The easy part was deciding on the contents of the door prize for the official book launch of Drop Dead. Dundurn Press kindly donated three books: After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara, A Boy from Botwood by Bryan Davies and Andrew Traficante, and Miss Confederation: The Diary of Mercy Anne Coles by Anne McDonald.

Also included were a trio of notebooks designed by Toronto artist Kate Austin, and, appropriately, a bottle of The Hanging Man wine.

More difficult was to decide how to package the prize appropriately. This is where the considerable flair of gift stylist Corinna vanGerwen came into play, with spectacular results. Corinna has posted a blog entry on her website  to explain her design choices.

Bold colours were used for the packaging to echo the black, red and white palette of the book cover. Corinna packed the gift items into a bed of black paper strips within a wooden crate (to evoke the rough wood once used in the construction of gallows), swathed everything in clear cellophane, and attached a huge red satin bow for good measure.

The effect was further highlighted by a length of rope draped down the front, fashioned into a hangman’s noose to echo the noose on the cover of Drop Dead