Got an email on Friday then later a phone call from my publisher's Marketing Department, looking for a better picture to put on the book cover. It's being printed this week, and I guess they had a meeting. After staring at the picture I'd sent two months ago they must have realized: this guy really needs work (of course, they wouldn't say this). I reminded them, no matter how many pictures we'd take, the problem remains. I offered to hire a stand-in, but eventually people would discover the truth.
On Saturday, Nicole Smith, a young lady in our church who takes great pictures and has a real high-end camera agreed to try. She took about 50 pictures, and my wife and I were able to find 5 that weren't absolutely awful (Cindi said she actually liked them, but you know what happens when you've been married 32 years and you're still in love...you see things differently). We sent the pics in over the weekend. I got an email back that seemed to indicate they would be able to find one that worked (but I think they are going to have to apply a number of expensive filters, and retain someone from the art department to spend a considerable sum of time making me look like the stand-in I offered to hire in the first place).
On the upside...it gave me a chance to freshly express my thanks to God for going beyond what I could ask or think with this first book. Most writers will tell you, after the dream of actually getting published, another biggee is to have one of your books come out as a hardback.
I don't know why, but I love hardbacks. The look of them, the feel of them. This has often puzzled Cindi, as she's witnessed them fall out of my hands countless times when reading before bed. They are much heavier than paperbacks, especially when you're holding them over your head to catch the light. Apparently when I doze off, the first thing to go is my grip.
It's a risk I'm willing to take.