Of course, you may already know that because I posted it on Facebook a few dozen times, and I put the various versions of it up here under the Give the Lady a Ride tab, but this one here is the one. I’ve even seen the back cover! And the bar code. Yeah! A bar code!!!! How cool is that?
Port Yonder Press’s Anna O’Brien is the cover designer, and you won’t find a nicer lady to work with. I loved everything she showed me just for the artistic value alone. Of course, having my name on the cover added to the appeal. I’d always wanted to see my name on a book cover!
Soon it dawned on me that the cover ought to better reflect the book, so we changed things. (Bless her heart, Anna was so patient with me!) Instead of having a girl with a horse, we gave the girl a bull rope. Anna even found a bell with a cross on it when she was doing her research; of course we used it. I found the background on Flickr and was excited about it. The hills and trees look just like my family’s ranch near Stephenville, Texas, the setting for Ride. (Bull riding champion Ty Murray and his wife, Jewel, have a ranch near Stephenville. My family’s ranch was closer to Hico, but the scenery is the same).
I decided not to have faces because I have it in my mind that readers like to supply their own details. When I read, I develop a mental image based on the author’s description of their characters. Then the book becomes a movie and I think, that actor is all wrong for the part! (which is one of the reasons I can’t watch the movie of a book I’ve read. The reason I can’t read the book of a movie I’ve watched is entirely different).
We had a discussion on ChristianWriters.com a long time ago about just how detailed character description should be. My preference is to have the bare minimum, unless there’s something truly unusual about the character, like a limp or a wart on the nose. That way, I can picture the character based on this personality traits and qualities. I discovered I’m in the minority on this. Most of my friends like more description to fill in the blanks.
Some writers go through the actor photos and “cast their characters” to help readers picture their characters’ physical traits. I think that would be fun, and may yet do it. My problem is that I’m old–I’m not that familiar with the hot young actors today. Although I’m younger than the Bogey and Bacall crowd, I’m at the age where I picture Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid to play the parts of Patricia and Talon. (BTW: Can you believe Sleepless in Seattle is eighteen years old?!)
So, the question for this week’s giveaway is three-fold:
- Do you like to see character faces on the book cover?
- Do you like detailed character descriptions?
- Do you like to see which actor would play the characters’ parts?
For this three-for-one drawing, I have a seriously cool mouse pad: