Goddess Books

The Goddess Guide flock & gold leaf cover.

It is said that we all have a book in us. We all have strong visual instincts, a keen interest in our favourite subjects and enjoy sharing our most precious experiences of those subjects with friends. I just wanted to capture mine on paper. So, in an apartment in Barcelona one summer’s morning after a conversation with my partner Peter about an experience the previous day on a carousel, The Goddess Guide book idea was created. My sister has called me GG since she was three, so the concept was christened “Goddess Guides” or GG. There were new and exciting worlds of fashion, food and beauty just waiting to be discovered and retold in book form.

The Goddess Guide and the carousel story where it all began.

The challenge was to seamlessly and beautifully combine words and thousands of images to give you the best experience possible on paper. It was also important that you had a genuinely useful source of fashion and beauty information as well as an authentic aesthetic guide to fashion’s sights, tastes, smells and sounds. I published my first book The Goddess Guide in 2006 and in 2008 my second The Goddess Experience. In them I went on the hunt for micro-pleasures, those tiny specks of uniqueness in beauty and fashion that make us happy every day. Fashion, fragrance, unusual food and beauty are my lifetime’s adventures and I think I learned a new appreciation for real beauty which is always slightly blurred.

While I was writing and travelling, there was a general revolution taking place on the internet. In all things artistic, the distinctions between high – and lowbrow were vanishing fast: I realised I’m a child of the no-brow culture. I’m a writer who isn't embarased to say that she can hum the entire theme tune to Murder She Wrote! Shhhh! Tell no-one! So to the reader reading her book in an armchair. She’s you and she’s me. Flicking, she has her favourite little things bookmarked that are secretly buried among the pages. What follows is a behind-the-scenes look at the secret journey of the making of both of the Goddess Guides.

Initial Ideas

Goddess Guide books, and details of the dust jacket, endpapers and inside spreads.

Initial ideas collected in sketchbooks, handmade pages and aerial view of page plans.

Organising the layout and the page order.

Design Development

Bespoke chapter tiles handmade for the books

Development of ideas for chapter titles for The Goddess Guide. We photographed letters and numbers while travelling and used them to compile a bespoke alphabet. Letters and numbers were then embroidered onto linen by Hand & Lock, London. Development for chapter titles for The Goddess Experience. Titles hand cut from paper.

Developing the book concept by building sets in the studio and shooting them.

Illustrated Goddesses layered on collaged page backgrounds.

Printing in Venice, ribbon selection, colour checking and assembly.

Some of the finished Goddess covers

Sample spreads from the books.