As authors, seeing the cover for the first time can either be a joyous occasion or cause for great despair. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with some truly lovely covers. And when my editor asked if I wanted some behind the scenes candids she took during the photo shoot for A Worthy Pursuit, I jumped at the chance. It was even more fun to learn the story behind the models selected for the cover.
The models are Chad and Carissa Maki, a married couple with ties to Bethany House. Carissa works in the publisher’s administrative department with rights, contracts, advance payments, and sales data. She’s also been on the cover for Deep in the Heart of Trouble by Dee Gist and the repackage of The Winds of Autumn by Janette Oke.
I must say they make a good looking couple, especially when chad is fully decked out in hat and duster. You might not be able to tell, but he’s even wearing spurs. And Carissa’s skirt and blouse are exactly how I pictured them. They couldn’t have dressed her more perfectly. Especially with the cameo at her throat. That brooch shows up often in the story.
Dan Thornberg is my cover designer. One of the best in the business. They did the photo shoot in his basement studio. In fact, he even built the fence they used in the shots. Talk about dedication to your art. Thanks, Dan!
As you can imagine, it’s hard to know exactly which shot will make the most compelling cover, so they tried out many different poses and iterations of pursuit. Here are a few:
These next two were fun . . .
And here is the version that became the final cover. You’ll notice they changed the skirt color to blue and added appropriate scenery.
There are a few things that didn’t match the story perfectly. Since the book came out, I’ve had several reviewers comment about how the cover model didn’t match the mental picture they had for Charlotte. Many of the complaints stem from hair color issues. I created Charlotte as a heroine with dark blonde/light brown hair, but when I described it in the story, I talked about sun streaming through honey. This gave some readers the impression of auburn hair instead of light brown.
Also, Charlotte is a very controlled, stoic heroine with trust issues, and Carissa’s expression is so playful and joyous, that I worried it didn’t accurately portray my heroine. However, my editor later explained that the more serious expressions tried out during the photo shoot made the cover too menacing and more like a suspense novel than the light-heart historical romance that I’m known for. So they opted to match my brand instead of my specific heroine. I think they made the right choice.
How about you?
- What cover option do you like the best?
- Does it bother you when a cover model doesn’t match the mental image you have for the character he/she represents?