I can't believe we are less than a week away from publication! I've been talking a lot with my friend Chris, who is the real life inspiration for Jennifer. She's been reading along as I write and after she reads, we review it over the phone. Last night we also started to talk about promotion and marketing ideas and I started getting really excited! I may even come home to Greencastle later this fall to do some promotion in person!
Before I go any further and show you the cover, I want to make sure readers are aware that this book is not all rainbows and unicorns. There are some very intense scenes where the main characters face painful circumstances. There are a few expletives and there is a fair amount of discussion about things of a sexual nature. It's not a sanitized book. It is a book that faces mature and adult situations in a realistic way and I believe overall has a positive message. I would say it is most appropriate for readers 16 and over, which is an interesting change because when I initially had the idea for the book, I saw it as a young adult novel. And, really, in some ways I think it could be very instructive and thought-provoking for younger readers, and I suppose that mature 13-15 year olds would probably be fine reading the book. After all, some of these events happen to the characters when they are flashing back to their adolescence and, obviously, many pressures and situations that teens face today are not much different than they were back in the day! But I still feel an explanation is warranted so readers know what they are getting into.
So, now that we got that out of the way, I want to tell you how much I struggled with a cover for this book. There are so many themes going on within the pages of Green Castles, but they are mostly huge abstract concepts that would be difficult to illustrate. I decided to go for simple. I believe the cover suggests that despite being adults and facing very real grown-up problems, the minds and hearts of the three main characters still cling in some ways to the idealism of their youth, represented by a fantastical depiction of their hometown. Throughout the book, the women reconcile their youthful ideals with what is a harsh, yet sometimes forgiving reality. So, without further ado, here is the cover, and I hope you are all ready for the book's release on Wednesday, September 18th!