Friday, August 21, 2009

I Need a Hero

When you're writing a book, you have an image of your characters in your head, but when you finally sell -- YEAH -- you will eventually be asked to send your publisher a form that provides descriptions and suggestions for the cover art.

The first time I had to fill this form out, it asked for photos. And my immediate thought was, "Those people are imaginary, there aren't any photos". Then it occured to me that probably what they were asking for was an image that served as my inspiration. Now it's confession time, for Beneath a Silver Moon - my inspiration for Jefferson was Brendan Fraser. After all, Rick O'Connell was really a cowboy, you knew that because he was 1. American 2. Loved his guns
3. He was a hero with a wonderful sense of humor

So, when it was time to think about my hero for Promise Me I searched through my "fantasy guy" collection, and thought I had pretty much come up with the ideal. I'd be so prepared when that book sold.

Then I attended the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City and gave a speech about my first year as a published author, (to around 600 folks, but no one has ever accused me of being shy). After the luncheon, a nice man came up to tell me how much he loved what I had to say, and how inspired he was by my words. Oh, did I mention he was a DROP DEAD GORGEOUS guy who is one of the most popular romance cover models as well as a gifted artist.

Yes, Cherif Fortin was talking to ME. We chatted, and then he told me that he had artwork he thought would be perfect for my next book. We talked via Email after the conference, and he sent me an image. I've kept this for several years, always hoping when Westerns finally made a come-back, I would be able to use it for my cover.

I finally did sell Promise Me to The Wild Rose Press, and hoped I could convince them to use Cherif's art, because it so beautifully captured my hero and heroine. Unfortunately, they only use their own artists, and I am honestly thrilled with the art work created by Nicola Martinez
but I still have a soft spot for Cherif's work. What to do?

Then it occurred to me that I needed a Book Trailer, and since there was no image of my hero on the cover of my book, I might be able to use the painting from Cherif. So, I contacted him, and he actually had worked on that piece and it was even more beautiful.

So, watch this fall for the Promise Me booktrailer, (and the saga of how I create it, because this will be a DIY project, along with a little help from my friends).

In the meantime, here's just a small teaser, the image Cherif Fortin has graciously allowed me to use.

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