Symbols have power because they embody in visible forms concepts with emotional impact. Christians have the cross; Moslems – the crescent moon; Taoists – Taijitu, the yin-yang symbol. In China, a person’s chop is a legal signature…and its size means everything.
In America, we have the Stars and Stripes, the stop sign, Apple’s bitten apple, the Statue of Liberty. England has Big Ben and the royal family. France – the Eiffel Tower, the guillotine, and Joan of Arc.
Yes, people can become symbols. Jesus said he embodied God the Father.
As with Apple’s apple, companies use symbols to brand themselves and promote the sale of merchandise: Disney’s Tinker Bell, the Green Bay Packers’ big G,Microsoft Window’s red/green/blue/yellow flag.
The ankh, an ancient Egyptian cross, became a promotional tool for Jacqueline Susann’s novel, The Love Machine. She gave gold ankh pendants to people influential in marketing the book. She also had rings, charms, and earrings designed as gifts.
I have my own personal emblem I want to use 1) to tie together a four-book series I have started writing and 2) to promote those and other books I write. In the first book, Lilith steals a pair of silver earrings made like this and gives one to her best friend, Renana, when they part forever. In her own book, Lilith – now Ariella – gives hers to a protégé leaving on a spying mission. He matches it to the earring given to Renana (who has her own book) whose daughter helps him. By the fourth book, the earrings have become family heirlooms.
I intend to show this emblem as a watermark on the covers of these books and have promotional earrings/pendants made. My question is this: Should I hide the earrings in ALL my books, all my short stories?
What symbols are important to you? What might you use as you own symbol. What could be you chop?