Someone is Always Watching: Q&A with Cover Designer Talia Abramson

This is no April Fools’ Day joke: there’s a new Kelley Armstrong book on the way! We’re so excited to reveal the cover for Someone Is Always Watching, designed by Talia Abramson. Keep scrolling for a Q&A with Talia and get ready to add this new thriller to your TBR when it comes out in January 2023!

Q&A with Talia Abramson

Did you read Someone Is Always Watching before starting on the cover? What stuck out to you the most?

When I started working on this cover there wasn’t a complete manuscript (if I remember correctly, it didn’t have an ending yet!), but I was immediately drawn to the dark psychological aspects of the story. I knew I wanted to visually translate the isolating feelings of not knowing who to trust or what to believe. 

Were you given any guidance from the author/editor?

Yes! The editor always fills out a design brief that we go over together before I start the design process. It’s a really helpful document that includes a description of the plot, the tone, the target audience, and anything else the editor wants me to keep in mind. In this case, we knew early on that we wanted to head in a moody, atmospheric direction.

How did you create the cover? What tools or programs did you use?

I created the cover art in Photoshop, then added the text to the layout in InDesign.

How many drafts/designs did you go through before it was “finished”? 

We were originally working with a different title that steered the first round of covers in another direction.  And once we settled on this new title, we arrived on a direction we all liked in the first round of designs, but it took 5 rounds of cooler palette and type tweaks until everyone was satisfied.

What are some other book covers you’ve worked on? Do you have any coming up?

One of my favorite YA covers I’ve worked on is Vicki Grant’s Tell Me When You Feel Something. Outside the world of YA, some upcoming covers I’m looking forward to seeing in print are Every Summer After by Carley Fortune, and Mansions of the Moon by Shyam Selvadurai.


Someone Is Always Watching
By Kelley Armstrong
352 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735270923 | Tundra Books
Release date: January 3, 2023
The experiment began with the best of intentions. Take a young child who is responsible for a traumatic death. Maybe their entire family perished in a fire they set. Maybe they shoved their sibling off a balcony during an argument. If the child is too deeply traumatized – and stigmatized – to ever lead a normal life, wouldn’t it be better if they just . . . forgot? It was a three-pronged approach: erase their memories, insert new ones, and return them to their parents or place them with a new family. Blythe and her friends Tucker, Tanya, and Gabrielle, are now teenagers, attending a local high school, falling in and out of love with each other. But then a shocking event happens at school: Gabrielle is found covered in blood in front of their deceased principal, with no memory of what happened. It’s becoming apparent that their pasts weren’t erased – they were just walled up, and now those walls are crumbling.

Kelley Armstrong: instagram | twitter | website 
Talia Abramson: website

Cover Reveal: Green Mountain Academy

Tundra is very excited to be publishing Green Mountain Academy on September 27, 2022! Written by Frances Greenslade, this is a companion novel to Red Fox Road. Following her disastrous family trip in the Oregon forest, Francie is back home in British Columbia and heading to a new boarding school. But when a small plane goes missing during a snowstorm, Francie heads out to help.

Cover Art: Jon McNaught
Cover Design: John Martz

Green Mountain Academy
By Frances Greenslade
240 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267848 | Tundra Book Group
Release Date: September 27, 2022
A daring rescue in the middle of a snowstorm in this compelling Red Fox Road companion survival story for ages 10 to 14, for fans of Hatchet and The Skeleton Tree.

After a family trip turned disastrous when their truck broke down in the middle of an old logging road in Oregon, Francie is now back in British Columbia. People try to make things as “normal” as possible for her, but they don’t understand that trying to be normal in your old life that’s exploded is the worst feeling in the world.

Luckily for Francie, the wilderness is still soothing, and an opportunity to attend the Green Mountain Academy, a tiny boarding school perched on the side of a mountain, seems perfect. It’s a new start, with new friends and a chance at a new family. But when a winter storm hits, knocking out all the power, news that a small plane has gone missing unsettles Francie. Knowing that the chance of survival in the middle of a wild nighttime snowstorm diminishes over time, Francie is compelled to leave the cozy school and set out into the icy cold, swirling snowstorm.

