Here it is! Isn't she a beauty? I'm so thrilled. Caroline Andrus, cover art designer for Fire and Ice Young Adult Books has given me another book cover to be proud of. I hope you like it too. I thought I'd share with you a blurb about the book and a little bit about how this cover came together.
Juniper Sawfeather seems to have a talent for finding mythological creatures. Or maybe the creatures are finding her.
The mermaids she saved from the oil spill are long gone. There’s no evidence of them, and she’s been branded as a liar and a fake in the media and at school. Her environmental activist parents have moved on to a protest to save Old Growth trees from being chopped down. June isn’t particularly concerned with this cause until after falling asleep at the base of a giant tree she wakes to find herself 40 feet in the air on one of its branches!
From this point on she becomes obsessed with the tree, and it appears the tree is becoming obsessed with her too. Soon, she is trapped 170 feet above the ground, and the magical spirit that resides in the tree isn’t interested in letting her go free or allowing anyone else to save her. Is the tree spirit good or evil? Will Juniper’s feet ever touch the ground again?
Caroline Andrus is one of the owners of Melange Books (Fire & Ice is an imprint - see some of her beautiful covers), but she is also one of their main cover designers. Several of her book covers from this past year have just become finalists in the Epic Book Awards. And she deserves it. When I saw the cover for Cry of the Sea back in fall of 2013, I actually cried because it was so perfect. I thought she had found the perfect face to represent Juniper. I also loved the hint of a mermaid, because in my mind the book is more about Juniper than the mermaids.
However, we had a little more of a struggle with the second book. It was very important to all of us involved with the book at Fire and Ice that the image of Juniper was authentically American Indian. Oddly, the woman featured on the first book's cover didn't look American Indian in her other photographs. Caroline was having a hard time finding a suitable image to use. Around that same time, a young friend of mine, an actress in Nashville, posted some new photographs of herself on Facebook, and I realized that she was the spitting image of Juniper. I suggested to Caroline that we could get pictures of her to use for the cover, and Caroline agreed. So, I approached the actress, Faith Kelm, and asked if she would be interested in doing a photo shoot. I also approached my dear friend Jeni Richard, a photographer, to take the pictures.
Now, Whisper of the Woods takes place in the first couple weeks of January in Washington State. Bitter cold. We did this photo shoot on the hottest most humid day of the summer here in Nashville. I'm not kidding. It was 103 degrees outside. And I had poor Faith wearing a big, puffy winter jacket. She was a trouper, though. She looked absolutely gorgeous. We were all also covered with mosquito bites by the time it was over. I can't tell you how grateful I was to these women.
I sent the pictures to Caroline, and she played with them a bit. The hint of supernatural (like the mermaid tail on the cover of Cry of the Sea) was harder to accomplish because this book is about a tree spirit. I made suggestions of eyes peering out of the leaves or in the bark, but the other problem was that Juniper is stuck in a 200 foot tall red cedar tree. A book cover is only so big. Well, genius that Caroline is, she put this almost surreal glow on the image, and chose a picture from the photo shoot of Juniper looking at something we can't see with great concern. I love how it came out. I'd love to know what you think. Please leave your comments below.
Whisper of the Woods will be released on November 21st. I've head a rumor that they will do a week of presales on Kindle at only $0.99. I'm fairly certain it'll never be that cheap again. So, if you don't want to miss when that happens, follow me at Facebook or Twitter so you'll catch the announcement.
You can read Whisper of the Woods without reading the first book, but I didn't spend a lot of time re-introducing the characters or summing up the first story and there is a through-line. So, if you haven't read Cry of the Sea yet, this would be the perfect time to get yourself a copy. Lots of purchase links here.
D. G. Driver
Author of Young Adult books Cry of the Sea and Passing Notes.