Follow by Email

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Covers and Titles - Oh, My!

I've just finished the seventh volume in the Rafe Vincennes series and my eyes are blurry from looking at potential cover photos. I have stared at so many sexy men, I may have to stop and go take a cold shower! One of my writer friends, who is way more successful than I am, is casual about covers and how important they are in the appeal of a book, but I obsess about them.

Everything has to be just so, in keeping with the book itself. Rafe, for instance, has black hair, collar length and dark brown eyes. He does not wear jewelry. He does not have tattoos. He is muscular without being muscle-bound. He is very tan.

There is nothing that puts me off more than a book with a sultry ebony-haired beauty on the cover only to read inside where the author describes her as being a platinum blonde.

Some photos came close but the model was wearing a necklace. Some came close but the model's eyes were blue. Some came close but the model had a tattoo. Some came close but the model was posed in a very self-conscious way that Rafe would never do. Rafe knows he's handsome but he doesn't play on it.

My picture cannot be a direct face shot. I've learned that people who read your books develop their own very strongly held impressions of your characters. My friend, Jan, and I compared photos of men similar to how we pictured Rafe. When she saw mine, she said "no, no, no, that's not what Rafe looks like at all!"

One Rafe book cover was a black panther, one was a girl holding a NASCAR checkered flag, one was a man in shadow on a pier with his small son, one showed Rafe with a handgun in his back waistband. In one he was on a horse, in another, a motorcycle. I struck me that though sex is such a big part of Rafe's life, I'd never featured a "sexy" cover so that's why I was looking at men in shorts and men with towels around their waists and men in gyms and men in tight jeans and men without shirts and men without anything at all.

The completion of books are the hardest parts for me. It's when I write "the end" that my stress starts. Not only do I have a difficult time settling on covers, I'm terrible at choosing titles. I never had to write my own titles for my newspaper columns and it's a good thing because mine would invariably be bland and obvious instead of punchy and clever.

So this book is done. I'll publish it next week....if I can find a cover and come up with a title.

No comments: