Iíd been thinking
about this cover long before I actually finished the
book. Iíd envisioned a close-up of my friend Charlie, a
long-time smoker. I wanted a fish-eye type photo, the
kind of thing youíd see from the little security lens in
a front door: big nose, cigarette looming large in the
foreground, face receding quickly into the background.
I finished the book, and for
the first desktop printing in booklet form, I needed an
instant cover, something I could slap temporarily in
place before giving it to Melody for the first reading.
So I went online and Googled images under the title
"smoking." Scrolling through, I came across an
intriguing black and white shot of a guy in big glasses,
white umbrella behind him, puffing away, looking very
worried. I loved it; it was just the kind of expression
I needed for a person suffering guilt over his vice. I
couldnít use it for the finished product because it was
copyrighted, but I could use it for the mock-up that Iíd
Melody loved that cover, and so
did everybody else I showed it to. I showed it to my son
Aaron, and he said, "Thatís Elijah Wood." I hadnít
realized that. "You kind of look like him in this
photo," I said. Then it hit me: I could reproduce this
cover with Aaron. I asked him if he wanted to do it.
"Iím in," he said. The first order of business was
ordering the crazy glasses. Aaron went online and in a
week had the eyewear necessary to make himself into this
I sent the mock-up to my
sisterówe hadnít shot the cover yetóand she actually
thought it was Aaron. "You guys did a nice job on that
cover," she said.
"Thatís Elijah Wood," I said.
On Sunday, March 25, 2007, we
set up the shot. We already had a white umbrella, used
by my oldest son Artie as a reflector in movie shots.
And though no one in my family smoked, Artie had a pack
of cigarettes heíd bought two years before for an
anti-smoking ad heíd filmed for his school. The only
thing Aaron had to do was get the cigarette started and
then hold it in his mouth.
It was strange lighting a
cigarette for my son. Melody didnít care for it at all.
"What if this is the day he starts smoking?" she
fretted. Aaron rolled his eyes.
"He can always read the book,"