I'm at work, getting a copy of "The Wandering Fire" ready to go out on the shelves. One of the perks of this job is that when I discover the library has made an appalling oversight in its collection, say, they own "The Darkest Road," but NOT "The Summer Tree" or "The Wandering Fire," I can take action. I can put the missing volumes in a shopping cart and they will arrive within the week. It feels good, I tell you, saving the world in this way.
Anyways, I digress.
So, I'm putting barcodes and stamps and tape on this book. It's an edition I've never seen before. I'm not wild about the cover (it's actually kind of hard to find these books these days...I didn't have the option of the cool paperback editions I own.) It's got a fire-colored unicorn/pegasus creature, a horn, stuck on a tree, a guy with antlers on his head, a cloaked lady with a red glowing ring....all in all, not that exciting.
HOWEVER, on the tree on the far right hand side....a heart has been carved, with an arrow no less, and the initials JW and DM. (No plus sign. Not JW + DM, which as we all know, is the appropriate way to carve initials in a tree...) I don't see any notes in the book about the cover illustration. I thought it might be the artist's initials... perhaps it is. I can't think of any relevant characters. Dave Martynuik. That fits. But not with JW. Jennifer Lowell, and Jaelle (who, like Madonna, apparently has no last name.) Those don't work.
I think we have to go with the artist. But I'm opening it up for discussion.
Also, I'd never read the acknowledgments. I'm bad that way. But Wandering Fire was written in New Zealand! In Whakatane. I would have made a pilgrimage, if I'd known.