When I started my self-publishing adventure, I had three choices – use up valuable writing time learning how to create books and covers in desktop publishing software, hire someone else to do it for me, or ask John.
John’s a great guy. He does all kinds of things for me and for us. (Not the least of which – can I say it again? – is to cook for us almost every day!) He used to be a professional graphic designer, and he created some really great graphics for me for prior businesses I’ve had. So I knew he could do it, and he’d be good at it. But would he want to?
I’ve always been especially wary of anything that remotely hinted at a joint business venture between us. Both of us can be quite opinionated and equally passive-aggressive, usually when we’re trying to “be nice.” 😉
Would John say yes because I asked, but then later regret it? Would he be able to explain to me what I needed to decide in order for him to produce the kinds of graphics I would like? Would I understand what he needed without having to ask hundreds of questions and make him want to pound his head bloody against a wall?
He’s been wonderful, and he’s produced some fabulous book covers and other graphics for me. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate his time and effort, especially since he has a full-time job that often requires him to work overtime. That means he’s making book covers for me during an even smaller period of free time.
That being said, I did overhear him saying to someone recently that it’s hard to have me hanging over his shoulder while he’s working. I had an image of a boa constrictor wrapped around his neck – and I wouldn’t be surprised if I was reading his mind!
On the other hand, we’ve gotten better at working at home together, separately. I go to my space and he goes to his. Sometimes we call out to each other from the other room, or kiss each other on the way to the kitchen or the bathroom.
We’ve finally gotten grown-up enough to leave the TV off for more than a minute and work when we need to instead of always running off to play. (We used to never be able to spend time together working. If we were together, we were playing. Like a couple of ten-year-olds!)
Sometimes we kick around story ideas that we say we might write together. Maybe we will. And maybe all the blood and gore will stay on the page and not come out in real life. But we have such a great relationship that I hate for anything to ruin it, or even just mess it up for awhile.
That uncomfortable feeling is what has led to many a conversation about whether I should find another graphic designer. But the book covers he’s done for Little Miss Lovesick and Unexpected Superhero are so good that I’m guessing I’ll have to pay a pretty penny to hire someone I like as well or better.
On the other hand, I can guarantee that I won’t find another husband I like as well or better! 😉
Will we continue to work together? Only for as long as we can both be mostly happy with it. It’s worth the money to pay someone else to do what would lead to arguments at home.
Come to think of it, what an excellent excuse to hire a housekeeping service…