Welcome to my first ever posting for Manic Monday! Today I’m going to talk about a new manic trend – one that I find pretty amazing.
Male Models + Romance Authors = A New Muse Frontier!
Is it just me, or is there a fabulous new muse(ical) relationship forming between romance authors and male cover models?
Now, I personally need to see a visual of my characters before I can write about them. I comb magazines for snapshots and ads. Yeah, I actually subscribe to People and Star, but I only read them for the pictures…
If a face, or a dress, or a pose strikes my fancy – I tear out that page and add it to my ever growing pile of “character” clippings. I do the same thing if a story appeals to me in some way. It’s a great way of finding characters and ideas.
But needing to have a picture to look at before I can access my muse and effectively write is just me. I’m a very visual person – as are most writers. For me, looking at something inspires my writing – making it much more detailed and expressive. It’s my muse kicking in. If I’m writing about a knight, I need to see a man outfitted in armor, astride a horse. If I’m writing about a Regency lady, I need to see her decked out in a ball gown, waltzing with a handsome Lord. So I’ll look for pictures of a strong man, an ingenue heroine, a suit of armor, a ballroom awash in candlelight, and a horse.
These pictures help me to describe to my readers what I’m seeing. It’s me working my muse. I think that’s probably true for most writers.
Now, can you imagine having that inspiration be alive and standing right in front of you? You could talk to him. You could have him pose with a lovely lady in a ball gown. You could have him holding a sword and showing a fierce look. You won’t have to go chasing your muse. Instead, you could have him standing in front of you, his ruffled shirt open to the waist showing his 6-pack abs.
Whew! I don’t know about you, but having that available would absolutely take my inspiration to a whole new level!!!
Jenn LeBlanc, photographer extraordinaire and author of the illustrated time travel romance, “The Rake and the Recluse” seems to do just that with her muse, Derek Hutchins. Derek, btw, is the model for Lord Peregrine Trumbull, Viscount Roxleigh and is featured in the recently reduxed 6-part eBook series of “The Rake and the Recluse.”
I’ve seen Jenn and Derek in action twice, once at the Denver Lady Jane Salon just a few days ago on February 7th, and once at RomCon in August of 2011. I also followed their amazing photo shoot that occurred in California this last summer.
When you’re in the same room with them, you can see their special relationship. They feed off each other in such a positive way. I can see how he inspires Jenn. He’s such an entrancing chameleon, becoming just what she needs at that moment. The costumes. The poses. The look. And he’s such an amazing guy. He and I talked for quite awhile at the Salon, about California, acting, modeling, and other things too… *wink*
BTW – don’t forget to check back here in two days on the 15th of February for my first Wicked Wednesday entry when Jenn will be blogging about…wicked good things!
Another exceptionally creative team with this same type of relationship is Kimberly Killion and her muse, Brooks Johnson. Kim writes about highlanders – very hot highlanders! One of her latest “Caribbean Scot” features Brooks on the cover. He’s a very convincing highlander. BTW – he looks amazing in a kilt, with or without a ruffled shirt open to the waist! I had the pleasure of meeting up with these two at RomCon in August of 2011, so I definitely know what I’m talking about! I look forward to seeing them again in Denver when my RWA chapter, Colorado Romance Writers, hosts them for a workshop in August of 2012.
Kim designs amazing book covers (as well as websites, banners, book marks, etc.) and she’s worked with Brooks on a good many of them. In fact, Brooks is the famous “Torso Man” on the front cover of my anthology, “Finding Ms. Wright – Three Tales of Extraordinary Love” with M.L. Guida and Hillary Seidl, published by 5 Prince Publishing. So when you see my book cover, you’re witnessing Kim’s expertise and Brooks’ pecs and abs in action. Nice combination, yes? See, the art that these two create together makes the covers for romantic fiction a much more magical place to be. *grin*
Meeting these ladies and their gentlemen is an amazing experience. The air is thick with creativity. I’m thinking Jenn and Derek and Kim and Brooks have really tapped into to something – they found their muse in another person. Together, they each can go to levels and find successes they likely couldn’t have accomplished without the other. It’s like a romance complete with a happily ever after – only with platonic love.
All my best!
About Jenn LeBlanc’s The Rake and The Recluse:
You can purchase the eBook for the first five in the series right now at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel. The fifth eBook in the series will be officially released and available for download on Tuesday, February 14th, and the sixth and final eBook in the series on Tuesday, February 28th.