I'm excited to unveil the cover art for Dan Berne's upcoming novel, The Gods of Second Chances, which will be published in March by Forest Avenue Press.
Sometimes with a project like this, I have to do a lot of noodling before I come up with something I like. With Dan's book, I just mused on the story, the characters, the lovely straight-forward voice of the novel's narrator, Alaskan fisherman Ray Bancroft, and the idea popped into my head pretty much fully formed.
Granted there was definitely tinkering. To lay out my geometrical school of salmon so that it didn't overwhelm the author's name or crowd the title. To design a fish I really liked. There was lots of fish tinkering...
In the end, I went with a simple fish, which I thought would work best with the geometrical design of the school. One with lots of red to stand out sharply against the background blue.
The art I'm referencing here - even down to the colors I chose - is Tlingit. The Tlingit are an indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest, particularly of the southeast coast of Alaska. Their art, and that of other indigenous peoples like the Haida, symbolize the Pacific Northwest, and Tlingit culture figures in The Gods of Second Chances. There's some really cool info on the Tlingit culture here. From all I've read, Tlingit art seems to represent the connection between man and the greater world - nature, the cosmos, the sacred. It's intimidating to reference an art style from a culture that's not my own, but I hope I've done justice to it. And to Dan Berne's book, which, along its page-turner of a plotline, explores the many different meanings of sacred, whether in the vastness of the ocean or the crowd of ceramic gods on Ray's kitchen counter or the complexities of family.
More information about Forest Avenue Press is here.
And more about The Gods of Second Chances and Dan Berne is here.
Some good information and pictures of Tlingit art can be found here.