Thursday, February 18, 2016

Finding a Cover Model

I love so many things about writing, but one of the hardest things for me to do is find actors or models who resemble my characters. This is a necessary component when it comes to cover design, so I have to research carefully. It usually takes me a long time to find just the right model.

Part of the reason it takes me so long, is because I write historical fiction and I would much prefer to use historical photos. Sometimes that's impossible, so I look for actors who have been in historical settings. If I have my heart set on one actor or actress in particular, I try my best.

For instance, in my upcoming Love Inspired Historical, A Mother in the Making, which releases in September, I pictured Kate Hudson as the heroine. Kind of feisty, quirky, charming, and loveable. I don't know of any historical setting she's ever been in, but I did find a picture of her in a long, yellow gown from How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.

To help the cover design team, I had to show them clothing from the time period, 1918. So, along with this picture of Kate, I sent these pictures:

As for my hero, he's a widower and a bit older than the heroine. He's a doctor, distinguished and a bit authoritarian in the beginning. I pictured one of my favorite actors of all time, James Garner. Here's the picture I sent the design team:

Again, I needed to set him firmly in 1918, so I sent these pictures along to help the cover design team:

Once I found the pictures of my characters, it was fun to find their clothing and accessories. It was almost like dressing a doll when I was a child. 
I also had to provide three scenes from the book that could potentially make a good cover scene. I had to provide descriptions and pictures for that, as well. I'll share those next week.
Your Turn: What is your favorite book cover of all time? I have quite a few, but one that pops out at me is Fancy Pants, by Cathy Marie Hake. I remember seeing it for the first time several years ago, and it set the mood for the book.
Gabrielle Meyer
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  1. Thanks for sharing this, Gabrielle! It's so fun to see what goes into cover design. Plus seeing all these images makes me much more curious about your book, and I can't wait to see what the cover ends up looking like :)

  2. Nice! Great inside scoop! I always wondered about covers since many times, the covers are my first impression of the book, even before the author(s) name.


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