Receiving mail from my editor is always exciting. Sometimes he's sending me samples of a cover, sometimes a box of advanced reader copies. No matter what, opening the package always makes me giddy. This time, the envelope contained the cover for my second book, All Natural Murder.
Until I'm holding it in my hands, I never know for sure what the cover will look like. During the planning stages, my editor very generously asks me for ideas on what I think should be included, and he and the art department are always receptive. Still, the ideas I have in my head might be completely different from what the artist has envisioned.
Now I've seen the cover, and I'm delighted that Wilbur is back for the second book. He's front and center, chatting with the ducklings by the farm house.
I'm starting to think of that pig as a mascot to the Blossom Valley Mysteries. When I started writing the first book, I really only thought he'd show up in the initial chapters. I felt the scene where Dana chases him would be a good way to introduce the farm and Dana's lack of experience there.
But the pig has grown on me. As I continued writing, he became like a member of the family. I love to sneak him into the book here and there, rooting around for food or snorting at Dana. Readers seem to enjoy him as well. I've received more than one comment about how fun Wilbur is.
So, I've decided to let him stay. Gordon won't ever sell him, no matter how high the price of pork goes, and Dana will always make plenty of trips to the pigsty to check on Wilbur and his friends. I plan to keep Wilbur around for a long, long time.