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Photo by Peggy Sturdivant 
Illustrator Jan Harvey-Smith (behind book) with M.J. McDermott with "Frankenstein Meets Santa" 

At Large In Ballard: Writing in the Cracks

By Peggy Sturdivant

“Everything hurts,” is what the illustrator Jan Harvey-Smith was saying as I let her hide her cold-ravaged face behind the seasonal middle children’s book “Frankenstein Meets Santa” in the accompanying photo. Both parents of identical sets of twins they have teamed to create a book for the holidays.
As in the photo M.J. McDermott is the more public face, generally in front of weather graphics as the morning meteorologist for Q13. Jan Harvey-Smith is mostly behind the scenes as Master Scenic Artist for Pacific Northwest Ballet, especially busy this fall with an entirely new set for the annual production of The Nutcracker.

Before Jan dragged her less-than-well self from Whittier Heights to our meeting at Java Bean I asked M.J., why take on the additional work of writing and self-publishing a book? Her reply, “What are you supposed to do when you still have your health?” (Which struck me as slightly ironic once Jan made a brief appearance).

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