KC Burns on The Headless Torso

The Headless Torso

Also known as cover art.  Periodically, I see discussions in various places regarding cover art preferences.  The main points of discussion are usually drawn art vs. photography, people vs. no people, and faces vs. headless torsos.

Now, I have to say that I’m incredibly happy with my covers.  I’ve had three talented artists and I adore all of my covers.  To me, the people vs. none is a moot issue.  In my mind, a people-less cover generally indicates a non-romance book.  I’d be willing to be swayed otherwise, and I know there are many good covers for romance without people on it, but having started reading romance in the Fabio cover art era, I can’t quite shake the notion that people equal romance.

For my covers, I specifically request no faces or obscured faces.  I have very strong ideas in my head about what my characters look like (and no, none of them actually look like Fabio, despite my formative reading years).  If someone else showed up on the cover, I would find it very difficult to reconcile the image with my character and be happy with the cover.  Also, despite the many objections to the headless torso, with the two male chests on my covers, no one is going to be surprised by the story inside.

My fondness for no faces makes the drawn art vs. photography another non-issue for me.  I’d imagine most artists would *like* to include faces when they’re creating art, which means me and drawn art probably aren’t going to get along.  At least, not for covers.

I’m not a visually creative person, so my cover artists need to work from an almost blank slate, because I almost never have suggestions to get them started.  Of course, I think that also makes me easy to please.  In fact, Cop Out, my most recent release, was the only cover I kicked back (gently and politely, of course) because Kurt’s tattoo wasn’t quite right.  But all it took was sending a couple of examples of what I had in mind and it came back just right!

Now that you know what I like in covers, what do you like?  Is there a specific aspect that catches your eye?  Is there a cover feature that will make you pass on a book?

Anyway, if you want to take a look at my headless torsos, they’re at www.kcburn.com/books/ and I’ve included a little blurb below about Cop Out, my most recent headless torso release from Dreamspinner Press.

Detective Kurt O’Donnell is used to digging up other people’s secrets, but when he discovers his slain partner was married to another man, it shakes him. Determined to do the right thing, Kurt offers the mourning Davy his assistance. Helping Davy through his grief helps Kurt deal with the guilt that his partner didn’t trust him enough to tell him the truth, and somewhere along the way Davy stops being an obligation and becomes a friend, the closest friend Kurt has ever had.

His growing attraction to Davy complicates matters, leaving Kurt struggling to reevaluate his sexuality. Then a sensual encounter neither man is ready for confuses them further. To be with Davy, Kurt must face the prospect of coming out, but his job and his relationship with his Catholic family are on the line. Can he risk destroying his life for the uncertain possibility of a relationship with a newly widowed man?


Life’s heated up and I’ve hardly been home since Wednesday so I’ve lagged on pulling winners for the contests on the blog. I think everyone’s squared away now:

Congratulations to:

  • Marika Weber who won a copy of Velvet Cataclysm on Beth Kery’s blog post here last Saturday.
  • Kari Thomas who won Toni Anderson‘s Sea of Suspicion for Toni’s blog here.
  • Cathy McDonald who won a copy of Deliberate Deceptions for commenting on my post on Madison Edward’s blog
  • Kathy Ivan won her choice of one of my backlist for commenting on my post on Toni Anderson’s blog, but she already had all my books, we had to pull another winner–so Kari Thomas is a two-time winner this week!

I think that’s all the contests open at the moment. Keep an eye on the blog as I’ll be giving away a 2012 New York City Firefighters’ Calendar in the next week.

Tangled Past a Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews

Melinda from Night Owl Reviews gave Tangled Past another Top Pick review award.

Leah Braemel has done it again in a story about three people whose lives change drastically. You have Sarah McLeod who is young and sometimes innocent about so many things. Seeing two men like Jackson and Nate confuses her yet she feels safe with them. A relationship like theirs is unheard of but Sarah knows they can make it work. Leah Braemel did an awesome job in showing how far a friend will go to make sure everybody is happy even it means sacrificing his own happiness. One thing about Leah Braemel is she knows about cowboys, love and passion no matter how many people are in that relationship. Tangled Past is definitely a keeper and Leah Braemel is one author to always keep up to date on. She never fails in writing a book worth reading.

You can read the whole review here.

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