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?