Happy Thursday, friends Today is the cover reveal for Here Lies Olive by Kate Anderson, and I’m so thankful to @luxbooks for inviting me to take part! It’s gorgeous, and the story sounds fantastic!
Isn’t it stunning? Here’s what the author said about it:
“I didn’t have a clear vision for the cover, except for two things: I knew that I wanted dark florals and cemetery iconography, specifically the winged skull that appears on many graves from the 1600s. The illustrator did a fabulous job nestling headstones with beautiful iconography among deep purple flowers. From there, we included something symbolic of each of the five main characters. I love that we were able to subtly acknowledge Olive and all her pals. But my very favorite part of the cover design is the wisp of smoke from a pair of candles that have just been blown out. Not only does this represent an important moment in the story, but also the theme of death and Olive’s search for what comes after.”Kate Anderson
About the Book:
Title: Here Lies Olive
Author: Kate Anderson
Illustrator: Raluca Burcă
Designer: Karli Kruse
Page Length: 296
Publication Date: Oct. 24, 2023
Publisher: Flux Books
Synopsis: Growing up in the dark tourism capital of the United States, sixteen-year-old Olive should be comfortable with death. But ever since an allergic reaction almost sent her to the wrong side of the grass, she’s been terrified that there is no afterlife. And after the death of her surrogate grandmother, Olive has kept everyone at arm’s length because if there’s Nothing after we die, relationships and love can only end in sorrow.
When she summons a spirit to answer her questions about death, Olive meets Jay, a hitchhiking ghost trapped in the woods behind the poorhouse where he died. Olive agrees to help Jay find his unmarked grave in exchange for answers about the other side and what comes next.
Meanwhile, someone—or something—is targeting Olive’s classmates, and the longer Jay lingers, the more serious the attacks become. Blaming herself for having brought Jay back, Olive teams up with maybe-nemesis, maybe-crush Maren, ex-best friend Davis, and new girl Vanessa to free Jay’s spirit before he’s trapped as a malevolent shade and the attacks turn deadly. But in doing so, Olive must face her fear of death and risk losing another person she loves to the Nothing.
About the Author:
Kate Anderson lives in Utah with her husband and four children. When she’s not writing, she’s embroidering her favorite book covers, exploring the mountains, or planning road trips to places that are off the beaten path–the weirder, the better. Here Lies Olive is her first book. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @kateanderwrites.
Q&A with Kate Anderson:
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A few years ago I had a conversation with a friend about death. He said he didn’t believe in any kind of afterlife; that after we die, there is nothing else. I was surprised by the pure terror I felt when I imagined that. If that was true, nothing mattered. What was the point of anything? That moment of panic was the beginning of Olive.
Q: What were the biggest challenges you faced writing this book?
It took me a while to land on Olive’s voice. This started out as a much more serious book and I just couldn’t get it right. It wasn’t until I stumbled into Olive’s wry, sarcastic worldview that the story fell into place. The subject matter didn’t change, but suddenly it was something else entirely: a dark comedy instead of a mournful study of mortality.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from this book?
As George R. R. Martin wrote, “all men must die”. I hope that readers can draw their own conclusions about death from Olive’s story. More importantly, whatever those conclusions are, I hope they will feel at peace about it.
Q: What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from your book?
I can’t elaborate too much, but the very last scene always makes my heart feel like it’s going to burst–in a good way!