Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

the guys on the covers

In romance novels, the heroes face challenges, often dangerous quests, and in the most inconvenient of times, they fall in love. These guys are generally stronger, luckier, and more handsome than the average man. For critics, that is their complaint with romance novels-- those guys aren't real. It's interesting that they can watch a movie starring Brad Pitt, Clark Gable, James Garner, George Clooney etc. and that's okay. But in a romance book, they sneer at these bigger than life guys, the kind if you saw them in a store, you'd have a hard time not turning and looking (but you wouldn't because you are polite-- uh huh).

I was thinking about this because of recently needing to go through images needed for putting together covers and trailers. Some, that I have bought,
never make it to covers or trailers. They still serve an important function in helping me keep my characters feeling real to me. I often buy images for secondary characters because they are also important in a story. I especially like my heroes to have another man they can look to for support or to tell them when they are off base.

In finding images for these heroes, I've gotten to know more about some of the models who have this as a business-- providing royalty free photos that work on a cover, that bring the hero to life

The guys in the business of cover images have to strike poses where they show emotions. They wear costuming to fit various time periods and actions. Many of them work at other jobs, because like writers, there isn't always a lot of money in what they do. Some have acting jobs as they are actors.

Having some of them as 'friends' on Facebook, I've gotten to know more about their work ethic, what they bring to the shoots, their kids and partners. There, I see them in casual settings as well in images I can use for my next covers. Personally, I like using models who are also nice people. I think a lot of that shows through photos. Some might say that working out to look as they do is about ego, but it's really about a business-- their body is their business.  

I am just glad they are out there doing it for writers like me who don't always make a lot of money and yet want their covers looking as professional as those from the top publishing houses. These guys (and their female counterparts) help that happen. The following are the ones, who will be in the trailers and on the covers for my next series.

Jimmy Thomas at Romance Novel Covers where he also posts other models. He also puts together a yearly convention, which brings together readers, writers, and models.

Vikkas Bhadwaj has his images at Vikkas Zone where he works to find costuming and emotional responses that writers need. He has some interesting videos also that show how these shoots are done.

The next three models are all on Period Images where they pose for assorted periods in history, romances, and battle sequences. They can do it all and Period Images is good at the costuming.

Brad and Foster

Grigoris Drakakis at his own site: My Photos

You will notice there are six of them. How can that be since these 5 books will all be romances-- which means one hero and one heroine? Simple-- one is a ghost.


Tabor said...

I try to relate to these guys, but they are more impressive than any Brad Pitt and since I cannot hear their voice or watch their body language it is hard for me to find them having greater depth other than looks. It is just the way I am, while I do realize there are women that swoon at such perfection.

Rain Trueax said...

The neat part about Facebook is I have heard some of their voices and heard them talk about family or their interests apart from this. It's personalized them and the women who also are making their living as models or acting in small productions.

When someone wants books where the characters are not bigger than life, maybe even homely, they can read chick lit or women's fiction or Clancy where his characters are faceless and what matters most is the action plot. It's great that we have something for everybody in reading ;),

Grigoris, the last guy on that list is actually Greek and his voice I haven't heard ;) Vikkas is from India though he lives in the US as do his father, mother and sister where he shares Hindu ceremonies sometimes. He was in Bollywood productions at one time and does quite a few videos where he shares how the shoots happen. As far as them not being like real life, true to a degree, but my son is that good looking and I've kidded him about it-- and he said he didn't know that in his mid 40s his mother could still make him turn red. He though would never be on a book cover even though he also has a beautiful wife too. For that matter, my son-in-law with my daughter would look great on covers, but it does take doing it as a business to want to be on a book cover ;). A lot of people could be on covers and look great-- they just don't choose to do it.