Mundie Moms

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

COVER REVEAL/Author Interview / Giveaway: The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman

Hello! Welcome to today's exciting cover reveal for Robin Wasserman's upcoming thriller, THE WAKING DARK! I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Random House to reveal this haunting cover. Check it out!

Wow! I'd say this cover does the book justice. I love the how the light draws your eyes to it, but the darkness gives it that chilling feeling. Based on the synopsis, I'd say it's a perfect match. It's dark, haunting, and has that edginess to it. What do you guys think?

About the Book:
By: Robin Wasserman
Published by: Random House
To Be Released on: September 13th, 2013

They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn't even know why she killed—or whether she'll do it again.

Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander's, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who's not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.

I'm thrilled to have Robin Wasserman on the blog today to talk about her upcoming releases, as well as her writing. 

Hi Robin! Thank you for being on Mundie Moms today. How would you describe The Waking Dark? 
Thanks for having me here! I’m so excited to finally get the chance to talk about this book, which has been sitting on my computer for the last couple years but bouncing around in my head for what feels like pretty much my whole life. 

If I had to describe the basic plot, I’d say it’s the story of a small town quarantined after a tornado and six teens who are trapped there, trying to survive and escape as everyone around them goes slowly but surely nuts. 

But have I mentioned I’m terrible at describing basic plots? The Waking Dark is about all that, but it’s also about the darkness hiding beneath the surface of even the most familiar places and harmless people; it’s about a community ravaged by forces beyond its control; it’s about fate and freedom and whether to give in to your worst self; and it’s about cramming all the things I’ve been obsessed with for years—Stephen King, Twin Peaks, small Midwestern towns, the meth epidemic, religious zealots, mass hysteria, and the nature of evil—into one book.

In case that’s not enough, there’s also an explosion and some making out.

If you found yourself in a similar situation as your characters in The Waking Dark are in, which character would you most likely want to having fighting beside you?
First off, I should make clear that if I found myself in this book—or pretty much any scary book I’ve ever written or read—I would probably scream, lock myself in a closet, and lose my mind. I am not the bravest of people.

But if the universe conspired against me and sucked me into The Waking Dark (I’m shuddering just thinking about it), I’d want to have Jule Prevette by my side. Jule—raised by a single mother and an uncle who spends half his time cooking up meth and the other half in prison—is tough, angry, and a little terrifying.  She’s also fiercely loyal and never backs down from a fight. She pretends she’s only looking out for herself, but she’ll protect anyone who needs it—at least, as long as she thinks they deserve her help. Assuming she’d forgive me for all the trouble I’ve dragged her though in this book, she might even do my fighting for me.  (Though she’d probably spend the whole time making fun of my goosebumps.)

I was flattered to be asked to reveal your cover for The Waking Dark. Can you please give us a little insight to what it's like from an author's stand point when it comes to designing a cover for your book? Do you get much say in what the cover looks like?
As a general rule, authors get no say, though we do occasionally get to offer our opinions, and even more occasionally, people actually listen. This is probably a good thing (the occasional-ness of it, I mean), at least in my case, because I’m the first to admit I have serious deficits when it comes to anything visual. (When people ask me what my characters look like, I usually have to hem and haw until I can quickly make something up, because…I have no idea.) There’s a reason I stick to words.

Despite that, my editor at Random House has been incredibly generous with looping me into the cover process. And in the case of this book, that process was astonishingly fast.  I submitted a bunch of images I’d found over the course of writing the book—photos that captured the mood of what I was writing. (Dark, scary, spooky, you get the idea.) I also gave her a few covers I’d seen and loved (text-heavy, iconic, no giant close-up of a girl’s face, “something cool,” whatever that means—I told you I was terrible at this).

Then I sat back and waited for her to send me what I assumed would be the first of many attempts to narrow in on the perfect cover. (Publishers will often try a few different directions before settling on something.) This is always a nerve-wracking wait, because the cover is going to be the face of your book, maybe forever…and you have absolutely no control over it. What if it’s terrible? What if it’s great, but looks like it belongs on the cover of a book about aliens invading a supermarket? It’s never going to match the picture you have in your head (even when you’re me, and can never quite come up with a picture), but what if it just feels…wrong?  

So I waited, and I worried, and then one day, I got an email from my editor with a preliminary cover attached, and I jumped out of my chair and actually cheered. (Fortunately I was alone in my apartment at the time. Though being in public wouldn’t have stopped me. It was that good.

The cover she sent that day was almost identical to the cover you see here—they got it that right, on their very first try. And I can honestly say I’ve never been so thrilled with a book jacket before.  I don’t know what other people will think of it, but for me, this cover says everything I want The Waking Dark to be.

We often hear from authors that they have a few “writing must haves”. What are some of your writing must haves? (Do you listen to music, have a warm cup of tea etc).
I used to be the kind of person who could write anywhere, in any circumstances—I wrote most of my first novel longhand, perched on a stone ledge between grad school classes.

Alas, that person has vanished. Now I’m the kind of much less productive person who whines and procrastinates unless everything in just right. I do most of my writing in coffee shops these days (none of which are just right, but most of which somehow manage to suffice), with a chai latte by my computer and a brownie jeering at me from the counter. (I’m trying to eat fewer brownies as I write. This is slow-going.) I do my best to tune out the people talking and the music playing, but apparently over the years I’ve gotten so used to the background noise that I now have a little trouble concentrating when it’s totally silent.

