Okay, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The delicate daughter was named after a lovely Harry Nilsson ballad and the big son was named after the sitcom, Get Smart. But, please don’t tell them. They are already subject to the birth order dilemma, or in other words, jockeying for position as is their perceived ‘right’ based on when the canon shot them into the delivery room.
Let me bring you way, way back into my career and to my first foray into the mad, mad world that is publishing. Before entering my eleven-year career at an educational publishing house, I worked for a small publishing company. I was there for a year. And what fun I had: I put several family members on jacket covers, got to speak to Elvis Presley’s step brother and learned about the birth order.
I learned about the whole birth order thing when my art department had to redesign the cover for Dr. Kevin Lehman’s book, The Birth Order Book – a book still popular today. Rooted within The Birth Order Book’s pages, Dr. Leman explains how birth order affects our personalities, parenting-style, marriages… Using quite a bit of humor, the Doctor strives to help us overcome our, “ingrained tendencies.” Having five other siblings myself, I was quite curious about what Dr. Kevin had to say on the matter. Besides working on the cover, I read his book. I found many of his insights spot-on though my greater difficulty was admitting this. I’ve always described my birth order as bottom-of-the-top (third born followed by three more Italian cherubs). So I have difficulty admitting some truths and I know why: I’m a middle child.
For your viewing entertainment, I’ve included some of my early book jacket designs. Don’t judge too harshly, these were my first covers and I was having a good old time… (The Elvis cover is a comp. A sister’s photo graces the cover for Hot Trax. I gave the jacket cover with one of my brothers on it to my sister-n-law. Don’t ask me what real men do ’cause I don’t know. Sorry, don’t have Dr. Kevin’s I didn’t design his cover.)