One of the things I love about designing book covers is getting to be a mostly anonymous part of the life of that book. Sometimes I'll go to a book launch or a reading and the author will get up at the podium and open the book and start reading, and I'll think to myself, that image on the front of that book: no one here knows I made that.
I love this.
At the same time, it's always a thrill and an honor when my work is thanked at those book launches, and sometimes an author will surprise me with a hug or flowers. At the recent Powell's opening for Robert Hill's The Remnants, I was surprised with a gift.
I kept the bag at my seat as Robert read and took questions but when people started lining up to get their books signed, I couldn't help but open it up and start rifling around in there.
The first thing I pulled out was a single package of saltines. Me being me, I started pulling out other stuff wrapped in tissue paper, thinking to myself, OK, where's the cheese. But then I got it. And it was such a perfect gift that I just had to share.
Two lovely tea cups, two saucers, a handful of teas and a package of saltines. It's an homage to the annual tea shared by the two main characters in the book. As Robert writes, "On every tenth of September since the molten lava cooled, True Bliss served tea and saltines to Kennesaw Belvedere in the parlor of her home on the occasion of his birth."
I love that. Thank you, Robert.