Quest for the Holy Grail of Jacket Copy

The feedback on my jacket copy from my last post was mixed, with some saying I wasn’t getting at the core of the conflict. I was following the advice of The Manuscript Doctors, trying to show the poetry of the book. So, after reading many more examples, including Amore Towles’s The Lincoln Highway and South Pole Station, I determined that the key structure seemed to be character goal followed by obstacle. So here’s another crack at it. Let me know what you think in the comments, below. I’m open to constructive criticism.

Two-thousand-year-old redwoods used to cloak the California coast like bear fur. When Logan was a child and slept high in the branches of his favorite five-hundred-year-old redwood, Uuma, he used to hear her speak. For years, he and his father fought to save the few ancient trees that remain, and his father died in the attempt. Now Logan can’t hear the trees anymore.

To make matters worse, billionaire Atlas Jamison stages a hostile takeover of Pacific Lumber and triples the cutting rate, reducing the largest and most ancient trees to lawn furniture with heart-stopping speed.

Tree lovers from all over the world are resorting to ever more desperate measures to save trees and planet, but Jamison seems unstoppable, until his daughter shows up.

Can Logan overcome his grief and rage to teach Diana to hear the voices of the trees – and stop her father’s destruction?

Against the Grain is based on the true story of violent clashes in Northern California between corporate raiders, loggers, and activists during Redwood Summer 1990. Action-packed yet mystical, it asks what it will take to wake humans up – violence, loss, or love?

Also– which cover do you like better? Assuming some other more painterly affect on the left.

Books, New Publications

New Novel for Earth Day

I finished the manuscript of Against the Grain. But it’s never finished. I’m still reading it aloud cover to cover, getting feedback, tightening things up. Here’s my third stab at the dreaded jacket copy. Let me know what you think in the comment section, please. Cover still under construction.


Jacket Copy

By the time they reached Logan’s tree, Diana had lost all sense of time and proportion. The sun hovered eight feet off the ground, a tiger’s eye shafting orange light between redwood giants. She was an insect suspended in amber as Logan clipped her into a harness. He was explaining how to climb, but amber suffused her ears, her throat, her mind as if the trees were talking to her.

Later, wrapped in a sleeping bag on a platform two hundred feet off the ground, they surveyed an ocean of luminescent mist pricked by treetops, saplings pushing into a new world. Her privileged world fell away like an empty husk. The only thing that mattered was this palm of earth offered to the sky. People didn’t have to choose between life in square houses and star-pierced infinity. They could have it all, an Eden, right here. All they had to do was choose.

But her father threatened it all.  

Atlas Jamison, a Wall Street financier with a mysterious past, staged a hostile takeover of Pacific Lumber and tripled the cutting rate, reducing these ancient beings to lawn furniture.

Diana joins forces with Logan who believes Pacific Lumber killed his father, Zeff, the surfer-dude turned monkey-wrencher, and unstoppable indigenous lawyer for the trees, Jessica Wild, as they risk their lives to save the redwoods, the planet, and themselves.

Based in part on the true story of violent clashes in Northern California between corporate raiders, loggers, and activists during Redwood Summer 1990, Against the Grain is an action-packed Overstory and a mystical Damnation Spring.

Available in bookstores and Amazon by Earth Day.

The Truth Behind the Story

Here are just a few of the resources I relied on when researching the novel.