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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Picture This

Today, Michele Hauf blogged about using pictures for her hero and heroine when she writes and that she'll plug in familiar faces when she reads as well. When I saw this, I thought, Aha! Tomorrow's blog! ;-)

Another interesting subject was how readers see our characters and whether or not they prefer to visualize their own idea of what the characters look like. Put me in this camp as a reader. In fact, it's one of the reasons why I skip/skim descriptions throughout any book. I not only get irritated when the author's vision of her characters clashes with mine, I also get aggravated when the author's description of the scene jars against mine. :-) And until a few years ago, I thought every reader felt the same way. It was a shock to find out differently. ;-)

In my writing, I started using pictures of the hero and heroine when I wrote my first published book. Before that, I just went with my imagination, but I'm not terribly visual and I don't see much. I always have a really strong idea what the h/h look like before I go hunting for pictures and I can spend hours and hours searching for the right image.

Which leads me in to the cover art portion. Smooth segue there, right? ;-) I've only had one book where I thought the h/h were close to how I saw them, all the rest have been off--some more than others. Since In Twilight's Shadow comes out a week from Tuesday, let's talk about Maia and Creed. Um, neither one of them resembles the models I have on the cover of the book.

Here's the cover for Twilight's Shadow:

I've also started finding pictures of the places where my stories take place. I have actual plans for Ryne's house (In the Midnight Hour) and I have pictures of the interior of Maia's home. For the story I'm working on now, I have both. :-) It's amazing what turns up when you do a search for things like "dive bar" or "seattle jazz."