Marc grew up in a uniquely bohemian household on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the mid 1950’s. His father was a writer and educator and his mother, an artist. He distinctly remembers their tiny apartment being a mecca for actors, poets, and artists of the day. In fact, when he was 9 years old Dustin Hoffman would routinely visit Ralph Romanelli, Marc’s father as he was a mentor to the young struggling actor. ”Dusty,” as Marc called him, would put him on the back of his Vespa scooter and motor around the block to the neighborhood bodega. This was the wonderfully fertile environment in which he grew up, preciously silent and still decades before the “I” of everything digital.
Mr. Romanelli went on to become a professional photographer and cinematographer in his adult life. He has traveled widely, photographing in Africa, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Mexico, Europe and India. He has worked with diverse talents such as, Wynton Marsalis and his Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Randy Travis and the famous dancer, Ann Reinking. He has had a life long fascination with the concept of time travel and portals accessing alternate realities. Some of his favorite movies growing up were, “This Island Earth,” ”Forbidden Planet” and “2001 A Space Odyssey.” After a lifelong immersion in the photographic discipline, where pursuing “the image” took precedence over any other possible creative endeavor, he decided to begin again, change gears and attempt to craft the written word to tell his stories as well. The process of this transition has been profound for him. In essence, he organically began to understand the value and crucial importance of the power of imagination and the attendant discipline and commitment of nurturing it. He now believes that we as a society have a collective “Imagination Deficit Disorder” as we increasingly allow the intrusion of digital media’s all encompassing reach and power to crowd out and ultimately eclipse our native thought and imagination. “Drinking from the fire hose” is an apt description of where we’ve all arrived unfortunately, but another alternative is also presented to those that avail themselves of it. While writing this first book, he was necessarily forced to slow down and receive. Organically, solutions, answers, options and ideas as they related to his book in progress gradually became apparent and in some cases revelatory.
He resides with his muses, his wife Ahdina and their two children, Philomena and Redford in the little western village of Lamy, New Mexico. Marc and his bride Ahdina were married in a dusty village near Nxai Pan, Botswana by a 104 year-old chief who blessed the union (thank god!) As he walks the railroad tracks leading out of Lamy, with his German Shepherd he remains observant for another encounter with those mysterious temporal anomalies that swirl around this unique little village set between the arroyo and the mountain. The Imagination Warriors is Mr. Romanelli’s first book.
Odessa Sawyer is an illustrator and doll maker from Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she resides with her husband and son. She works mainly in digital mixed media, utilizing digital and traditional painting and photography.
Her artwork has graced the book covers of many top publishing houses, including Random House, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, Capstone, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
She has also done work for various film and television projects, posters and album covers, as well as work for HBO, Laika, Duck Studios and COTY.
Her work has been published in Lurzer’s Archive as one of the 200 best illustrators worldwide for 2011 and 2014
Highly influenced by fantasy, fairy tales, fashion and classic horror, Odessa’s work celebrates a whimsical dreamy and vibrant quality.
All of her dolls are one-of-a-kind and made from mostly recycled fabrics.
THE COVER ARTIST
David Romanelli was born into a very creative family in New York City in 1962. David’s father was a teacher and a writer, and
his older brother is a photographer and filmmaker.
David developed an early passion for art. He grew up immersing himself in the portraiture and still life paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This appreciation lead to an affiliation with the International Gallerie Tamenaga and Portraits Inc., in New York City.Mr. Romanelli has also been shown at the Albright Knox Gallery and exhibited twice at The National Academy of Design.
More recently, David’s paintings have been exhibited at the Karen Ruhlen Gallery and the Turner Carroll Gallery, both in Santa Fe, NM. Additionally his work is in several private collections. The tarot card inspired oil painting he painted for his older brother’s first book, The Imagination Warriors, is David’s first foray into cover art.
David is a self taught artist..