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I Am Wolf – the Map!

I Am Wolf – the Map!

Last week I came home to find my author copies of I Am Wolf waiting for me, and I was VERY EXCITED. Most exciting of all was getting to see … the map.

Everyone loves a good map, don’t they? There’s something magical about them. And this is the first book of mine to have one, so I thought I’d talk a bit about how it came to be.

It was Zöe, my editor at Nosy Crow, who suggested we could have one. I Am Wolf takes place across a world named Unity, and our heroes travel a bit, so it made sense. My first challenge was to work out where everything was – which wasn’t easy! I realised I’d been a bit vague about some of my directions. Did I say we were twenty kilometres from the forest? Maybe I meant forty. Hang on, how far can a giant mechanical wolf travel in a day? How big is a small forest? Oh, and did I say east? I probably meant west…

So there was a bit of tweaking and moving around, both in my head and in the text. And I had to think about what would happen in books Two and Three, and where – and how exactly would the heroes get there? But at last I had this:

A rough hand-drawn map from the book I Am Wolf
My first attempt…

Fortunately, I didn’t do the final version!

Instead, Nosy Crow suggested Jensine Eckwall. Jensine is an artist who works in many different forms, and has illustrated maps before – like this one for Tom Huddlestone’s Floodworld:

The map from Tom Huddlestone’s Floodworld, drawn by Jensine Eckwall
Jensine’s map for Tom Huddlestone’s book, Floodworld

Jensine worked with Nosy Crow designer Ray Tierney to create the first version of the map for I Am Wolf:

Jensine Eckwall’s first map sketch for I Am Wolf
Jensine first sketch

As soon as I saw it, I was in love. I hadn’t really thought much about how it might look, but this was wonderful – a mix of old and new, a sci-fi map in woodcut. Gorgeous!

And it really worked, too. In I Am Wolf, territories are controlled by huge mechanical creatures – Wolf, Raven, Boar, Hyena, and more – and Jensine had added them to the map in a way that made perfect sense.

We tweaked a few more bits of the map – made some places smaller or bigger, changed some landmarks and placenames – and then, last week, I got to see it my book:

The final map for I Am Wolf, drawn by Jensine Eckwall
The final map by Jensine Eckwall

…and it is gorgeous.

I Am Wolf comes out on 9th May 2024, and I cannot wait to share it, and Jensine’s map, with you all. Click here to find out more, and to pre-order today!