Making a Two-Writer Marriage Work
I met my husband on the way to a very special writers’ workshop in Taos, New Mexico. The instructor at the workshop told my husband to pick me up. In his car. A white Mustang.
My husband literally rode into my life on the modern equivalent of a white horse. We’ve been together ever since.
But it isn’t all peaches and cream, sunshine, kittens, and happily ever after. We’re both full-time writers. He’s Dean Wesley Smith, and my real name (not my pen name) is Kristine Kathryn Rusch. We’ve written together, we write separately, and we’ve been a team from the beginning.
And oh, have we had epic fights, many of them about writing. See, just because a couple writes doesn’t mean they agree. We don’t plot the same way or even think of story in the same way. When we write together, we have to have very firm rules about what’s acceptable or not. It took a long time to develop those rules (she writes with great understatement).
Early in our relationship, we also had to talk to another writer couple, Kate Wilhelm and the late Damon Knight, about something quite mundane. How do two writers remember to pay the bills? You see, when you live in made-up worlds all the time, you forget what day of the week it is. Writers are airheads.
Damon and Kate’s advice? Set appointments to pay the bills, preferably on a day when you have other real world appointments that someone else will remind you about.
We still do this, because it really works.
We stumbled on the most important part of a writer couple relationship on our own. We had a discussion in our first week about the fact that one writer will be more successful than the other, that our careers will be different, and our ups (and downs) won’t match. Before we made the relationship permanent, we faced whether or not we could live with the inequity.
Clearly we could, and did, and still do. Sometimes Dean is more successful than I am—has more recognition, makes more money—and sometimes I do. And honestly, we don’t even notice.
But I do notice my Prince Charming. Every day, I’m happy that he rode into my life and picked me up. We’ve had a great ride so far, and I hope it continues for a long, long time.
Kristine Grayson brings classic stories to modern day and fairy tale characters battle their own destiny and entering the modern world with her fairy tale romances. Before she wrote romance novels Kristine edited the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and ran Pulphouse Publishing (which won her a World Fantasy Award). Kristine won the prestigious Hugo award under her maiden name, Rusch. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her very own prince charming. www.KristineGrayson.com