Also by Frances Greenslade:

Red Fox Road
By Frances Greenslade
248 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267817 | Puffin Canada
Francie and her parents are on a spring road trip: driving from British Columbia, Canada, to hike in the Grand Canyon. When a shortcut leads them down an old logging road, disaster strikes. Their truck hits a rock and wipes out the oil pan. They are stuck in the middle of nowhere. Francie can’t help feeling a little excited – she’d often imagined how she’d survive if she got stranded in the bush, and now here they are. But will her survival skills – building fires, gathering dandelion leaves and fir needles for tea – be enough when hours stretch into days?

Frances Greenslade: website | instagram

Cover Reveal: Double O Stephen and the Ghostly Realm

Tundra is very excited to be publishing Double O Stephen and the Ghostly Realm on August 30, 2022! Written by Governor General’s Literary Award nominee Angela Ahn (for Peter Lee’s Notes from the Field), Double O Stephen is full of ghosts, pirates, and family secrets starring a precocious Korean Canadian protagonist.

Cover Art: Erin Joo
Cover Design: Sophie Paas-Lang

Double O Stephen and the Ghostly Realm
By Angela Ahn
288 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268272 | Tundra Books
Release Date: August 30, 2022
Stephen loves pirates. What he doesn’t love is his name: Stephen Oh-O’Driscoll. He believes when his Korean mother and Irish father gave him this name, that it was just one cruel setup for being teased. Giving things the proper name is important, which is why Stephen thinks that it’s time to update the definition of “pirate.” They’ve got a bad rep, and maybe they deserve some of it, but Stephen still likes a few pirate traditions, like bandannas and eyepatches – he’s just not that into stealing things from people. He has the perfect new word: piventurate. A sailor who passionately seeks adventure. That’s what he wants to be.

When he gets suspended from school for doing proper piventurate-in-training things (using sticks to practice sword fighting), his mother doesn’t let him sit around doing nothing, instead she takes him to a museum. At the museum everything changes. Stephen finds himself in a strange new place, face-to-face with a real pirate. A pirate ghost.

Captain Sapperton needs Stephen’s help to cross to the other side, and his former ghost crew are intent on making sure Stephen follows through, whatever it takes. Stephen is about to discover the true meaning of piventurate, and much to his surprise, his adventure will not only take him farther into the ghostly realm, but also closer to home, where long-held family secrets reveal surprising ties to the spirit world.

Also by Angela Ahn:

Peter Lee’s Notes From the Field
By Angela Ahn
Illustrated by Julie Kwon
312 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268241 | Tundra Books
Eleven year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. Okay, maybe two: to get his genius kid-sister, L.B., to leave him alone. But his summer falls apart when his real-life dinosaur expedition turns out to be a bust, and he watches his dreams go up in a cloud of asthma-inducing dust. Even worse, his grandmother, Hammy, is sick, and no one will talk to Peter or L.B. about it. Perhaps his days as a scientist aren’t quite behind him yet. Armed with notebooks and pens, Peter puts his observation and experimental skills to the test to see what he can do for Hammy. If only he can get his sister to be quiet for once – he needs time to sketch out a plan.

Angela Ahn: website | twitter | instagram

Coming Soon: Hunting By Stars

In case you missed the exciting news last week: we are publishing the sequel to Cherie Dimaline’s highly acclaimed The Marrow ThievesHunting by Stars is coming out October 19, 2021 and we can’t wait to dive in. Here’s the full synopsis:

Hunting by Stars
By Cherie Dimaline
400 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735269651 | Penguin Teen Canada
The thrilling follow-up to the bestselling, award-winning novel The Marrow Thieves, about a dystopian world where the Indigenous people of North America are being hunted for their bone marrow and ability to dream.

