In Memoriam: Neal T. Melden (1939-2012)

Neal T. MeldenTwo rows of manila envelopes were neatly stacked awaiting pick up by the U. S. Postal Service.

My first novel, Simon Says, the first of a trilogy, had just arrived from the printer and I wrote a note of thanks on the inside cover to each member of our publishing team, weighed the packages, applied the appropriate postage, packaged them and stacked them for pick up by the USPS.

One of the books that included my grateful words of thanks was addressed to Neal Melden in San Diego, CA.  Neal was our media consultant who created the artwork for the book jacket, including an original full color illustration for the book’s cover.

Sadly we were informed of Neal’s sudden passing that same day.

Like most media firms, Neal could have easily employed the talents of his superb graphics design experts and utilized a state-of-the-art computer application to render the image of Simon and his large white dog Vita.  That’s exactly what we all had expected when we engaged with him.

But that’s not the way it happened.  Neal took it upon himself to create the cover art from scratch, using water color and oils, a large work, and then somehow through a slow and meticulous process, photo reducing the originals to conform to the printer’s specifications.

Neal was an amazingly talented and intelligent man and our thoughts go out to his wife Leah and his son Mark and his daughters Michelle and Monica.

He was an important member of our team and will be dearly missed.

W. T. Bevilacqua

Leave a Reply