The Grief Hole Illustrated: News and Pre-Orders

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The Grief Hole Illustrated: An Artist’s Sketchbook Companion to Kaaron Warren’s Supernatural Thriller, by Keely Van Order will be released next month. Those who ordered it as part of the Limited Edition offer for The Grief Hole are locked in for shipment as soon as the book is printed, but we are offering an excellent preorder price for Australian readers only right now: $36.95 including shipping and GST. This offer will cease in early February 2017.

Kaaron Warren’s novel, The Grief Hole, is fast becoming a dark literary classic, and it was enhanced by internal illustrations, and cover art/design by Canberra-based artist, Keely Van Order.

This art portfolio traces Keely’s passage to the final illustrations and designs, including variations on themes, mood sketches, and pieces of art that were worthy of publishing, but just didn’t quite make it the limited number required for the final product. Keely provides notes on her journey and includes excerpts from The Grief Hole that enables the viewer insight into the direct sources of inspiration for the art.

Keely Van Order’s art and design for The Grief Hole, compiled in this beautiful book, is an apt companion volume to the novel, and captures the spirit of Kaaron Warren’s masterpiece as a stand alone work.

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The Grief Hole Illustrated is 74 pages in length with premium colour printing and paper. It is hard cover with matte finish lamination. To showcase Keely’s work, the book is 280 x 216mm in size (11″ x 8.5″).

CLICK HERE to preorder Keely’s magnificent work for AU$36.95 (Australia only, GST and Shipping included)  It will retail in Australia for $39.95 (GST include, not shipping).

Nick Stathopoulos, the eminent Australian artist, has the following to say in the Introduction to this art portfolio:

NEVER SEEN THE SAME BY ANY TWO PEOPLE

Where teenagers would go to suicide

                         …this was the picture I started with and took the project from here.”

And so begins Keely Van Order’s harrowing journey illustrating Kaaron Warren’s disturbing and dark fantasy The Grief Hole.

This was no ordinary commission.

But then this was no ordinary story. In this portfolio we follow Keely’s creative journey; her conceptual explorations with styles, with techniques, with fonts. Here we have sketches, detailed notes, cover variants, final art, and work rejected due to printing concerns. We get a sense of what she was feeling as she worked through the book. We share her determination to reveal the face of the charismatic, shaman-like Sol Evictus, to unmask him, to deny him being reduced to a mythological archetype. To make him real. And this is where the value of an illustration can override a reader’s imagination.

Throughout publishing history we have great collaborations between writers and artists. Can you imagine A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh without the fragile delicacy of E. H. Shepard, or Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland without the slightly psychotic John Tenniel, or John Marsden’s The Rabbits without the politically savvy Shaun Tan? And now we have Keely Van Order’s dark, brooding, melancholia. Kaaron Warren is a fortunate author indeed.

I’m one of those people who watches all the extras on a blu-ray disc. Partly because I enjoy that insight into how visual effects are created, and what they decided to leave on the (now digital) cutting room floor; and partly because I always harbored ambitions to work in the film industry myself.

Despite knowing the magician’s tricks, I can still draw a distinction between the behind-the-scenes details, suspend my disbelief, and enjoy the movie—not as some technical exercise—but as a piece of pure story-telling. Although I did work peripherally in the film industry, most of my career was directed towards graphic design and illustration. Which means this portfolio is like one of those blu-ray extras for illustrators.

Very few people realize or appreciate how much effort an artist puts into creating work for a book. What makes this a particularly unusual and challenging project is that this story involves an artist sent to capture the faces of dying teenagers—who in doing so dies in a ‘grief hole’. And in taking this project on, Keely has in many ways become that artist, taken on that persona. This is not a happy head-space.

When illustrating a manuscript, an artist doesn’t casually read it. They diligently scour every word to find those key pivotal moments that have the highest emotional and visual impact. As you turn every page of this portfolio, you can see Keely immersing herself in Kaaron’s bleak world, where each word takes on a deeper meaning, evoking a mood, stimulating the possibility of a visual interpretation. This level of engagement makes for great art.

