Sunday, December 16, 2007

Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

(2007 Cover)

Whale Song
~ a compelling novel about love, lies, family ties, tragedy, sacrifice and forgiveness that will change
the way you view life...and death.

2003 edition: cover designed by Charles Biddiscombe; cover art by internationally acclaimed marine artist David Miller.

How I got the 2003 cover:

In early 2003, I was looking for artwork for my debut self-published title Whale Song, which would release in the fall of that year. I searched online, knowing that I wanted something beautiful, something with killer whales and something that evoked emotion. I found a painting by David Miller titled Sanctuary and fell in love with it. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted it for my cover. I emailed David to enquire how I could obtain rights to use it on my cover. His wife Nancy responded, and they were very interested. I sent them a few chapters of Whale Song and we continued talking about Sanctuary. Finally I got up the nerve to ask how much licensing fees would be. I was devastated when I was given a very high number. My cover budget was quite small in comparison. I was also just a bit embarrassed, knowing that David's work was worth far more than I could offer.

So I wrote back and said that I was sorry but I couldn't do it. I told them what my sad little budget was. Within a few days I received another email. Derek and Nancy were very interested in my novel and very interested in helping me. They offered the rights for next to nothing, saying that I could pay them "whenever" and "whatever" I could afford. All I can say is that it was meant to be. And I was sincerely grateful. Shortly afterward, I ordered a print of Sanctuary. It is hanging in my family room, signed in gold by David, and it will be treasured forever. That cover drew in crowds of people and it gave me the boost I needed as a newly published author. The memory of how I got my first cover is something I will always treasure, along with the friendship of David and Nancy Miller.

*This edition is out of print and no longer available. If you have it, it is now a collector's item.

2007 expanded and revised special edition: designed by Kam Wai Yu of Persona Corp.

I did not have a lot of input in the 2007 cover of Whale Song. I was lucky that Kam saw the mystery
element in the novel. He created a cover that is more haunting than the original. The face in the water sold me on it! The girl's face is the best part of the cover and it perfectly reflects the story for those who have read it. Some readers think the girl in the water is the main character Sarah, some think it's Annie, the school bully, some think it's Sarah's mother. I'll leave it up to my dear readers to determine who it is.

The only thing I would have changed was the whales. I would have liked to see a mother and calf only, and perhaps less photographic and more artistic in design. But that's it.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of the bestselling novel Whale Song
(a bestseller in Canada and the US)

Let us know which cover you like better.

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