Photos v. Imagination

May 24, 2012

I was always against posting pictures of my characters. I even fought my poor US editor about putting Helen’s face on the cover of my books. I argued that no two people have the same definition for the most beautiful face in the world, and that putting pictures of a girl on the cover would actually be detrimental to the book and to young women. What if a young woman picks up the book, looks at the cover, and says to herself, “well, I look nothing like her. I’m not white, or blonde, and I don’t have her eyes. Does that mean I’m not beautiful?”

No. It really doesn’t.

So I put up quite a stink. And, since Harper Teen just wants to make me happy, they let me have my way. And then they showed me the cover for DREAMLESS and I could see the model’s face. I fussed and fretted and told them to put her face (as lovely as it was) in shadow. And they let me have my way again. Thanks, Babs!

Then I got amnesia. Maybe I was kicked in the head by donkey and my husband decided not to mention it to me for nefarious “it’s your turn to clean the litter box” reasons, but somewhere along the way, I forgot why I fought having a face on the cover—and why I’ve decided to wait on going forward with any talk of a film until all three books are out. For whatever reason, I changed my mind and decided that posting pictures of my idea of the cast would be a great way to lead into the release of DREAMLESS. But sadly, I’m sensing that some of you, my dear StarHearts, are disappointed because my choices don’t match up to the images that you have in your heads.

Sometimes a picture isn’t worth thousand words.

Books are just words. There are no special effects or booming soundtracks. But books are awesome. They are awesome because they live inside our heads and inside our hearts. When we read we build worlds inside of ourselves, and every aspect of that world is so personal, and (if the book really touches us) every aspect of it is so intensely precious that we HATE it when someone comes along and messes with our beautiful world in any way. Even, and maybe more so, when the author comes along and tell us something different than what we expected.

Let me say this now. I’m not necessarily right about my interpretation. But you are. Your vision of the cast of characters is right, and there is nothing that I can post that will ever change that. Your cast is the right cast. Your vision of Helen’s bedroom is right. Your impression of the News Store is right. Your STARCROSSED is the right STARCROSSED—always and forever—because I wrote these books for you.

And if me posting pictures is ruining anyone’s experience, I’ll stop. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  Should I keep posting, or not?

We’ll go from there. :)


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