Got a nice treat in my inbox yesterday when Carly, the digital commerce coordinator at Harlequin, sent over a request for me to complete the Art Fact Sheet for my June release, Learning Curves.
While the title of this document hardly sends the average person’s heart racing, for an author, it’s totally exciting, because it means the big day is slowly, glacially, infinitesimally inching closer and yes, by golly, the publisher hasn’t changed their mind! (Writer’s are writers because of their lively imaginations – sadly, not all of our imaginings go into our books – many veer between “Gosh, is it really my 79th week on the NYT BestSellers List? Time goes by so quickly when you’re a multi-millionaire best selling author. Pass me another glass of Dom Perignon, would you, dah-ling?” and “Never show your face – or your manuscripts – in this town again, you no-account, no-talent hack!”)
So verification that yes, indeedy, the first book I published wasn’t a fluke and TPB** think I’ve got the chops to make this a long term career are a welcome bolster to my fragile ego and lagging spirits, which were dillying in the face of two equally unpleasant tasks: getting the characters to behave like I wanted or tackling my sadly overdue housework.
Err…procrastination it is!
So what the heck is an Art Fact Sheet? Art Fact Sheets are really a novel in summary, that tries to get the author to encapsulate the mood, the genre, the tenor and the main characters and the principle settings so that the graphic designers, who haven’t read the book, will be able to do a kick-ass job of making the cover. Of course, there are the occasional boo-boos (which readers notice!) but by and large and despite the influx of digital editions, covers matter and authors want to get ’em right.
My favourite part of filling out the form is definitely the part where they ask for authors to provide images that inspire or illustrate the mood or the characters’ attributes. Why do I like this part so much? Probably has to do with the fact that I’m a visual person by nature. So, here, for your viewing delectation (isn’t that a fabulous word, BTW?), are some of the images I’m mulling over to share with the graphic artist as inspiration for “Learning Curves”.
*Just a word of warning, while these pictures are PG-14-ish, the site, “Naked Men, Happy Women”, where I copied them from over the last number of months definitely isn’t, so be warned and no clicking the link while your laptop’s hooked up to the powerpoint projector for this month’s sales meeting, OK?
Each image has something of the mood I think the book evokes – of the illicit and unexpected of Leanne and Brandon’s affair, of Brandon’s career (let’s just say it involves dancing and a steadily dwindling supply of clothes, shall we?) and of Leanne’s slowly burgeoning sexual confidence – the image of the woman in the bustier, her hair flying, is so dynamic and intense. I wrote this book long before I saw this particular image but now, every time I look at it, I wonder what about the ‘characters’ in the beautiful image and how their relationship began. Hmm, maybe there’s another story in that somewhere…
Regardless, I can’t wait to see what gorgeous cover develops from the cold, hard facts of the Art Fact Sheet. I’m already on pins and needles. June’s not that far away, is it?
**The Powers that Be; also known as the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing Angela James et al 🙂