This is all part of my daily writing routine, but I find I do my best work (or at least, write the most pages) when I occasionally get the chance to leave the city and go on a writing retreat somewhere beautiful. There’s nothing like sitting at the end of a dock with your laptop, listening to the wind in the trees and staring at the glassy surface of a lake, to jar my brain into action.

(This is why I’m constantly trying to subtly persuade my friend with the dock and the lake to invite me back there for every book I write. Are you listening, cabin-having friend? You know who you are…)

Is there a book you've recently read as an adult that you wish you had, had when you were a teen?
When I was a teen I read pretty much nothing but sci-fi and horror novels (with the occasional smattering of Sweet Valley High), so even if I could travel back in time with a big stack of wisdom for my teen self, she’d probably dump it in the garbage as soon as I left. That said, I wish I could somehow persuade that stubborn younger self to read A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster, both collections of essays by David Foster Wallace. I’m not a huge fan of Wallace’s fiction, but I am passionately, some might even say unhealthily, devoted to his nonfiction. I don’t know that it’s shaped or even changed the way that I see the world, but I know that I’d like it to, which is why I keep re-reading it (and maybe if I’d started younger, I would have had a better shot).

To give you a more general answer, I do wish that I’d grown up in (what I like to call) the golden age of YA, ie right now.  If there had been books like Going Bovine or The Book Thief or Skin Hunger or The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks available to me back then, I think I would have read much more widely outside my comfort zone and would have gotten where I wanted to go (ie to the point of being a person who asked smart questions about the world and thought deeply about who I was and what I was doing) a lot faster. Maybe I’d still have grown up to be the person I am, but I think I might have had a much more interesting journey along the way.

Thank you Robin for stopping by today!

About The Author:

Robin is the author of the Cold Awakening Trilogy (Skinned, Crashed, and Wired), Hacking Harvard, the Seven Deadly Sins series, and the recently Book of Blood and Shadow. You can find her via her: Blog | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The Giveaway:
Thank you to Random House, I have an awesome prize pack to giveaway. Both prize packs feature an ARC of The Waking Dark & a copy of Robin's latest release, The Book of Blood & Shadow.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Wow! I LOVE what they did with the font and the book sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow!! This cover is amazing and the book sounds awesome!! Thanks for sharing. Great interview too!!

  3. Oh God, I want it. I think I might throw myself down on the floor and just have myself a tantrum. September? September? WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?

  4. The Book of Blood and Shadow was one of my absolute favourites from 2012! I can't wait for Robin Wasserman's new book and the cover and summary are FANTASTIC! Can the release date come any sooner?

  5. The cover is one of the best I've seen for a dark thriller like that. Much more chilling than the one for The Book of Blood and Shadow. Thanks for featuring this one :)

  6. Wow, that's a really amazing cover, and the book sounds so cool!

  7. Ooh I really like this cover. It gives the book a creepy, mysterious vibe that makes me want to read it.

  8. I love the cover! The concept for it sounds very interesting! And I loved The Book of Blood and Shadow, so I can't wait to see what Robin Wasserman has in store for readers in this one :)

  9. The story sounds so cool! I can't wait to read it, and I think the cover is a perfect fit! It's hectic and unclear and dark like what the story sounds like!

  10. I just recently discovered this one, and it looks so good! I love the cover, too. So dark and creepy!


  11. THe cover looks great, and sufficiently creepy. So excited to read this!

  12. I love the typography of the cover! I can't wait to read this after loving the Cold Awakening series so much. Congratulations!

  13. Love the cover and the book sounds amazing!

  14. Really loved The Book of Blood and Shadow last year. Will definitely add this one to my list, sounds sooo good! =)

  15. The Waking Dark sounds REALLY intriguing. And as a KS resident, obviously the location speaks right to my heart.

  16. I LOVE this cover. This would be the type of book that if I saw in the library or book store, I would pick up.

    Halee @ Confessions of a Book Addict

  17. I love it. I LOVE IT. And the description!

  18. I like it. It is such a nice change of pace from some other YA covers. It stands out.

  19. I love the cover!! It's unique :)

  20. Never judge a book by its cover.
    But, how can one not.
    Love the cover.

  21. I'm so excited for this book- I loved THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW so much!

  22. I'm excited for this one. I loved the Skinned series, and I'm just starting Chasing Yesterday!

  23. Very creepy cover, the repeating title adds to that thriller feel :)


  24. OHMYGOD a Stephen king esque novel?! What is this glory and what was sacrificed to ensure this happened? ;D in all seriousness, I'm totes excited for Waking Dark because I got into Stephen king like three years back and I've really wanted that type of fiction in YA and OHMYGOODNESS this is exciting!!!

  25. The cover looks awesome and creepy! Crossing my fingers for lots of positive reviews!

  26. The cover has that perfect creepy feeling to it! I am really excited to read this book!

  27. Very cool and ominous-looking! Seems like it could fit the story really well.

  28. I looked at the cover and had to stare into every little bit, just to find more. Definitely one I would pick up to read more of what it is about :) Thank you for sharing with us.

  29. This cover is definitely a breath of fresh air (not that I hate or even dislike most covers; but sometimes they are a little generalized) and it does offer a chill that the summary doesn't quite hit on (for me anyway), so I'll definitely read this when it comes out!

  30. The cover's beautiful! I love how the title runs across the whole cover and gah, the person and the scenery!!