I’ve noticed a lot of authors post pictures of their “inspiration” for their heroes. I always appreciate a picture of a pretty man, but it’s not something I like to do myself. And sometimes I’m unhappy to see who the hero is supposed to look like and wish the author hadn’t posted the picture.
I mean, my definition of handsome could differ widely from yours. I know I’m always disappointed to find out that the author pictured George Clooney or Brad Pitt as their hero because neither one of them really does it for me. And sometimes, if it’s someone I really don’t like, it can ruin the experience of the book for me.
I’ll admit that I’m not a very visual writer. Even I don’t have a perfect picture of my hero in my mind when I write. I know his basic stats – hair, eyes, build, maybe a dimple or something – but beyond that, he’s not real sharp in my mind. I’d like to say that I do it intentionally, so as not to let my perception of handsome influence yours, and it’s true to a certain extent, but it’s really more for reader in me instead of the reader of my book. I personally like to fill in my own blanks as to what the hero looks like when I read – which is why I’m almost universally disappointed in whoever plays the hero in the movie – so the less the author tells me about specifics, the better off I am. That preference bleeds over into how I write.
That’s why my two favorite covers – of mine – don’t really give a good view of the hero.
For Magnate’s Mistress…Accidentally Pregnant! I think they got Chris darn near perfect: he looks like a sailor boy, with a great body and sun-streaked hair. But his face isn’t really clear. You get to fill in the blanks.
And for the upcoming Girls’ Guide to Flirting With Danger, this image of Devin really fits that basic image I had of him in my mind: the hair and build are right, but beyond that, let your imagination fill in the rest.
So what do you like? Authors who give you really concrete details – or even pictures – to show you what the hero looks like to the author? Or do you like to fill in the details yourself? And how do you feel about the cover models? If he doesn’t match your visual image, does it bother you? Or is any picture of a pretty man worth looking at? ~grin~