So you can read my books

Friday, December 6, 2013


{Face in the Crowd by Alex Prager} 

If you've ever been crushed in a sea of strange faces in a new city, you will understand why photographers are drawn to crowd shots.

The above photograph, Face in the Crowd, is by the renowned photographer, Alex Prager whose work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue and W Magazine

 Los Angeles photographer Alex Prager has taken it a step further in her documentation of crowds:

staging imaginary scenes seemingly influenced by a mix of Alfred Hitchcock suspense, the Technicolor style of William Eggleston and the costume design of Cindy Sherman.

"I’m fascinated by the experience of being involved in other people’s lives accidentally,” Prager said.

“Crowds have always been an interest of mine. It may look like a sea of people, but there are so many interesting stories, all colliding silently.”

{Cover by the legendary Leonora Roy}
Ms. Prager's words echoed my own sentiments in my novel, DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE. 
As Ada Byron Lovelace lay dying in 1852, Samuel McCord entered her life. 

Cut off from her "corrupting" friends by her mother and abandoned by her husband after a tearful confession,

Ada clung to the compassionate Texas Ranger who came to her bedside for help with a fateful riddle.
It took her to Egypt, against her mother's wishes, for one last adventure -- an adventure which transformed her death into unlife.
Now, in 1895, she is back with Samuel McCord in Egypt for another perilous adventure.  Why does she still cling to Samuel though he is married and she is in a loving relationship with another?
We wander into each others' lives by accident -- or they into ours.  Some lives cling to us or we to them by mutual interests or needs.
But years and events winnow those from our past down one by one.  When you have no one left from a cherished time, it is as if it never really happened.
Samuel is the last person left from the time Ada still drew breath. 
To lose him would be as if she herself were in danger of disappearing. 

Samuel was shaped by the same times as her.  He understands her jests, her way of looking at life.  He is her touchstone to sanity.
In DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE, lives, both alien and earth-born, collide in a tale of conflicting obsessions, needs, and dreams.  Not all survive the collision.


  1. Some photographers may like crowd shots. I don't. I prefer less people in my photographs; in my estimation, too many people ruin a shot. (especially as they distract from whatever 'object' I'm trying to feature).

    As for colliding stories, that I can appreciate. Sam must have a big heart.

    I know life is never as simple as it appears on the surface. Some will never delve below the surface, they will live shallow lives avoiding all that disturbs them. Others will dive in headfirst and through experience, enrich their lives through those they have known. (that includes cyber-friends, too!)

  2. D.G:
    Each photographer has her or his own preferences of course. If the focus in a crowd stands out, a crowd acts like a human frame of sorts.

    Sam, for most of his life, was a lonely man with no family -- so he made family wherever he went.

    The shallow life, on the surface (pun intended), seems the easiest life to many -- but in the end, it only results in emptiness.

    Thank you for being my constant in-depth cyber-friend! :-)

  3. I hate being in crowds myself but love the photo and the idea of so many silent stories in that crowd. Beautiful.

    Your book sounds fantastic and I love the title!

  4. Julie:
    I also hate crowds. Seeing pictures of them is preferable to being in one!

    I think of the silent stories inside each car I pass or that passes me in the opposing lane: each car represents a story, lives intent on some unknown destination.

    I am so glad you are intrigued by my book -- the title is tied in the reason for the excavation in Egypt. I hope to be finished with it soon. Thanks for visiting, :-)

  5. In all honesty, I don't like crowd shots.

  6. Ice Girl:
    We all have our likes and the right to have them. The solitary shot can be quite evocative and beautiful, too. :-)