Colleen Dunn Bates (publisher at Prospect Park Books) called to see if I wanted to design a cover for a work of fiction. She explained it was for a Mas Arai mystery by Naomi Hirahara and that this story took place in Watsonville and had to do with strawberries. So how could I not--I had read two of the Mas Arai mysteries (Japanese gardener protagonist)--my father was a gardener and grew up in Watsonville, part of my family was strawberry farmers.
Then they asked me to work on another fiction cover--we went through dozens of iterations but everyone is happy with the final design. The setting is Austin, Texas, where my new best friend lives and so we hope to visit sometime soon. The city's unofficial slogan is “Keep Austin Weird,” so it does seem like my kind of place.