At Harlequin, once we turn in our books to our editors, we are asked to write up a six page Art Fact Sheet, better knows as AFS. Some of you might have read about how we are asked to describe the overall theme of our story, paint a synopsis of events, describe the hero and heroine to the letter and set the scene with description as well. We are also asked to come up with three scenes from our book that would make a good cover for the art department.
The art department needs everything in great detail so that they can best portray the tone, characters and theme of our stories on the cover. Most authors groan about doing AFS. We do them months after the book is finished and turned in and we’ve already moved onto our next stories. I’ve learned to be better about keeping files on my characters, so I can remember them for the AFS, when I’m asked to do them.
Ah, but something new had been added to the mix at Silhouette Desire. We are now asked to send in photos of what our heroes and heroines look like. Initially, there were grumbles and groans from the authors as you might imagine! More work, more time to sift through countless pictures finding THE right one that suits your characters.
I have to say that what I once thought of as a chore, is now quite fun and challenging. Needless to say, I have a legitimate reason for surfing the net in search of the Ultimate Hero!! It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it.
For my upcoming Desire Continuity for The Texas Cattleman’s Club, I’m the third of six books and for my story, the Texan’s Wedding Night Wager, I was given my characters’ profiles and photos.
Meet Kevin Novak … does he look familiar?
And this is his soon to be ex-wife, Cara.
Okay, so now I’m writing a trilogy called Napa Valley Vows, set in California’s famous wine country. I’ll have no trouble finding gorgeous vineyards and backdrops for the books. In fact, my daughter, assistant managing editor for Vacation Homes and the Robb Report, did a piece on a stunning Napa Valley mansion that I will fashion for the Carlino Estate.
I have to find three hunks for my stories that are all wealthy men with agendas of their own. The last thing they want is to run their late father’s winery.
Tony Carlino, the oldest brother is an ex-NASCAR champion.
There’s only one man I’d envisioned for his character. All through the book, it had to be HUGH.
Joe Carlino, the middle brother is a computer nerd/genius. He’s more comfortable sitting behind his desk, crunching numbers. Joe’s a hottie, whether wearing his wire-rimmed glasses or not. Think Clark Kent/Superman. Years ago, I cut out a picture of a man in an advertisement and kept it in a file. I knew one day, he’d be one of my heroes. He’s Joe!
Now Nick Carlino has me a bit troubled. I’ve got three possibilities for my third brother, the playboy charmer and youngest brother. Nick’s never gonna settle down. He’s having too much fun playing the field.
I’m reading Angels and Demons at the moment, hoping to finish it before the movie comes out and I picture Tom Hanks (whom I love) as the hero in the book because of his role in the movie. Same held true when I heard Tom Cruise had the lead role in The Firm.
So, do you envision actors when reading a book or do you let your imagination take flight?
I need your help … whom do you think would make the best ladies man charmer, playboy type for my third story? Or do you have another man in mind for Nick? Cast your vote either way or fill in another hero’s name and I’ll pick a winner randomly from your comments to recieve any book from my backlist of titles!!
Hero Surfing at its best!!