When I was in NY on my honeymoon/familymoon, I had the chance to meet with my lovely editor at Ballantine, Lea. It was wonderful to be able to put a face to a name--she's just as sweet as she had seemed in her emails and phone calls (and she took us to an amazing lunch at a vegetarian restaurant called GOBO: Food for the Five Senses. I'm still drooling over the tea-smoked seitan and the cold honeydew soup!) She gave us a tour of the Random House building (which is designed to look like three books inside two book ends); the lobby is awe-inspiring, filled with floor to ceiling book shelves featuring first editions of books they've published, from Moby Dick and Tom Sawyer to more current award winners. It was humbling and exciting to feel myself as a small part of this grand tradition.
I had a chance to meet Lisa, the publicist I worked with for Self Storage, as well as a bunch of other people I've had contact with over the last couple of years, which was very cool. And I met Anna, the woman who will be designing the book cover for The Delta Girls; she was just finishing reading the novel, and I was so happy to hear how enthusiastic she is about it. She told me that had the book been named Pears, she might not have been able to use pears on the cover, since they like to go against expectation, but now that the title has changed, she can bring pears into the mix. She showed me that she had actually been looking at images of pears that day; she had a whole screen full of different pear pictures on her computer. She said she especially enjoyed working on food-related covers, which was wonderful to hear! Lea told me that Anna's her favorite designer there, and showed me a couple of the books they've worked on together. You can see them here. She said that she knows Anna will come up with the perfect cover for The Delta Girls, one that will capture the spirit of the book, even if the title doesn't. I can't wait to see it!