In my next book a painting plays a role. It’s not a HUGE role, not like it’s an art heist or a tremendously famous painting at the center of the story, but it is important.

The story begins at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. And even though this is not a book about art or artists or museums, I knew that a painting would have meaning to the story. I knew the type of painting I wanted – the style, the colors, the era, the level of awareness of the artist. But on my visits to the Museum of Fine Arts I never found the exact painting I had in mind. I didn’t want the artist to be a household name. I didn’t want the piece to be too easily labeled as belonging to one school or another. I wanted the piece to leave a lot up to interpretation.

So, I started my search for the perfect piece of art. Sure, I could have made it up, but that felt like cheating. I also wanted readers to actually be able to see the piece, to know it really exists. And then, after weeks and weeks of searching, I somehow found it. Not only was it visually perfect, the name of the piece was so right I couldn’t have done better if I made it up myself.

So here it is – The Way Back to Before by Moe Brooker. You can even see a video of the artist in his studio here. It’s very cool listening to Mr. Brooker talk about his art, to watch him put paint to canvas. And finally, after two years thinking about this painting and having it in my writing, I decided to email Mr. Brooker and say thanks. Thank you, Moe Brooker, for putting on canvas a picture that goes so well with my words.