Got It Covered by Mary Simonsen
Have you ever felt that everyone is more talented than you? I have lived in four states (NJ, TX, MD, and AZ), and in each of them, I had an uber talented friend. Their capabilities ranged from laying tile to sewing a ball gown that was prettier than Belle’s in The Beauty and the Beast.
When I was growing up in New Jersey, I lived in a two-bedroom apartment with seven other people. There was neither the money nor space to develop some latent talent. I guess I could have learned to play the flute, but my sisters would have probably ripped it out of my pudgy hands. When I married Paul, I found that my husband was handyman extraordinaire. In our 36 years together, we have had only one serviceman in our house, and that was to fix the refrigerator. When my girls were little, I once made birthday cupcakes that looked like carousels. I put four cut-up straws into the cupcake, topped it off with a chocolate chip cookie, and stuck a little horse into the center of the cake. When people admired my efforts, I was thrilled. This was actually a big deal for me.
Being surrounded by talented people can give you an inferiority complex. With the advent of the home computer, I noticed that I was getting more and more computer-generated birthday and Christmas cards, and they were all so darn clever (especially you Janeites—you make great Christmas cards). In recent years, people have started to self-publish their novels, and some of their covers were gorgeous. Because I was now self-publishing my own stories, I decided to give it a try. Ugh! The program was so difficult, and I had no sense of color or placement or fill in the blank. What emerged were some pretty basic covers. But then I said, “Listen, Mary, you can do this. Read the directions!” And so I spent hours learning the ins and outs of my cover program. Voila! I found that I could make a pretty decent cover. I was so pleased with Darcy Goes to War that I went back and redid a lot of my covers. My latest effort is for my upcoming novel, When They Fall in Love, a Pride and Prejudice re-imagining where Elizabeth and Darcy meet in Italy several years after his failed proposal at Hunsford.
I hope you like the cover for When They Fall in Love. The novel should launch sometime in March. So what are your talents? Did they come easily or, like me, did you have to really go at it? I would love to hear from you.