Cover Reveal, The Life She Wants, The Writing Life

Cover Reveal: The Life She Wants

Cover Life She WantsIt’s here! The cover for my June Harlequin Superromance, The Life She Wants has arrived! Meet sports agent Shane Brannigan (with that gorgeous ginger hair!) and former supermodel Melanie (Mel) Lowery. Harlequin did a great job capturing the characters as I pictured them in my mind. And look at the smiles they have for each other!

As authors, we have limited input on covers. Sure, we give the publisher tons of information on the characters and even the scenes we think might make good covers. We send photos of people we think look like our characters. And then we wait. And wait. And when the cover appears, we say a little prayer before we look at it. This one really works for me–especially the chemistry between them.

I will admit, though, I have no idea where that backpack came from! In the book, Shane is a Boston “city-boy” who has a hard time embracing small town life in Gallant Lake. He complains about the lack of proper streetlights on remote mountain roads.

So I’ve decided this is “Future Shane” on the cover. Beyond the happily-ever-after, Shane obviously takes up backpacking in the Catskill Mountains that surround Gallant Lake. I’d follow this guy down a mountain trail anytime, wouldn’t you?

The Writing Life

Getting Started on Cover Art!

Happy couple face to face

Things are getting real, folks! We’re taking the first steps toward creating a cover for my first book. My debut contemporary romance novel has now been firmly scheduled for publication by Harlequin Superromance in February 2017. Just in time for Valentine’s Day – yay!!

And what is the first step? Well….Harlequin sends a form to authors to complete that is loaded with detailed questions about the characters, setting, story, themes, etc. And when I say “detailed,” I mean DETAILED! Hair color alone has about thirty options. Along with eye color, hair style, clothing, and on and on. It’s really putting my brain cells to work!

My answers are important, because those answers are what the artists will use to create the cover art. Isn’t it frustrating when the people on the cover of a book don’t look anything at all like how they’re described inside the book? That’s why I really want to get this right. The couple in the photo above? I like them, and paid to use the image for quotes, etc. until we have an official cover, but they’re not quite right. Especially the guy – he’s way too neat and polished for Cole (who wouldn’t wear a white business shirt ever).

Fortunately, I already have an overflowing Pinterest folder for Hide-Away , so I can share those photos with Harlequin (and with you). Some of the images are just for fun, some might be just for clothing or mood shots, but they’re all part of the process of creating a setting and characters that feel real.

Some writers “cast” their books with real-world performers. They picture Chris Evans as their hero, and that’s that. I tend to have “types” rather than specific real-life people. In my mind, my characters are unique individuals, not clones of someone else. That makes my descriptions even more important, as I want the reader to visualize the same person I’m seeing – or at least as close to it as possible.

So when I say Cole is a “Scott Eastwood type” I’m not picturing Scott exactly. I’m picturing Cole, who looks similar to Scott, but also a lot like this guy . Does that make any sense? Yeah, I know – writers are weird.

And Bree? She looks a lot like Sarah Rafferty. Not exactly, but pretty darned close. And the setting? Well, the setting is a small town North Carolina farm. And one of my favorite scenes happens on a tractor. But there’s also a hot (in every way you can imagine!) scene that takes place in the hayloft.

Hmmmm – I wonder which scene they’ll use? Stay tuned – we should find out in the next few months……..

IMPORTANT NEWS! Welcome, welcome, welcome to all my new followers from the wonderful Facebook party last week: Romance Writers Gone Wild! I’m so glad you’re all here, and I hope you’ll hang around as I get ready to have my first contemporary romance published. And CONGRATULATIONS to the winner of the random drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card: Tracy Fowler! Thanks so much for the follows, everyone.