Sometimes things don't turn out exactly as you intend them to, and that ended up being the case with the cover of The Bone Whistle. Months before publication, I had chosen the image of this girl to go on the cover of book six, and my excellent cover designer, Megan Dooley, did such a spectacular job of putting her over just the right background and coloring her just so. In fact, she sent me several drafts of this cover, and we spent many weeks tweaking this and that to make it perfect. And in the end, I loved it. I loved everything about it, and I still do. This image informed my description of Darcy when she is being taken from Limina at the end of the book, and I thought it was so beautiful and fitting for what the story is all about. But I also thought I should definitely test it on friends, family, and colleagues to see what they thought.
It did not test well. People took issue with the fact that none of the other books have people on the front, that it looks too "girly" (so it might not appeal to my male readership), that it doesn't look like a YA cover, and that it looks more like paranormal romance than fantasy. So, with a heavy heart, I had to go back to Megan and tell her that I thought we should change it. We were about one week away from the deadline for the finalized cover, and I had to come up with a new image to go on the front, and Megan had to do all the digital artwork and design around the image. To her very great credit, she was understanding and didn't complain one bit. She rallied and got it done once I found the picture of the tree (which I dug up in one night). That's how the tree on the final cover came to be (which, by the way, Megan had to completely re-color. In the original image, the tree's leaves are green). I was hesitant to use a tree because I already knew I wanted a tree on the cover of BREEDER, but I think the final cover for The Bone Whistle turned out beautifully. There will always be, however, that little part of me that wishes I could have seen the original cover in print.