Last week, I burned a passel of vacation hours from my day job so I could travel to North Carolina to hang out with Roy Underhill and Chris Schwarz (an excellent way to spend vacation hours), and take some time together to look at 1930s tomes for binding/cover treatment inspiration, talk about illustrations for the book and bug Roy about his manuscript. (I’m eager – nay, salivating – to read the revised text, give it a copy edit, and put it in the hands of the book designer.)
After much deliberation, we’re switching tactics on the book’s illustrations; instead of Hardy Boys-style line drawings, “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker! (A Novel with Measured Drawings),” will include vintage photographs of the places and things that Roy’s radio-woodworking uncle, Calvin*, mentions in the text. (It will, of course, also have measured drawings of the woodworking projects – otherwise, we’d have to change the title.)
Because Calvin’s day job involves manure spreaders, along with pictures of 1930s Washington, D.C., and other locales, there’s going to be some bullsh*t – some funny, funny bullsh*t.
And while we were at The Woodwright’s School (where Chris was teaching a Dutch tool chest class and I was helping out in between Diet Coke breaks), Roy had a truly inspired idea for the chapter spots (the little images one often sees at the beginning of a novel’s chapters – think “Harry Potter”). So, he raced all over town (Pittsboro…it can be covered quickly) taking pictures. I think they’re brilliant – and I’m ever so eager to share them with you…but not yet.
— Megan Fitzpatrick
p.s. Yes, we’re still on track for publication late this fall.
* You’ve heard Roy talk about his grandfather…so I know you’ll believe this, too…right?