On a purely artistic level, despite Keely’s distinctive, idiosyncratic style, do I detect echoes of an Eastern European aesthetic—perhaps Czech? I’m now thinking of those bizarre Polish and Czech movie posters that have nothing whatsoever to do with the films they are meant to be spruiking, yet remain intriguing works of art on their own terms. Do I sense the influence of cover artists I grew up with – Richard Powers, or Bruce Pennington—hovering around Keely like the ghosts Theresa sees? Perhaps. Or perhaps that’s just me making connections with the artists who served as my inspirations. But then again, like the grief holes themselves, these things are “never seen the same by any two people”.

So look carefully. I’m trusting that after dutifully examining each sketch, each note-to-self, each final illustration, you might glean just what an extraordinary collective work of art Keely Van Order has created. In this case, knowing the magician’s tricks enhances Kaaron’s world.

And a personal thank you to Gerry Huntman for having the foresight and wisdom to connect Keely with Kaaron—a true symbiotic relationship—and for publishing this portfolio. It’s not often we are granted the opportunity to take a peek into an artist’s process, especially in such a handsome format.

 

Cover Reveal: The Grief Hole Illustrated

We are pleased that Keely Van Order‘s art portfolio collection of the illustrations contributing to The Grief Hole are well underway and will be available for sale in December (with preorders coming out in the next week or two).

In the meantime, the following is the working cover at this time, for your viewing pleasure.

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The Grief Hole: Special Limited Edition Offer

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Kaaron Warren’s masterpiece novel, The Grief Hole, will be released on 27th August 2016 in hardcover format, followed by the trade paperback a month later. Notably, IFWG Publishing Australia will produce 100 limited edition copies, signed by Kaaron Warren and Keely Van Order.

The cover and internal artwork is created by the very talented, Canberra-based artist, Keely Van Order.

Read the amazing review of The Grief Hole by Ginger Nuts of Horror.

You can now purchase this signed, limited edition through our pre-release order system, below.

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Kaaron Warren

From “White Bed”, her first published story, which appeared in a feminist horror anthology in 1993, Kaaron Warren has produced powerful, disturbing fiction.

With four novels and six short story collections in print, and close to two hundred short fiction sales, Warren’s award-winning fiction tackles the themes of obsession, murder, grief, despair, revenge, manipulation, death and sex.

Kaaron has won many awards such as the Shirley Jackson, Aurealis, Ditmar, Australian Shadows and ACT Writers and Publishers Awards for her novels and short fiction, including Slights, The Grinding House, Through Splintered Walls and the novella “Sky”. She’s lived in Melbourne, Sydney and Fiji and now in Canberra with her family.

The Grief House, published by IFWG Publishing Australia, is, using Kaaron’s own words, “my best yet”, and going by commentators in the industry, this is the case. IFWG Publishing chose to include her novel as part of their masterpiece series, Dark Phases.

The offer:

  • Limited to 100 copies.
  • Hardcover Book: 6.00″ x 9.00″ (156mm x 234mm), cream paper, plain cloth binding with spine imprint, and matte cover sleeve.
  • Six internal illustrations by Keely Van Order, including a frontispiece.
  • Each book will have a signature page (also illustrated/designed by Keely Van Order), signed by Kaaron Warren and Keely, and numbered from 1 to 100. The sequence number provided will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, although some numbers are reserved for purchasers of the first Dark Phases limited edition. There will never be any other signed limited editions produced for sale, beyond this 100.
  • This limited edition is the second of the elite, Dark Phases title series, and this allows those who pre-order Peripheral Visions the option of obtaining the limited, signed editions of future Dark Phases titles, with the same sequence number.
  • Each purchaser will also receive a small, hand-crafted gift by Kaaron Warren.
  • Special optional offer: IFWG was so impressed with the significant number of quality illustrations that formed the ‘mood work’ and options leading to the final product that they have decided to print for a limited time a hardcover ‘coffee table’ portfolio book, of approximately 75 pages of high bond colour pages. This book will contain all the illustrations Keely Van Order created, with notes on her journey to the Grief Hole, as well as excerpts from Kaaron Warren’s novel. This will be a very special work, worthy to accompany the Limited Edition The Grief Hole. This work will be released at the end of 2016 and will immediately be shipped to those who choose to take up this option, at a discount.

Orders (click links):


For Australian shipping addresses, the price for limited edition The Grief Hole only, is AU$59.95 (including shipping from September 2016).

For Australian shipping addresses, the price for the limited edition The Grief Hole plus the complementary art portfolio, is AU$98.95 (including shipping from September 2016 – and the portfolio from December 2016)

For Other countries shipping addresses, the price for the limited edition The Grief Hole, is US$69.95 (including shipping from September 2016).

