It’s always hard to express a character, whether hero, heroine or villain. A writer has a picture in her own mind, but readers have their own ideas. Whose is valid? Whoever is expressing the picture, of course.
I wrote some quasi-heroic fantasy years ago that involved a group of people who looked rather like Thor in the Marvel Comics. Tall, blond, bright blue eyes… I had a hero that some folks (not me) considered a heart throb. So, out of idle curiosity, I asked who he looked like.
‘Bjorn Borg!’ sighed one friend.
Oh…kay… I said. Others had other notions, leaning toward the tall and stringy.
And so it goes.
I’ve been working on the covers for The Orphan’s Tale, a trilogy set in 1830’s Paris. Book I is out. Book II will be out, God willing, around Christmas. Book III will be next year. They have developed simultaneously.
The covers have the same theme: a scene of Paris with a portrait of a main character inset in the upper left. The Heroine, Elise, graces Book I. The heroic young boy, Larouche, is on Book III. So… Who is on Book II?
Therein lay the problem. Obviously, the hero, Paul Malet, who has an interesting past and is a very enjoyable character to write about. But what on earth does he look like? Tall, yes. Dark-haired and hazel-eyed. Graying around the edges (he is in his forties). Military – he fought in Napoleon’s armies as a colonel of artillery. That much was described. The rest? Well, it’s in my head,
…but I needed a cover, and soon.
So I went through the portraits of the era, sifted through the works that are in the public domain. Two seemed to work, partially. I combined them, adjusted the coloring and the uniform, and now am happy to present, for the cover of the book, Paul V. Malet, the hero. I was not able to capture the sardonic lift of the eyebrows when he encounters stupidity, but the tolerant smile is there. It’ll do.
…and now I have the three covers:
Here’s the page on my website: http://www.dianawilderauthor.com/the-orphans-tale.html