Posted by Kate Carlisle May 25 2012, 12:05 am in bibliophile mystery, Kate Carlisle, mystery novel covers, romance novel covers
Every family has one – a mother or uncle or grandparent who can’t seem to keep everyone’s head in the picture. If you’re lucky, you get from the chin down, so at least you can see how your smile has matured over the years. In my family, we have all sorts of pictures with one or more headless kids. Lots of scabbed knees, but very few foreheads in evidence. And my poor dad didn’t stand a chance at all – since he was the tallest of us, whenever mom was behind the camera, he suffered a bloodless yet still grisly fate.
(No, this is not my family, but didn’t everyone fantasize about being the Brady Bunch?)
Turns out, Mom was just ahead of her time. So to speak.
Have you noticed that more and more romance novel covers feature characters whose heads are out of the frame? I get why. As a reader, it’s disconcerting to flip to the cover to find a character who looks completely different than described in the book. It must be difficult to find cover models who fit the description. Much easier to crop out their most identifiable feature – the face. But still, I kinda miss their heads.
Harlequin Desire doesn’t do that with the books I write for them, nor any of the other Desires they publish each month. Desire readers want to see what the characters look like – or at least, what the hero looks like. I must admit, I get a little goose-bumpy when my eyes meet the heated gaze of millionaire Adam Duke. He sure looks nice in a tux, doesn’t he?
With my Bibliophile Mystery novels, it’s not an issue. Very few mysteries show the characters on the cover. The only characters who appear consistently on mine are of the feline variety. Mystery readers love cats! Brooklyn Wainwright, my heroine, has had an uneasy relationship with cats, but they are beginning to win her over. She’s not having as much success winning them over, but as we all know, cats are not easily won. You’ll have to read PERIL IN PAPERBACK (August, and available for pre-order now) so you can find out whether Brooklyn has made any advancements in her quest to win the feline heart.
If a mystery novel showed a character whose head was cut off, I imagine it would really be cut off. (Ewww!)
Are you a good family photographer, or do you have a hard time getting everyone in the frame? How do you feel about the trend of not showing characters’ faces on romance novel covers? Do you like it, or do you wish you could see what they look like?