Friday, July 21, 2006

Hunkalicious Inspiration!

Have you ever noticed as you’re browsing romance authors’ websites, specifically erotic romance authors’ websites, how many of them have a page dedicated to gorgeous, hunky, half-nude men?

As it happens, I don’t have a page of hunks on my site. But I admit, I’m considering adding one. I mean, erotic romance is all about pleasure, right? And if you’re reading it, then why not get a visual along with it? I’ve been extremely lucky to have some truly mouthwatering covers on my erotic stories, so I always feel blessed—and more than a little excited—when I see an email from the Amber Heat art director, Trace Zaber, with the words “Your cover for ____” in the title. Because I know chances are very high I’m about to get a little (okay, or maybe a big) thrill. It’s hard to pick faves because I love them all, but to date, the ones I most enjoy looking at are the covers from The Bodyguard, Night Shadows, Take It On Faith, and my upcoming September release, The Professor’s Secret Passion. The epitome of hot hunks, all of them.

So the cover does, in my humble opinion, definitely add to the pleasure quotient for readers. At least it does for me as a reader.

But back to those pages on author sites devoted to the half-nude men. Okay, drool-worthy cover art is a must. So what’s with these other guys?

Here’s the way I see it. Most writers, as we write, get a picture in our head of our characters. We describe them on the page for readers, give them heights, hair and eye color, sensuous muscles, and big appendages. :) But many of us also tend to visualize our characters, the heroes in particular, as specific people--maybe famous actors or cover models we’ve seen. Or, if there’s no perfect actor or celebrity, we might go out on the net and do some browsing around until we find a picture and go, “OMG, that’s my hero!!” Then we save the pic and put it in a file somewhere so as we write we can ogle the beautiful creature.

I’m guilty of this. I admit it. I don’t do it for every story, but many of them. For example, as I was writing Masks, my Phantom of the Opera book, I had Gerard Butler in mind the entire time as my hero. What was *really* weird is that I wrote the story before I ever even knew they were making a phantom movie and Gerard Butler was starring in it. How’s that for a woo-woo moment? Okay, so that’s my example of celebrity inspiration. But for my September release, The Professor’s Secret Passion, I actually came across pics on the internet that gave me OMG! moments. I have two heroes in this story (double the pleasure!), Aidan (dark hair) and Nate (blond hair). Here are the pics I looked at as I was writing:

So tell me, authors, who are your fave hunky hero inspirations as you write? And readers, do you ever visualize specific people as you read a story. Or do you picture the hunky hero on the cover art (if there is a hunk on the cover) as you read? honest here, many of you have pics of hot hunks on your website? On your blog? Hanging on the corkboard in your office or cubicle?

By the way...the last pic here? Purely eye candy. Enjoy!

M.L. Rhodes
Hot Night. Hot Heroes. Hot Reads.

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