Guest Post ~ The Wind Whisperer by Krista Holle

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The Wind WhispererTitle: The Wind Whisperer
Author: Krista Holle
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: November 11th 2013

At fifteen, Anaii is the most important member of her tribe—and the most mysterious. Ever since Anaii can remember, the spirits of the wind have whispered of fertile hunting grounds and imminent enemy attacks. But when her people are ambushed by a brother clan without any apparent cause, the spirits remain eerily silent.

As the village prepares to retaliate, Anaii is pressured by her best friend, Elan, to marry him. It’s an old plea—Elan has spent a lifetime loving her, but Anaii only sees a childhood playmate out of an imposing warrior. Stifled by Elan’s insistence, Anaii escapes into the forest where she meets Jayttin, the beautiful son of the enemy chief.

Enamored by Jayttin’s carefree spirit and hope for peace, she repeatedly sneaks away to be with him, but when her deception is discovered, Elan is devastated. Pledging his lifelong affection, Elan gives her a passionate kiss, and Anaii begins to see her friend in a new light.

While Anaii is tormented over which man she must choose, the wind whispers of a new threat that could destroy both tribes. Only a union will afford a chance at survival, but the reality of that union is based on one thing—which man Anaii chooses to die.
Cover Lovin’

The question was recently posed on Goodreads: what makes a good cover? Authors have been asking themselves this question since the invention of books. I personally have always felt that a book’s cover is equally as important as what’s inside the book.  Who among us doesn’t secretly judge a book by its cover? 

For months I agonized over what my cover should look like for my new novel The Wind Whisperer. Photographic covers seem to be all the rage and for the longest time I anticipated using this sort of cover. But before even hiring a cover artist I started scanning through hundreds of stock model photographs. Red flags began going off all over the place when I realized that there were few Native American models out there.  There were even fewer models in their late teen years that were suitably good looking. It was then I decided that an illustrator would probably be the best way to go.

I scanned through dozens of artists’ portfolios before I ran across the very talented Janice Duke. She is a British artist who uses computer illustrations. Before contacting Janice, I didn’t have any concrete ideas on what my cover should look like but I did know a couple of things.  First I wanted Anaii, my fifteen-year-old heroin, to appear on the cover. Second I knew my cover couldn’t be cheesy like so much Native American art. This meant there would be no overly romanticized characters decked out in feathers, body paint, or ceremonial regalia.

In the first cover draft, Anaii was featured all alone in front of a windswept sky. It was nice, but didn’t quite pique the interest I was hoping for. Two more main characters were quickly added.  The first was Elan, Anaii’s best friend with the potential for so much more. Next was Jayttin, the son of an enemy chief. He might also be the key to peace between two warring tribes. The cover finally hinted at the complicated love triangle inside. Lastly Janice added leaves floating along Anaii’s fingertips to suggest her deep connection with the wind.

I’m really happy with the results of my cover.  It is unique, colorful, and hints at the story inside. Anaii’s tattoos were a nice addition for me too. Janice’s complicated tattoos were not what I had in mind, but I liked hers so much better that I changed the description of the ones in the book.  

What makes a good cover?  For me it is a cover that lures the reader in and possibly even tells a story. While a good cover is different for everyone I’m very pleased and proud of the one Janice Duke created for me. All covers will be judged and The Wind Whisperer is no different—now let the judging begin.

I don't know what you think, but I like the cover... It's very unique!! Thanks for the insightful post, Krista !!

Krista Holle is an award winning author who stepped up her writing after reading Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. It occurred to Krista that there is an insatiable audience of women and girls who want to read books filled with stories about true love—not just vampires. When Krista is not writing, she loves to collect seashells, watch movies, and eat obscene amounts of pizza. Krista currently resides in Montpelier, Virginia with her husband, four daughters and an eccentric cat with a weird attachment to the family’s socks.

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