In Case You Come Back

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The truth is, dear You are a secret that I whisper But wish to reveal.

EXCERPT FROM BRAVADO BY REESE LANSANGAN

 

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You are marshmallows melting and milk chocolate kisses and the biggest slice of cake; you are wine-infused confessions, cinnamon conversations — you are the sights and scents and tastes of the sweetest corners of home... You are every overflowing heart that sings.

EXCERPT FROM A CHRISTMAS LOVE LETTER BY MARLA MINIANO

 

After a year in the back burner, we finally made things happen. With months of preparation — from quick meetings to countless e-mail conversations, to day-by-day illustrations — it all lead to this moment.

One of my dreams is to have my art published in a book, and that dream was fulfilled with In Case You Come Back, a poetry book filled with confessions, apologies, promises, love and a little bit of heartbreak.

When the opportunity presented itself to me last year, I was more than ecstatic and didn't hesitate to say "HELL YES!". Despite being approached by an international publication beforehand to illustrate for a story book, it never pushed through due to difficulties in communication and the timing of my work schedule. So when Reese and Marla came to me asking if I was open to collaborate with them on producing a poetry book, we all know what entailed. I was ready for the ultimate challenge, which means producing roughly more than 20 or so illustrations in the span of 3 to 4 months. (Something I once thought impossible until I achieved it.)

Reading both Marla and Reese's work the first time around, I felt a deep connection to their pieces. Despite their poetry's differences and (in my opinion) being polar opposites, it was united by a similar attribute: the ability to connect with their reader emotionally. Their intricately beautiful words are strung in a way that just tugs at your heart. It's both remarkable and enigmatic.

Where Marla's narratives are intimate and delicate, Reese's haikus are charismatic and quirky, which creates a harmonious balance and a great flow. I find that my style of work complements their poetry really well. I didn't have a single difficulty adjusting or fretting whether or not my illustrations would reflect what their poetry is trying to visualize. Everything flowed smoothly, from planning to visualizing to strategizing to publishing. Needless to say, working with them and having our creative ideas bounce from one to the other was a wonderful experience. And to say that I'm absolutely honored to be a part and share this experience with such incredibly talented ladies is an understatement.

So my deepest heartfelt gratitude goes to both of you, Marla and Reese, for approaching me with this project and trusting me to visualize your words. You both made one of my dreams come true. Of course, this also wouldn't be possible if not for Summit Books and the amazing team behind it who helped us produce this project. So thank you, for giving us a chance to put our heart's contents on print and share it with the rest of the universe.

Catch an excerpt of our poetry book on this month's issue of Candy Magazine.

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