It’s kinda cool to look at one’s mail and find an unopened package actually has something nifty inside. I’ve been buried in work and distractions lately, and so has my kitchen counter where I lay my mail. If it doesn’t look urgent, sometimes it just… sits. Let me back up a moment…One of my recent projects has been to make art-maps for Patrick Taylor’s mainstream book An Irish Country Girl which will be released by St Martin’s Press next January. One page is a map of Ireland (a detail of that map is what you’re looking at), the other is of the locale in which the story is set. I get to pull out the Celtic knotwork stops a little bit, although the story is modern. They wanted a hand-drawn look to the maps, and I certainly can do that since they are! I sent that off to the publisher a couple weeks ago.
The package I received (and which had been sitting on my counter) was related: yet another copy of Taylor’s first book An Irish Country Doctor, a book that made the New York Times Bestseller list when it came out in hardback. It’s a mainstream book, down-homey in a James Herriot kind of way, not my usual thing, but faintly sweet and full of local color since Taylor is himself an MD and ex-pat Ulsterman. I did the map for that book too, back in 2006. The copy that I unwrapped was from Germany though: Neues vom Irishchen Landarzt.
It always tickles me to see something I’m involved in appear in a language other than my own. Back in high school, I wanted to be a professional linguist and translator. I’ve formally studied Spanish, French, German, Russian and made some attempts to self-instruct myself in a bunch of others. Today I can only speak Spanish (which I do often in the course of my library work, if not exceptionally well) but I can still read a bit of French and German.
So I’m pleased to add this tome to my bookshelf. I’ll never read this edition but it’s nice to have it there. I hope I’ll get copies of An Irish Country Girl in multiple languages too.
And while I’m thinking of it: any writerly types who think they might like a map, or maps, or frontispieces to their works — keep me in mind. Most of my commissions of this sort are purchased by the publisher — not the author — but on the author’s recommendation or request. That was not the case here because I do not know Patrick Taylor in the slightest, but I’ve done maps and/or art for Kate Elliott, Mike Stackpole, and Jennifer Roberson in my time.