Goodbye, Tootsie. Putting it Together: Part Two
In Search of Sean Costigan.
In my last post, I talked about my decision to go indie with the sequel to It Had to Be You. One of the most important things an indie author needs to think about is cover art.
I wasn’t in a position to duplicate the first cover—not with the same artist, model or imagery—but I wanted to preserve some elements. Namely, a classic cinema and vintage feel. That meant black and white.
Thus began my internet search for Detective Sean Costigan.
Who is Sean Costigan?
Sean is a second generation Irish New York City cop. He’s thirty-three years old, smart, driven, and, yes, a bit jaded from years on the job. His smiles are rare. They have to be earned, and he has a dry sense of humor.
What’s he look like?
Sean is 6’1” with raven-colored hair, dusky blue eyes, and a lean, muscular build. As for “type,” I confess to imagining Alex O’Loughlin in the role even though his hair isn’t quite dark enough.
So, I spent hours on the internet searching stock images. There are some sites that cater to romance authors that offer no shortage of beautiful men. (I had a tough job, right?) But believe it or not, my search actually grew tedious.
I had three problems.
While several male models fit Sean’s physical description, few were paired with females who fit my leading lady’s type. (Think Amy Adams .)
Clinch poses were plentiful, but Goodbye, Tootsie is a romantic mystery, not a full-fledged romance. There’s a difference.
Think about the TV series Castle. How often do you see Beckett and Castle crawling all over each other in their publicity stills? Not often, if ever. That’s because the romantic content of the show—while indispensable to the chemistry—is warm, not hot. It bows to the show’s murder mystery plot in each episode.
- Time Period/Costume
I adore the 1920s, but it isn’t the wildest selling time period for historical romance. The scant selection of stock available with Roaring 20s costume reflected that.
And so, how close was I to throwing in the towel?
I was ready to surrender and settle for a cover with a feather boa and a hip flask when I decided to give it one more go. I returned to the leading romance sites, starting with RNC—Romance Novel Covers—owned and operated by cover model Jimmy Thomas.
Avid romance readers recognize Mr. Thomas. His image graces the covers of countless novels. He also happens to fit Sean’s physical description. Too bad there were no 1920s period photos that fit my criteria among the wide selection of stock offered on his site. But Mr. Thomas did offer one thing I hadn’t seen elsewhere— exclusive custom cover shots.
By then, I was ready to consider going the extra mile, but, as an indie author, it’s my dollars and cents being invested to put out a quality product as well as my time.
So, I asked myself two questions. How long had I spent writing this book? And how much more time would I spend not only scouring the internet for cover images but editing, formatting and otherwise promoting it?
This made my decision easy. My time is worth a lot—at least, it is to me. So, I signed up.
Next time … working with Jimmy Thomas at RNC to get the perfect shots.
Until then… here’s a behind the scenes peek taken during the custom shoot for the cover for Goodbye, Tootsie. Meet Mr. Thomas and cover model Inessa, who is now my Trixie.
What do you think? Could these two play homicide detective Sean Costigan and perky girl reporter Trixie Frank in the movie? 🙂
Indie authors… Have you ever had trouble finding just the right image or models to grace your covers?
Homicide detective Sean Costigan and tabloid reporter Trixie Frank are on the road to romance but at cross-purposes at work when they investigate the New Year’s Eve murder of “Poor Little Rich Girl” Abigail Welles after she comes into control of a family fortune.
COMING SOON in Summer of 2015!
Cover art design by Fiona Jayde. Learn more About Fiona here.
Goodbye, Tootsie title design copyright © 2015 fiona jayde media
Custom Shoot for Goodbye, Tootsie – Copyright © 2014 RomanceNovelCovers.com
It Had to Be You – Copyright © 2014 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.