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?