonderful – i just finished ‘wild ride.’ LOVED it. thanks for the story!

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  11. I. am. in. awe. That is amazing! I love the teddybears and the free-standing carnival tents and the layering. I’m reading Wild Ride right now and am delighted to see the collage while I’m in the thick of it.

    I feel like such a novice with my own simple collage… 🙂

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  12. I love this collage and accept that I will never be able to use the process in my own work. I’m scissors impaired and I just plain suck at this kind of crafty art.

    I think my favorite part is the clown next to the bare-chested hottie — assuming this is Fun becoming Joe — with the sign Evil Clowns Need Love Too.

    Oh, and the creepy teddy bears!

    If you want to make ice cream, buy a real ice cream maker. Don’t get one of those plastic balls they advertise in catalogs. Someone sent us one at work so, of course, we just had to try it. Takes F-o-r-e-v-e-r and it’s noisy. So, unless Sweetness and Light have long attention spans or you can train the dogs to batt it back and forth on the floor . . .

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    1. Oh, I LOVE the visual for little dauchsies batting an ice cream ball around the house! Of course, at Jenny’s house, the ball would always end up in the double-dowstairs. I hope they are military-grade plastic! But really, can’t you just see it? (If you put a picture of a squirrel on it, maybe the puppies will be especially diligent!)

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  13. I love it! And loved WR, no surprise right up my alley 😉

    Funny, I totally saw Sharon Gless as Glenda in the eye of my mind – did you already mention that here or was I just cueing into the vibe?

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  14. I often don’t “get” collages or references to actors, so I really appreciate that the books themselves speak to me even when I don’t share all the same pop culture background!

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  15. Just wanted to say a big thank you Jenny and Bob. I stayed up waaaay past my bedtime to finish the book, and it was worth it. For the record I’ll propably grin all night.

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    1. He was so many different people so many times that I found a drawing of a blue clown and altered it some and then for Joe there were some picture of a young Robin Williams. But really after the first draft, they don’t look that much like the people in the collage anymore, they just look like themselves.

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      1. Oh, that makes sense, thank you. I asked because I was intrigued by the crooked smile and wondered if you had a particular crooked smile in mind. And I’m watching How to Steal a Million and saw Peter O’Toole and thought, Hmm…maybe?

        And when you mentioned Adam Baldwin, Ethan just clicked into place.

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