HQN gave me a big huge form to fill out for my cover art.Â (Suzanne McMinn has posted about the system, so if you want to get an idea what it’s like visit her site.)Â I actually found the form really fun, in part because I’m not a hugely concretely visual person.
They asked me if there were any actors who looked like my characters.Â My initial answer, which I figured would not start my relationship with the Art Department off on the right footing, was, “Probably, but I don’t know who they are.”
Some people pick actors to represent their characters.Â My problem is that I don’t remember actor names.Â In fact, I am awful with names and face-recognition.Â When watching movies I can barely remember the guy’s name in the movie, and if he changes his clothes drastically, I’ll turn to Mr. Milan and prod him and say, “who is that dude that just showed up onscreen?”Â And Mr. Milan will be like, uh, the main character, the guy we’ve been watching for two hours?
So my first strategy was to sit down with Mr. Milan and have him list names of movie actors.Â “Ben Affleck,” says he.Â “Ben Affleck,” I dutifully repeat, typing it into Google Images search.Â Images come up.Â Ugly images.Â My nose wrinkles.Â “Okay,” I finally say, “That dude is not Gareth.Â He’s ugly.”Â No really.Â Ben Affleck is ugly.Â Seriously ugly.Â I can’t believe it.Â I know I’ve heard of him; I just did not realize that he was ugly.
“Fine.Â Orlando Bloom,” he says, knowing that I actually think Bloom is cute.Â But the answer is already no–Orlando Bloom always looks like he’s sharing a private joke with the world and Gareth is not so much into smiling.Â So that is a no go.
We go through about twenty more names.Â For some reason, Mr. Milan keeps feeding me extremely awkward looking dudes.Â He explains that he thought I wanted someone that looked different.Â Different?Â Possibly.Â Ugly?Â No.Â Finally he mentions John Cusack, I look up John Cusack, who is all wrong but at least cute, and I say, fine, John Cusack.
I e-mail my critique partners with the good news–which I ought to have done immediately, without bothering with Mr. Milan, who I now know has terrible taste in men–and Tessa says immediately, no, no, he’s Viggo Mortenson!Â I look up Viggo when he is not being Aragorn and lo and behold.Â He is, in fact, Gareth.
The moral of the story is that my critique partners have better taste in men than my husband.
So here are my main characters.Â Hi, guys.Â Nice to meet you.