Q: The Apothecary features some great illustrations by Ian Schoenherr; what do you think is the best way for a writer to collaborate with an illustrator?
A: I think it should be just that: a collaboration. I had put clip art at the beginning of each chapter, with a picture of something that would appear in that chapter. Ian used a few of those objects, and continued the idea that the opening image should build suspense about the chapter, but he went way beyond my little boxed images. I was limited by what I could find in photographs. He chose perfect moments and scenes from the book to illustrate, and his paintings wrap around the text, across the top or bottom of the page. They’re so beautiful, and Ryan the designer and Cecilia the art director showed me the sketches as they came in, so we could have a dialogue about it. There’s a character in the book with a wooden leg, and in the manuscript it was just a peg, but Ian drew an articulated leg with buckled straps, a boot, and visible nails to hold the sock up. I started to say, ‘Oh, that’s not the right kind of…’ and then I shut up and went back and changed the text. His leg was better.