Years ago, when plagues and natural disasters killed millions of people, much of the world stopped dreaming. Without dreams, people are haunted, sick, mad, unable to rebuild. The government soon finds that the Indigenous people of North America have retained their dreams, an ability rumored to be housed in the very marrow of their bones. Soon, residential schools pop up – or are re-opened – across the land to bring in the dreamers and harvest their dreams.

Seventeen-year-old French lost his family to these schools and has spent the years since heading north with his new found family: a group of other dreamers, who, like him, are trying to build and thrive as a community. But then French wakes up in a pitch-black room, locked in and alone for the first time in years, and he knows immediately where he is – and what it will take to escape.

Meanwhile, out in the world, his found family searches for him and dodges new dangers – school Recruiters, a blood cult, even the land itself. When their paths finally collide, French must decide how far he is willing to go – and how many loved ones is he willing to betray – in order to survive. This engrossing, action-packed, deftly-drawn novel expands on the world of Cherie Dimaline’s award-winning The Marrow Thieves, and it will haunt readers long after they’ve turned the final page.

And if you haven’t read The Marrow Thieves yet, make sure you catch up before October!

The Marrow Thieves
By Cherie Dimaline
240 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781770864863 | Dancing Cat Books/Cormorant Books
Just when you think you have nothing left to lose, they come for your dreams. Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream. In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden – but what they don’t know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves.

Cover Reveal: Rising Like a Storm

Happy Friday! We have a very special treat for you today – we’re revealing the stunning cover for Rising Like a Storm, the epic sequel to Tanaz Bhathena’s Hunted by the Sky! It comes out on June 22, 2021 and we’re already dying for it. Scroll down to see Gul in all her glory, plus a Q&A with Tanaz and BookRiot contributor (and librarian!) Lucas Maxwell!

Q&A with Tanaz Bhathena and Lucas Maxwell

Lucas: Did designing this book cover during the pandemic present any challenges?

Tanaz: There were definite challenges as the cover for HUNTED BY THE SKY was based off a photoshoot with a model (Tara Gupta) and we couldn’t safely do that during a pandemic. Thankfully my cover designer at Macmillan, Beth Clark, is a genius! She used a photo from the old shoot and designed it to perfectly capture the themes of RISING LIKE A STORM.

Lucas: The Wrath of Ambar duology is inspired by stories from medieval India, what attracted you to them and what impact do these stories have on you as a writer?

Tanaz: I was always drawn to medieval India as a kid, whether it came to TV shows or even history class. I was fascinated by stories about the Mughals, Rajputs, and the Marathas, the opulent medieval courts, the wars for succession, the many kingdoms rising and falling. My research also led me to powerful women (warriors and politicians) during this time period and I felt a deep sense of pride and joy in discovering these historical figures. India has such a rich pre-colonial history and I really wanted to showcase some of that by writing this historical fantasy.

Lucas: What do you enjoy most about creating a world like Svapnalok?

Tanaz: Just getting immersed into this world which is so closely intertwined with my culture and who I am as a person.

Lucas: Did writing this duology help you reconnect with your past?

Tanaz: It did! I’m a Parsi (Indian Zoroastrian) and I discovered several interesting anecdotes about Parsis across Indian history during my research.

Lucas: What do you hope readers take away from the Wrath of Ambar duology?

Tanaz: I hope they find a world they can escape to – especially during this pandemic – and enjoy spending time with these characters as much as I did!

Thanks Tanaz and Lucas for joining us today!

P.S. Head to this form to sign up for a chance to get an e-ARC of Rising Like a Storm as soon as it’s available!

Tanaz Bhathena: website | instagram
Lucas Maxwell: website | twitter | podcast


If you haven’t read Hunted by the Sky yet, you have until June to catch up before Rising Like a Storm comes out!

By Tanaz Bhathena
384 Pages | Ages 12+| Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267022 | Penguin Teen Canada
Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul’s mark is what caused her parents’ murder at the hand of King Lohar’s ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.
Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl – Gul – in the capital’s bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance – and discovers a magic he never expected to find.
Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king’s domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own. Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.