Wild Rosesit was back in early July that I saw the preliminary design for the book pages and fell in love with the theme of wild roses on the chapter opener pages. They were both beautiful and appropriate given my name but it turned out that the sales force at the publisher was concerned with the possibility that it would be perceived as too feminine for the male audience. After my wonderful editor Pam Chirls and I ran out of arguments as to why we should have those roses I came up with an inspiration: to bring the design of the book pages to the Oracle: Nach Waxman Kitchen Arts and Letters.(A visit to New York is not complete without a long stop at the store which specializes in cookbooks from all over the world.) I have known Nach for well over 20 years. His store is right next to the 92nd St YMCA where my mother swam every week. More often than not she would stop at this store to remind Nach that her daughter was writing a book. Eventually she introduced us over lunch in a nearby restaurant. Over the years, whenever I had a book published, I would go and sign a bunch of them at Kitchen Arts and Letters. For the Cake Bible I brought the dotted Swiss wedding cake on loan for the store window. And whenever I had a question about publishing, such as a book title, the first person I would go to for advice was Nach. So now, even though I wanted those roses at all cost, I trusted Nach's wisdom enough to put the decision in his hands. Pam invited us both to Sfoglia, a charming Italian restaurant one block away from Nach's store. (She will be publishing Sfoglia's book the same year as mine.) Just before lunch arrived, Nach looked at the book pages and after several minutes of serious deliberation (while I silently prayed) and then announced that he loved the pages with the wild roses in the background. Pam and I were practically speechless with delight as we hadn't yet told him that it was the main concern. When we did, he said something along the lines of: "Rose is not hard-edged or new wave; she is graceful and the book should reflect that."(Did I not say he was a wise oracle?!) I went home on wings of song. I get to keep my roses with Nach's blessing.
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