Terby’s agent looked at the distraught author with both scepticism and sympathy. She had always thought it was a professional hazard for creative people to be highly strung but Terby was normally so self-confident.
“So you mean that somebody made a prank cover?” she asked the wild-eyed author, “You should probably find that flattering. All publicity is good publicity!” Perhaps, if she could just find a positive spin on this Terby would calm down.
“No, no, no! Not A prank cover! All the covers! Of every edition! Of every COPY!” exclaimed Terby.
“Oh don’t be ridiculous Terby!” she scoffed as sympathetically as anybody can scoff, “Look I’ve got a copy of your breakout novel right here. You’ll soon see everything is just fine.”
She reached over to the bookcase and pulled out a paperback fantasy novel and confidently placed it face up on the desk. The colour drained from Terby’s face and sweat broke out on his brow. Only then did she look at the cover. A garish, plasticine-like creature dominated the central image. Underneath the day-glow earth-pig was the title:
Aard’s First Rule
The Libri Operimentum Artifex had struck.