During the time that I was doing the bulk of the writing for the novel, I would periodically try to put myself into Rob or Natalie's mind. I tried to read books or magazines that I thought would be of interest to them, as though I had wandered through their homes and picked up random reading material that they had left around the place. Some of the things that I read worked themselves into the story -- as quotes before the various sections or occasionally as a direct reference. (For example, extended quotes from Crime and Punishment or Rob's retelling of an article from Discover magazine).
I've already described the process of painting the cover art. I also tried to do some sketching that might have had a place in one of Natalie's notebooks, and initially was going to use them inside the book itself. The chapter titles, taken from bumper stickers, were used to add a random element to the writing process but were also included for their relationship to the concepts of youthful idealism and the reduction of (sometimes) complex ideas into punchy slogans. This usage tied in more directly with Rob, so I wanted to also explore these elements from Natalie's perspective. I did a series of simple line art sketches for each of the chapter titles, trying to think through how Natalie might playfully doodle each one in the corners of a sketchbook.
In the end, we decided not to include them in the book, but I still wanted to use them somehow. I am including some of my favorites below as well as images of a postcard that I am having printed which incorporates some of them. We may begin to insert single postcards into purchased books and make them available at any book events that may yet occur. I am also thinking of adding them to the online store for a nominal fee in case anyone wants to get a handful of them to pass around themselves. Kirstin (of *cino) suggested the idea and the possibility of leaving little stacks of them in coffee shops or other public places, which appeals to me as well since it parallels to some degree the "campaigns" that Rob develops in the novel as "Hit and Run Art."