An Artistic Setting
My New Adult Urban Fantasy/Science Fiction novel Gateway to Reality is set in Chicago, a city well known for many things, one of which is its thriving art. Sculptures tower at intersections, sprawl throughout museums, and are easily accessible to the public in Millennium Park, among other places. The abundance of art is one of the reasons I enjoy the city so much.
One of my favorite pieces is the Cloud Gate, a massive, mirrored, curvilinear sculpture standing boldly in Millennium Park against a backdrop of angular skyscrapers. This peculiar work of art is dubbed simply “the Bean” by most tourists because of its shape. I’ve had a fascination with the sculpture since my last visit to the Windy City. When I began forming the idea for Gateway to Reality, this piece quickly became central to the story.
Enamored with Art
The main character, Wes Teague, is an artist and graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, so the world in his dreams (which is actually the real world) revolves heavily around sculptures and places filled with art. Most are well-known. For example, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art is located in Kansas City, where I grew up. I took many fieldtrips there exploring the museum’s chambers, and anytime we drove near the grounds, one or more of the giant shuttlecocks were peeking out, trying to summon me back. That place held great mysteries for me as a child and more fully developed my interest in art.
Gateway to Reality features other well-known sculptures, which I’ve collected on my Pinterest story board for the novel.
The only sculpture more integral to Gateway to Reality than the Cloud Gate is a piece called Infatuation. Infatuation originates even closer to home because it’s based on a sculpture I created during my first year of art school. Here’s a short excerpt from the book describing it.
A monochromatic form rose high in the distance, the center of it rising tall like a thin, narrow tower. Wes hurried over to it with Andy on his heels. When he got closer he could make out more details. Tendrils curved around the center, some as slender as blades of grass, some as wide as his midsection. They were thin and wispy, curling and uncurling around the central stem. Although the movement of the sculpture was organic, the shapes within it were precise. It was bold and yet delicate. Close up, it had a very geometric feel. Standing beneath it took his breath away.
My real-life version of the piece was only a foot tall, but it’s much more immense and dynamic in Gateway to Reality. I hadn’t originally planned to incorporate it, but when I was searching for pieces of art to include in the story, I had a sudden inspiration to go back to my art school days. Infatuation fit in perfectly with the storyline and made an excellent illustration of the way the Existence works. It takes Wes a while to unfold the full meaning behind it, but when he does, it’s no small realization.
What Readers are Saying about Gateway to Reality
Gateway to Reality asks big questions of one’s purpose, place and search for love. It’s a probing romance cloaked in science fiction trappings. Once again, Becca Campbell twists and molds multiple genres to concoct a piece that is a true original. – Brian Clopper
Wow! She’s done it again. Gateway to Reality is a fantastic novel that completely takes you into its arms. Blending bits and pieces of fantasy, science fiction, and a kind of beauty all its own, Wes’s revelations and even your own will take you for an intriguing ride along desires, needs, and decisions. – Sarah Thayer
Gateway to Reality is available:
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