I wrote Robert Papp, the illustrator, a letter which had to go by way of the art editor. (For reasons of centralizing decisions, I did not have direct communication with him.) "Dear Robert, This is a new experience for me. No one outside my family has ever illustrated my books. but after looking at your artwork, I feel confident that it will be a good experience." My big disappointment was never getting an answer in his own words, even indirectly.
As in any production there were ups and downs, agreements and disputes, compromises and celebrations. An emotional roller coaster, but actually not so different than when Tom is the illustrator. It's just that I have direct contact and more influence with Tom. So it was frustrating at times. But in the end I fell in love with the vibrant girl on the cover. She looks just like the girl I imagined while writing the story. Tom and I have decided to adopt her!
TOM: I appreciated the opportunity to comment on Robert's early interior sketches with my own sketches, and his response was heartwarming. And when I saw his cover illustration I was won over.