There are as many ways to propose marriage as there are people who do it, from proclamations of love lit up on Jumbotrons to diamond rings stashed in whipped cream. For literary types, what could be more appropriate than popping the question in a book? Debut illustrator Sam Zuppardi did just that on the acknowledgments page of Gordon McAlphine’s Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe: The Tell-Tale Start, due out in January from Viking.
“Jade has been such a massive support all through the process of my starting to illustrate for children,” Zuppardi says of Jade Amers, his girlfriend of five years. “So putting something [for] her in this book felt really appropriate. Making it into an outright proposal was like one of those happy, light-bulb moments.”
But unlike many other such schemes, this one couldn’t be accomplished alone. Zuppardi had to enlist an army of helpers: his agent, Kelly Sonnack; his editor, Sharyn November; and author Gordon McAlpine were his key co-conspirators.