Who’s that guy on your cover?
When my friend and fellow writer, Robyn DeHart, extended an invitation to guest blog here at Jaunty Quills, she had one requirement for my blog post: that I include my book covers. Well, I happen to love staring at my covers too, so it was no hardship to agree to those terms. Robyn’s request got me to thinking… In the five years or so since I’ve been published, there is one question that I’ve been asked over and over again–other than how much money I make, that is. People always want to know who’s the guy on my cover.
I’ve come to expect the sighs of disappointment when I have to tell them that I haven’t a clue. I don’t know their names. I’m not invited to the photo shoots (though I’m trying to get that written into my next contract). And, no, I have absolutely no idea if they’re single. But, let’s be honest, would I really share that bit of info if I did know? Hellooo…single gal here!
Alas, none of it matters, because most authors–myself included–have never had any interaction whatsoever with the guys on our book covers.
That is, until the magical world of Twitter.
A few months ago, I received a tweet from someone whose Twitter avatar was my book cover. Atfirst, I thought it was a super special fan who loved my writing soooo much that she felt compelled to use my book covers for her Twitter handle. Flattering, right? However, when I took a moment to read the tweet, I discovered it was the guy on the cover. The actual guy. He’s a real person. And he was tweeting to me. He actually thanked me for putting him on the cover (yeah, I told him it wasn’t my decision, but that I’d pass along his thanks to Harlequin’s Art Department).
This experience should have been awesome, right? Umm, not quite. I quickly discovered that this meet-the-guy-on-my-cover thing wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Problem One: His real name is Leon. It’s a perfectly fine name. But, to me, he’s Theo (as in Thelonius Stokes, the hero of PLEASURE RUSH, the book cover he graces). I had a very hard time referring to him using the name his Mama gave him.
Problem Two: I couldn’t control what he said. You see, one of the great things about being a writer is that the writer creates the dialogue. We decide what a character says. We decide how a character acts. Excuse the blasphemy, but, we get to play God. It’s the coolest part of the job! When I read “Theo’s” (aka Leon’s) tweets, I found myself screaming “Theo wouldn’t say this! Stop! Just stop!” at my computer. Eventually, I had to refrain from viewing his Tweet stream. I couldn’t take it anymore.
Problem Three: He won’t ever live up to the character I’ve created within the pages. This is probably the hardest realization when it comes to the real guy who simply posed for a few very nice pictures. Despite his many flaws, the real Theo (the one in the book) is darn near perfect in my eyes. Even with that six-pack to die for, the guy on the cover will just never measure up.
The moral of this little tale? Sometimes, it’s better if the strong, silent type on the cover remains silent.
Farrah Rochon is a chocolate-loving, Broadway show-watching, Disney World-vacationing sports fanatic. She writes romance novels in her spare time. I’LL CATCH YOU, the second book in her New York Sabers football series with Kimani Romance, is a 2012 RITA® Finalist. She’s on Twitter more than what many would deem healthy, but she doesn’t care. You can ogle more of her hot book covers at www.farrahrochon.com.