COVER REVEAL: Creating Fiction from Truths in Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
When I saw the cover art for Wolf Hollow, I was deeply moved. Here was a lovely, colorful, layered image of a girl writing her story in a haven made of trees and words: a world, within a world, within a world. I created that girl. But in some ways I am that girl. And so is my mother.
Wolf Hollow is a fictional story of the terrifying challenges that eleven-year-old Annabelle McBride faces, but it’s laced through with what I learned as a child on the farm where my mother grew up.
I know it sounds unlikely, but many of my most cherished memories are of things like bathing broccoli in brine to flush out cabbage worms. Fetching potatoes from a root cellar where giant white spiders lived. Picking raspberries in a patch known for its snakes. Or sleeping in a room so cold in winter that I could scratch my name into the window frost.
The farmhouse where my mother was born (right in the back bedroom) and the hills in which it nestled were my taproots. My ancestor Captain John McConnell was granted that land for service in the Revolutionary War. All my life, I’ve harvested details from that place, learning my family’s history—especially the stories my mother often told about her childhood—and memorizing the hundreds of photographs my aunt Molly took with a camera my grandma won in a contest. Writing Wolf Hollow was my chance to create fiction from those truths.
The book’s beautiful cover also reflects how involved I’ve always been in words—in both reading and writing. When I was a kid, my friends and I spent our time exploring the city where we lived, “sleeping out” in tree houses, riding the train to Boston for splendid adventures . . . and sharing our favorite books from the school library. We passed these around from girl to girl until we’d read them all. I began to write my own stories back then and have done so ever since.
But Annabelle’s story is entwined with other truths beyond my own. Her evolution in the face of bullying and injustice and fear—her decision to defend others despite considerable risk—is mirrored in an America embroiled in World War II, and by a generation of soldiers who made enormous sacrifices for the greater good.
I am honored to introduce Annabelle to the world and, through her, to pay homage to people who deserve thanks and respect for their courage, including Annabelle herself.
Lauren Wolk is an award-winning poet, artist, and author of the adult novel Those Who Favor Fire. She was born in Baltimore and has since lived in California, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Canada, and Ohio. She now lives with her family on Cape Cod.