Friday, January 10, 2014

Pictures and Pinterest

This week....*drumroll please* I got the cover picture for my book that release in May!!!! Ahhhhh!!!! Okay, yeah, those of you who have done this a hundred times can all laugh. I'm cool with that. But it was SO FUN to see that, it made it real, and I love the cover they did.

Like, love, love.

But it got me thinking about using pictures to inspire your story. I'm sure some of you already keep track of characters with pictures of people from online or magazines or things like that, and maybe have pictures of settings saved, but I don't know if you realize how handy that will be (those of you who aren't published yet) when you do get that book contract. I'm not 100% sure how all publishers work, but I know Love Inspired requires us to submit what they call an Art Fact Sheet and an Art Reference sheet, and with these you have to include pictures of your characters, pictures of the setting that you could see being on the cover, etc.

For my first book, I had none of this when I wrote it. I have in the past found pictures that inspired me and then written a book, but it didn't happen that way for this story. So when the time came for me to submit that sheet, it was chaos for a few days there. Lots of agonizing over the story and saying "Who does my hero look like? What kind of clothes does he wear? Are his eyes grey-green, moss-green, or hazel-green?

Haha. Okay, the last could be a touch of an exaggeration. But not much. I had tons of fun with those sheets, but it was difficult.

I decided right then and there that I was going to keep files of pictures (of characters and setting) that fit my story from the beginning from now on. Not only it is useful in writing the story (for example, I described some facial details of my heroine, like her delicate nose, that I didn't ever have imagined in my head, but that the actress I decided she looks like happens to have) to add more description, but it's just plain fun!

Which brings me to two questions.

1. Do y'all do this already? Do you think it helps?

2. Does anyone use Pinterest for novel inspiration kind of boards? I've found some authors who do this and I think it's super fun. For the most part, I'm kind of anti-"Pinterest-as-marketing", but I think having personal boards and then boards for your stories is a great way to let people peek into your brain (assuming there are people out there who are that brave). I haven't done this yet, but I might in the future. Anyone have experience here?


  1. First--I'd be that excited, so CONGRATS!! Yay!! How awesome, how close, how real it is. I'm excited for you. ;)

    I imagined characters as I wrote my story, then I ran into people who startled me by looking like what I pictured--that was crazy! Like seeing my characters living another Iife. haha. I finally made a Pinterest board of faces to help me as I write...I can look at them, see them, describe them, have a constant reminder of who I'm writing about. But I don't publicize what it is. I call that board, "faces"--you know me and that secret life. LOL!

  2. So exciting! Congrats.

    Yes, I already do this on Pinterest. It is a lot of fun! I also do blog posts with photos of the characters to wet my reader's appetites for the upcoming release! Since I write historical-fiction, it is a bit more of a challenge to find historically-accurate AND character description correct images, but it is worth it!

  3. I just started doing this. I'm working on two historicals with vivid settings and great clothes and it's fun making boards for them!

  4. Definitely! When I first started writing my debut novel--before Pinterest was popular--I created a folder of pictures I found online for my story. It came in handy every time I was at a writer's block and was in need of some inspiration to start writing again. It also helped me picture certain scenes and characters in my book, which in turned helped me to write the descriptions. I have now added quotes on some of those pictures on my Pinterest board, & those pictures are constantly being re-pinned. Although people are only re-pinning it because of the quote, it is a great way to spread buzz about my book. (Click here for the board if you're interested.)

    My publisher let me have some input on the cover as well. Fortunately, I found a girl who looked pretty much identical to my protagonist. After a few photoshoots with her, I decided to go with a picture that she actually took of herself, which was on her Facebook page. To make a long story short--after asking her for permission, I sent the picture to the cover designer, as well as my ideas on the cover. I felt the exact same way you did when I saw the final cover! I couldn't stop starring at it.

    Congrats on your book, by the way! I'm looking forward to reading it. =)