For Other countries shipping addresses, the price for the limited edition The Grief Hole plus the complementary art portfolio, is US$99.95 (including shipping from September 2016 – and the portfolio from December 2016)


The limited edition The Grief Hole will only be available until 100 numbered copies are sold. In September 2016 all orders up to that month will be shipped, and further shipments will be made every two months until the 100 copies are sold. Keely Van Order’s portfolio will be shipped from December 2016 separately, and after that date, will be ordered immediately following the option being purchased.

All transactions will be processed through PayPal. Click the option above.

  1. Ensure your shipping information will be current for September 2016.
  2. You will receive an acknowledgement, with sequence number, by email, in addition to a PayPal receipt.
  3. If you want a particular number, mention it/them in the notes section of the PayPal order – noting that if they are not available, you will get the next available, starting from 1.

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eBook Preorders: The Grief Hole by Kaaron Warren

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Preorder channels are now open for the ebook formats of Kaaron Warren’s upcoming masterpiece, The Grief Hole. Available channels are as follows:

Amazon Kindle
Apple iBook
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Books will be downloadable from 26 to 27th August 2016, depending on your geography.

Of course, if you want to preorder the more tangible trade paperback or clothbound editions, click here – you won’t be disappointed as Keely Van Order’s illustrations truly jump from the pages.

Finally, if you are interested in preordering the signed limited edition clothbound version of The Grief Hole, stay tuned for an announcement very soon – you will also be given the option for preordering the hardcover artist’s portfolio related to the project – something special indeed.


There are many grief holes.

There’s the grief hole you fall into when a loved one dies.

There’s another grief hole in all of us; small or large, it determines how much we want to live.

And there are the places, the physical grief holes, which attract suicides to their centre.

Sol Evictus, a powerful, charismatic singer, sends a young artist into The Grief Hole to capture the faces of the teenagers dying there. When she inevitably dies herself, her cousin Theresa resolves to stop this man so many love.

Theresa sees ghosts; she knows how you’ll die by the spirits haunting you. If you’ll drown, she’ll see drowned people. Most often she sees battered women, because she works to find emergency housing for abused women.

She sees no ghosts around Sol Evictus but she doesn’t let that stop her. Her passion to help, to be a saint, drives her to find a way to destroy him.


 “It takes a writer of Kaaron Warren’s talent and imagination to unflinchingly convey the horrors of the real world. The Grief Hole is one of the most effective and affecting ghost stories I’ve ever read.”

– Jeffrey Ford, multiple international award-winning fantasy author

Print Preorders: The Grief Hole by Kaaron Warren

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Kaaron Warren’s masterpiece of dark fantasy and horror, The Grief Hole, will be released and launched on 27 August 2016 (Australian Eastern Standard Time). IFWG Publishing Australia had offered preorders for both the Trade Paperback and Cloth Bound versions.

Trade Paperback offer has expired wef 20 September 2016 Australian Eastern Standard Time. Orders can be made from release day – 27th September 2016 Australian Eastern Standard Time.The Cloth Bound offer has expired wef COB 20th August 2016 Australian Eastern Standard Time. Orders can be made from 27th August 2016 Australian Eastern Standard Time.


There are many grief holes.

There’s the grief hole you fall into when a loved one dies.

There’s another grief hole in all of us; small or large, it determines how much we want to live.

And there are the places, the physical grief holes, which attract suicides to their centre.

Sol Evictus, a powerful, charismatic singer, sends a young artist into The Grief Hole to capture the faces of the teenagers dying there. When she inevitably dies herself, her cousin Theresa resolves to stop this man so many love.

Theresa sees ghosts; she knows how you’ll die by the spirits haunting you. If you’ll drown, she’ll see drowned people. Most often she sees battered women, because she works to find emergency housing for abused women.

She sees no ghosts around Sol Evictus but she doesn’t let that stop her. Her passion to help, to be a saint, drives her to find a way to destroy him.


 “It takes a writer of Kaaron Warren’s talent and imagination to unflinchingly convey the horrors of the real world. The Grief Hole is one of the most effective and affecting ghost stories I’ve ever read.”

– Jeffrey Ford, multiple international award-winning fantasy author

Read the first review of The Grief Hole by Ginger Nuts of Horror.