I'm very excited about my latest book, “Love is the Reason” which hits stores any moment now. The story stems from an idea I had in 2004 focusing on darker romantic tales, and I spent a lot of time planning, outlining, editing, and writing it. The overlapping stories of Aubrey, Michael, Tighe and Chase allowed for foreshadowing, and incorporated recurring motifs. While I was always true to the outline, I also let the story shift organically, as characters developed. I wrote the story in as a newspaper serial; those pages had to be a bit dense to bring readers back each week (Figure 1). As a counter balance, I planned for “mood building” and “character development” moments that would be book exclusive pages, including some cinematic moments (Figure 2). Stylistically, each of the main characters was giving a slightly different “theme,” with Aubrey’s heavy blacks to Michael’s ’60s background patterns to Tighe’s zip-a-tone to Chase’s angular grays. From the start, Aubrey is set up as a dodgey character. But then I began interjecting dark and somewhat disturbing panels to tease the reader: is this foreshadowing? a flashback? a glimpse into Aubrey’s mind? (Figures 3 and 4). I even used a metaphor!—representing the fragile nature of love and relationships to blowing bubbles (Figure 5). As crazy as it may sound to some people, this is the first time I’ve ever felt like an artist. I admit I’ve told some entertaining stories in the past, but I’ve never put so much care into a project, utilizing storytelling tools in a thoughtful way. Reaction to the book so far has been positive, which really makes the last 18 months really worth it.