If you are looking for an inspiration read with beautiful accompanying artwork, Ophelia Under the Day Moon is just that and apposite for all ages. Auralea Krieger's self-written and self-published book includes 21 full-color and paper-pieced illustrations, the originals of which are sold at art festivals and galleries. Through interviewing Auralea, it became apparent that aspirations can be realized; a little over a year of hard work paid off and produced a stunning pice of art.
Mélange: Who is Ophelia?
Auralea Krieger: Ophelia is a young Victorian girl who is not considered to be “normal” nor does she prefer to be. She thinks and sees things very differently than other children. She marches to her own beat and is curious to a fault. The more odd something is, the more she is drawn to it. Ophelia begins her summer a bit introverted, but ends up gaining the most wonderful set of unconventional friends. Sometimes in life you have that one summer where you grow up, that one amazing summer when you come into your own. This book documents Ophelia’s most amazing summer.
Mélange: Is Ophelia in any way, an extension of yourself? What about any of the other characters?
Auralea Krieger: I think every character is a small part of me and perhaps a small part of friends from my past. I would meditate in a quiet moment and begin to remember wonderful adventures I had as a child and even into my 20s. Then I would twist them, shape them and add my characters’ spin on them. I don’t consider any one character anybody else then who they are themselves. Each one is close to my heart for different reasons.
Mélange: What inspired you to create it?
Auralea Krieger: I had been creating fashion girl collages when suddenly a young Victorian girl emerged from the fog in my creative conscious. She was disheveled and worn. I got her onto canvas and realized she was how I felt inside after having lost my father a year before. I wrote a poem for him, which is on her skin, and named it “Worn and Torn.” I was selling my fashion art as well as that piece at an art show. The wind kept blowing her canvas over her price tag. After I had readjusted her a few times, I decided my father’s spirit was telling me not to sell her. I put a sold sign on her and soon after I named her Ophelia. Then I started thinking about who Ophelia was. I began to write about her and before I knew it she was a wonderful character. I became obsessed with writing about her adventures. I would wake in the middle of the night and start typing. This is how Ophelia Under the Day Moon was born!
Mélange: Is this your first book?
Auralea Krieger: Yes. At first I thought, “Who am I to write a book? I have no training in literature?” But my wonderful support group of friends and family pushed me to write whatever came to me. I think writing is just as much of an art form as drawing or sculpting.
Mélange: What are your current and future projects?
Auralea Krieger: I have finished writing Ophelia Under the Day Moon, Book 2 and am currently finishing up the art for it. The second half of her summer is even more intense. The characters begin to truly evolve and the adventures become even more intriguing. I hope to have it printed by spring 2012. I have also started to write the All Hallows' Eve edition. This is full of even more mystery and a truly haunting storyline!
Mélange: It is very impressive that you published your own book; do you have any publishing tips? Auralea Krieger: It was expensive and I only printed a small run. I am looking for an agent and a publisher now. I plan to use the proceeds from the sales of my first book to support the printing of my second book. Ophelia now has her own Facebook fan page where I can share how fast she is growing and how many wonderful people are supporting her.
Mélange: What advice would you give to those who want to embark on their own book?
Auralea Krieger: My advice is to just do it! Don’t think about the end result and what will happen when you are finished. Just start writing. Keep writing until you have nothing left to say! Figure out all of the publishing details later. If your heart is truly behind your writing, you will discover that the universe will introduce you to people who will help you along the way. Before you know it, you will have your very own book in your hands!
Due on the news stands across the U.S. January 2012