The book I chose is Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. It's the story of a young girl dealing with the loss of her favorite uncle, with whom she shared a love of medieval art. I started there and researched lettering influenced by that era.
I played with a few rough sketch ideas, and the one that I was most drawn to was a calligraphic style that is more ornate. I felt that the main character would have chosen that as her favorite, and since the book is written from her perspective, I thought I would listen to her voice in my head.
My refined sketches included expressions of tree branches and roots. The main character in the book has a favorite spot in the woods that she goes to mourn her loss in private. From there, she can hear the wolves howl in the distance. At first, I really focused on the tree and moon, but I sort of shifted my perspective in the digitizing process, as you'll see below.
When I got into the process of digitizing my art and placing it into the context of the book cover, I felt like the tree components took away from the piece rather than added to it. So, I took them out and added a wolf. (Full disclosure: I was in a hurry to wrap up this project to get back to client work, so the wolf is a hand trace of a stock image that I quickly sketched on my iPad Pro. I plan to go back to it when I have more time to change it up a bit and make it more my own.)