The Way They Look

February 11, 2015

If you’re reading this post expecting to see pictures of how Joshua and Will, from my latest release Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds, look, then you’re about to be disappointed.  Because the truth of the matter is, I don’t have any.

I know that a lot of writers get inspired for their characters’ look by pictures of famous people or models or something they see on the Internet.  But for me, it just doesn’t work that way.  The only picture of my guys that I have is the one my brain has created.  And sadly, until they invent technology that allows the thoughts in your brain to be directly translated, you’ll never get to see how I see them.

But I have to wonder; is that necessarily a bad thing?  When I’m reading a book, and rest assured I read a lot, the image I create of the MCs is often more real to me than anything else.   Even if I’ve seen the picture the author says inspired his or her character, even if the cover art has the guys right there, in my head they often look differently than they do to the author.  But I like that because it helps me connect with the character I’m reading about.

This is from the first chapter, and how I see my boys:

He absolutely wasn’t the type of guy who normally turned my head. Joshua Rhinehardt was at least three inches over six feet and, well, beefy. Not exactly fat, but solidly muscled and a little soft in the midsection. He had a mop of curly brown hair he was constantly pushing out of his bright blue eyes and a full beard and mustache, though it was neatly trimmed. I could see the dark dusting of hair on his forearms where his sleeves were pushed up, and more than a bit of chest hair peeking out above the top button of his shirt. He was good-looking, but not gorgeous, and if I had just passed him on the street I wouldn’t have given him a second look.

My driver’s license said I was five foot eight, but that was a blatant lie. The truth was about two inches shorter. I’d never had any luck growing facial hair, and I kept my own red-brown locks cut close to my head. I was overly thin though I worked out; I still possessed a teenager’s metabolism despite the fact I’d left my teen years behind almost ten years ago.  When I was out trolling for a hookup, or even a date, I tended to be attracted to guys who were built like I was and hardly any taller. I had a type and I wasn’t ashamed of it. It was as much a part of me as the fact I liked men

PumpkinRollsAndPornSoundsFSSee my delicious cover lovingly crafted for me by AngstyG?  There was nothing to work with but my descriptions, and somehow that amazing piece of art was created.  And though it’s not a perfect representation of Joshua and Will as I see them, it’s pretty dang close. Joshua, in particular, with his floppy, curly hair and his neatly trimmed beard and that very sweet smile.  The instant I saw that cover, I knew.  These were the guys that were going to represent Joshua and Will

Would you rather have a concrete picture of what the MCs look like or do you like to be able to make it up in your own head?  Answer in the comments by 4:30 PM EST and you might win a copy of Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds.

12 Responses to “The Way They Look”

  1. H.B. says:

    I would rather have a concrete image of how the author wanted the readers to perceive their characters than make them totally up on my own. I mean I do like to do it sometimes but a majority of the time I just want to be able to go back to the cover models and put that image of the characters with that of the personality the author made up for the characters. If no image is provided in most cases I do think up a character with any characteristic traits the author provides.

  2. Alder says:

    I never bother with what the cover models look like because they generally don’t match my picture of the characters. And, in fact, often they don’t match the author’s description of the characters either! :) I want the book cover to give me an idea of the tone of the story, rather than a concrete picture of the characters or scene. Whether it’s angsty or lighthearted, I mean.

  3. kbeth650 says:

    So you’re a fan of covers with faces then, yeah? I have to admit, I like them too. Though my imagination often wanders a bit from the cover model, I like to have a jumping off point. Thanks for sharing H.B.!

  4. kbeth650 says:

    Oh, that’s a good point, Alder! I like that you pointed out the cover matching the tone of the story. Definitely something I wanted with this one. :)

  5. Waxapplelover says:

    I’m old-fashioned and I want to read about the characters as they’re descibed by the author rather than have concrete examples. I am actually a little picky about covers sometimes, especially when they don’t match up to the way the characters are described in the book.

  6. Trix says:

    I usually like a hint or two, but not enough to sway me from a mental picture I have!

  7. Angela says:

    I do like to see who the author had in mind when writing a story but i must admit that in my mind i create my own version of the story and the people in it. And when i read the book again maybe a year or so later those pictures in my mind are still there and the house they live in still looks the same LOL

    When a book has turned in a movie and i see the movie after i read the book, i often think that house is all wrong or that character has black hair not blond :)

  8. kbeth650 says:

    I hear ya, Waxapplelover. It always irks me when the cover model is so far off from how the character is described in the book. I was lucky that AngstyG found near perfect matches for me!

  9. kbeth650 says:

    Trix, I love that you’re a mental picture person too. :D

  10. kbeth650 says:

    That’s happened to me so many times, Angela! I understand that 100%!

  11. Yvonne says:

    Liked the excerpt and I definitely prefer to create an image of the main characters in my head.

  12. kbeth650 says:

    Thanks Yvonne! And it definitely works in your favor as the reader, when you can create your own image! :)

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