A project for me by Gareth Worthington

It sounds strange to say this project was for me, and my seven other books already published were not. Indeed, I write what I would like to read. But, Dark Dweller was special because I really wasn’t sure who else would be interested in the project.

First and foremost, Dark Dweller is inspired by the 1970s sci-fi and surrealistic art movement of the time. In particular, vinyl records with artwork such as Jeff Wayne's version of The War of the Worlds or The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony by Dave Greenslade—illustrated by Patrick Woodroffe—provided a heavy dose of magic. Indeed, as a kid I would study these physical album sleeves and physical books, while listening to the accompanying soundtrack.

In an age of digital-everything, I wanted to create something physical, something tangible. But, this was not as easy as I imagined. How to find an artist?

The album sleeve art for Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, released in 1978 (copyright Ollie Record Productions) is actually the work of four artists. Legend has it that Wayne originally commissioned Roger Dean, known for his work with rock band Yes, to complete the work. But, after some initial designs, Wayne was unconvinced and then approached John Pasche, who eventually designed the famous logo on the front cover, and directed the overall design of the record's sleeve which features paintings from Geoff Taylor, Mike Trim, and Peter Goodfellow.

I certainly could not afford four artists!

The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony on the other hand, released in 1979, felt a little more in my wheelhouse. Or so I thought. The project combines a hardback book (conceived, written and illustrated by Woodroffe) and a double vinyl album of music (written and performed by Greenslade). Woodroffe's artwork is phenomenal, a fabulous display of surrealism. His most famous creation possibly being the elephant in a snail shell. For The Pentateuch, I believe Woodroffe was heavily inspired by The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, and this felt like the direction for my book. I wanted to commission this amazing artist, but alas, he had passed away some years prior.

So, as often happens, a friend and fellow author Mary Ting had heard I was looking for an artist. She just happened to have a different friend, who’s daughter—Bona Chang—had jusut graduated in Entertainment Art from the Art Center College of Design, California, USA.

Bona specialized in digital painting, and character, costume, interior, and environmental design. Once I saw her creations, I knew she was the artist I was looking for. Dark, ethereal, surrealistic. It felt a little like fate. To ensure that Bona was not restricted by my limited imagination, I told her where I was roughly going with a story idea and that I needed paintings of six god-like entities based on vague descriptions of the Greek Titans. Bona had free reign to create each deity as she saw fit anf then I would incorporate her vision into the book.

I believe it worked seamlessly.

And now, I have a book—with beautiful artwork—just like I wanted.

For those who are not as obsessed with such artwork as perhaps Bona and I, the ebook and paperback are image free. There is a hardback with black and white images inside available at all the regular stores. And for those who want that something extra, the A4-sized, full colour hardbacks signed by me are available from www.darkdwellerbook.com.


Dr. Gareth Worthington is an award-winning author of science fiction, fantasy and thrillers. Also a scientist, he currently works in the pharma industry. Gareth is an authority in ancient history, has hand-tagged sharks in California, and trained in various martial arts. Born in England, he has lived around the world, and now resides in Switzerland with his family. Dark Dweller is published on February 28th by Dropship Publishing an imprint of Vesuvian, more information can be found HERE