Crown - A Portrait of Words by Steve Whyte
By Steve Whyte, Oct 31 2019 01:54PM
Steve Whyte Returns with what he calls his greatest piece of art; Crown.
Steve Whyte is a thirteen times author best known for his publications, 'The Love Manual', 'Unashamed', and 'Better Days'. In the spring in 2016, Steve Whyte made his departure from the public space announcing his retirement as an author and life coach. At the time of his announcement, a lot of people were unsure why, but still looked for answers within his final book “The Suicide Note”. The abrupt departure from the online space left many questions unanswered, with the only bit of insight being an article he wrote where he stated, “if I ever return, it will be for something different, possibly fiction.”
In the summer of 2019 Steve returned online with subtle hints of a new project using his well known emoji; the Crown. The months went by and more insight were given, as he released subliminal imagery which insinuated the emergence of a new book. The writing space has always been a private space for Steve, and has in past projects been very quiet about the process along the journey. However, when catching up with him about his recent posts and announcement of Crown, he was quite revealing saying:
“When I put the pen down in 2016, I left a large piece of me neglected, but it were essential for my personal growth. I spent the best part of 10 years investing into other people from all around the world, but I didn’t take a break, had burnout, and a mental health breakdown. I had to order my thoughts and allow healing to take place organically, and I couldn’t do this while being in service to others. It wasn’t a comfortable process, and it may be the most challenging piece of work in my catalogue. I had many days of nothingness, months of doubt, and battles within my own mind while writing this. But, I wanted to take the reader on a journey, one that would captivate their mind and act as a break from their reality, and so I persisted.”
At a glance, you can’t help noticing that there aren’t many narrative driven, but unpredictable and teachable books filling our shelves, but crown sits within a spectrum of grey, poised to challenge the perceptions of the overly publicised, yet empty pages within society. No one seems keen on open plan, cleaning up or putting things away in their proper place. Instead, corridors twist and turn to nowhere, paintings of fussy-looking ancestors stare from the wall and talismanic objects – books, a dagger, an out-of-place saucepan – are left lying carelessly around just waiting to make mischief. This must be because the houses that authors create in their imaginations are dragged up from the twistiest parts of their unconscious and personal stories, replicating those hidden corners where neurosis and creativity do their special dance. Crown however, sits outside of this spectrum, as it has become evident in the very hard hitting imagery he has recently put out on social media networks with high contrast, yet soft illustrations, partnered with excerpts which speak to a very relatable, and raw war that we all experience within our lives. When asked about the graphical parallels he stated that:
“I’m a visual person. My perception of the world is very graphic, and a lot of my processing of these images isn’t based on what I see, rather the things that I don’t yet see. And so with Crown, I wanted to paint a portrait with words, but also add illustrations to fill in some gaps. I wanted to speak to and through the human experience in a way that illustrates within the readers mind, the power of self worth and perspective. I used the careful placement of words, and within paragraphs, an altered grammar form to present the human mind with the possibility of a shared experience, but also space to contemplate. As to the tone, I didn’t want to be didactic, and certainly didn’t want to be triumphalist. I sought a tone which suggested a shared experience and quietude, a safe-place where the mind can lose itself in the elaborate descriptions contained, away from the tragedy that this world contains. If the text were likened to a place, it would be a place of relative peace, contemplation, space and fresh air. I wanted to make the inscription reflect that, and to say something meaningful, powerful, creative, relatable and inspiring beyond time, generation and limitation. So boldly I call it a reflective novel, in which the main character is the reader.”
When asked about the motivation for his return and this book:
"My Son. He was born a few months into me writing, but at that point, it was just me writing. It had no direction, but I later was delivered the news that he has Cerebral Palsy which affects the left side of his brain. This news gave the book context for me and a direction, as I want him to see, appreciate and love himself within his differences. Not just for my Son, but for all of my children growing up in this ever changing and pressured world. This was the something different for me and gave the art direction and purpose."
Lastly we asked about the release dates and the thinking behind the staggered release:
"This project is very precious to me as it has features from my children within the book, my daughter on the front cover, my son on the back and I chose Nov 15 as the date for preorder, as it is the date that my father passed away in 2008. The date of the main release is Jan 22, which is the date my youngest daughter passed away. I managed to merge the past, present and future into one moment without losing the power in the message, in fact I believe it strengthened it."
Not all fictional houses are made out of emotions and a lingering love story. Some, indeed, are purposefully built from paper and outside of the confines of a genre. Steve Whyte's Crown is a carefully constructed art piece that illustrates the beauty of the grey area. With the last chapter of "The Suicide Note" being entitled 'The Ink' and the first in Crown being, 'The Ink-troduction', the stage is set for you to embark on a journey of self discovery, empowerment and the beauty of a sparkling new face to the modern world.
Preorder for Crown opens up on November 15th and will be available worldwide