Shortly after giving my manuscript to the book designer, my wife started reading Patti Smith’s memoir. I noticed that stars were used as section breaks in the book and I thought, “I should use something cool instead of the standard asterisks.” A bone carving that my New Zealand neighbor made popped into my mind. I took a few pictures of the piece and Vinnie, the book designer, did the rest.

Carving and visual arts are a huge part of the Maori culture. Their creative freedom influenced me greatly, as I detail in the book. I often picture my rough drafts as un-carved stone, waiting to show a beautiful shape by having material removed. Taking away, shedding, and the idea that less is more—these are my favorite parts of the creative process.