I had so much fun designing the cover and innards of this book for award-winning author, Valerie Hobbs' third story in the SHEEP series, RUSTY. Rusty is Jack the border collie's granddog and he's different from the rest. He's half dog and half coyote—a coydog—and has a tough time figuring out his place in the world, especially one filled with sheep and chickens.
Valerie's writing gets right inside her characters' heads (whether they're human, dog, or something else) and gives her readers a warm, honest story—plus an understanding of more than what's said.
One especially lucky thing happened during the book's development. I met a real coydog (and her person) on a neighborhood walk! She was an older dog, but I could tell right away and asked. When her person heard about Rusty, she sent us photos of her coydog's younger days for reference. We're framing a print of the illustration and giving her a copy of the book in thanks.
Carol Heyer painted the wonderful cover illustrations (there's another beastie on the back). Plus, Carol's pencil sketch was so lively we asked to use it inside the book. Click here and scroll down to Middle Grade Books to see!
Check RUSTY out on Amazon and for those who want to "Look inside" in person, it will also be available at Chaucer's Books in Santa Barbara soon. I'll update this post when I hear the news.
I'm a bit late in saying this, but I'm so darn proud of all of our work on this book's birth, I will anyway--Happy Book Birthday, RUSTY!
Works in Progress: