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Fun Friday–Whom Would You Love to See on the Cover of a Romance Novel?

Friday, June 26, 2009


My status update on Facebook yesterday around 6:30 p.m.:
99,750 WORDS. STICK A FORK IN IT–A CASE FOR LOVE IS DONE! (Now, to get it “finished” with some editing and revisions.)

Of course, now I’m thinking it might need an epilogue, since it is the last book in the series, just to tie things up in a neat little package. But I’m not sure. As of the time I’m writing this (9:30 on Thursday evening) I haven’t slept in about 36 hours, so I’m not going to think about it tonight. I’ll think about it tomorrow.

Sylvia gave me an idea for a fun post to get some participation from y’all. Whom would you love to see on the cover of a romance novel?

With as much detail as I’ve gone into with my character casting processes for Menu and Ransome (has anyone seen them on the shelves yet? Ruth says they’re starting to appear in some LifeWay stores.), hopefully that’s gotten you thinking about and looking for images of Real World Templates to help you in building your characters. But let’s face it, we’re never all going to use every single one we come up with. So today you can play one of two ways:

Leave a comment, including a link to an image if you can find one online, for one of the following:
1.) A Real World Template you’re currently using as a hero or heroine of YOUR story
2.) A Real World Template you’re not using but you think would be a great hero or heroine of SOMEONE’S story.

For example, here are the two comments that Sylvia left, just to help get you started:

I was looking up information for something else and ran across some pictures of this actor Kevin McKidd. I’ve never seen him in anything, but thought he would make a great hero. Why doesn’t anyone ever have red-headed heroes? Please make him be the hero of one of your books! πŸ™‚

Here’s another hero type guy. Hmmm…he has a slight bone structure resemblance to George in Stand-In Groom. His name is Philip Winchester.

Here are a few links to photographs of him. He should be one of George’s brothers and get introduced to Jen. Or he could be a future hero or someone in the Ransome series….or…

  1. Friday, June 26, 2009 6:16 am

    Kevin McKidd, without doubts!!!


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 9:30 am

      I’ve forgot to say that he is a blond wonderful actor. He’s red-headed only in Grey’s Anatomy.


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 11:46 am

      As I commented back to Sylvia. He looks like he could be Daniel Craig’s younger brother (Much more so than Liev Schrieber)! So using the TWO of them has some possibilities!




  2. Friday, June 26, 2009 7:50 am

    I like Jonathan Rhys Meyers. He was so cute in August Rush!

    Also, Ashton Kutcher in What Happens in Vegas…sigh.


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 11:49 am

      Both very good looking, but I’d have to say I prefer JRM. Of course, I do have a thing for British (or even Welsh) accents!


  3. Friday, June 26, 2009 8:34 am

    -As I’ve mentioned before, my current WIP “stars”
    Eric Braeden,
    Emma Roberts
    Tom Welling

    -Who should be on a cover? RICHARD ARMITAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But wait, you’ve already cast him. That’s right. SWEEET. I can’t wait to see that! Can’t think of anyone right now…two recent viewings of N&S have put me in a RA mood. πŸ˜‰


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 11:51 am

      And just for anyone not familiar with RA (go thee immediately and watch North & South!!!), here’s a new promo image of him from his role in Spooks (a.k.a., MI-5):


      • Friday, June 26, 2009 12:16 pm

        Lovely pic, Kaye!!! Hehehe. πŸ˜‰


      • Friday, June 26, 2009 12:34 pm

        Yep–just lop off the top of his head and he can be on the cover of one of my books any day. LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!


        • Friday, June 26, 2009 12:44 pm

          Hahaha! I’d buy it just for the cover! πŸ˜‰ And then love the content, of course…but when they talk about the cover “luring” someone in to buy the book…hahaha.


        • Sylvia permalink
          Friday, June 26, 2009 5:11 pm

          Kaye, do you partiularly request that no whole faces be shown on the cover or is that what the publishing company chooses because it’s the trend right now? I know Deeanne Gist says she asks them to do that for her books. She doesn’t want people to have pre-conceived notions that get in the way. I noticed that Ransome’s Honor has the whole person, but that may be particular to Harvest House.


        • Friday, June 26, 2009 5:17 pm

          I prefer not to have faces on the front of my books, but I don’t have a lot of choice in the matter. I like the covers of the contemporaries, because it gives just enough to be intriguing and yet still allows the reader to use her imagination to fill in what’s not there. The RH cover is following the trend of historical covers. Check out this post to see how it fits in with other historicals out on the market:


      • Friday, June 26, 2009 1:16 pm

        Oh my…that’s a fantastic picture!


      • Renee permalink
        Saturday, June 27, 2009 8:45 pm

        Ahhhhh don’t do this to me…oh well…off to watch my North and South dvd again! πŸ˜›


  4. Sylvia permalink
    Friday, June 26, 2009 9:06 am

    Alexandra, I’ve never seen Eric Braeden before, but I’m glad you posted someone older. That’s one reason I liked Stand-In Groom because the hero was in his early forties. It’s normal, but different for the usual romance novels out there. Let’s face it. I’m almost twenty-eight, but I am finding myself seriously attracted to the guys ten or more years older than my age! There are some great looking gray haired guys out there.:)


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 10:51 am

      I know. I really enjoyed George. And I’m only twenty, but I totally know what you’re saying about some of the older type… πŸ˜‰

      I had a lot of fun with Eric Braeden’s character. Although he’s not technically the hero, he is basically one of the main characters, since the hero (Tom Welling)and heroine’s (Emma Roberts) romance really doesn’t come into play until the sequel. So the first book is all about Eric Braeden’s character (who’s the heroine’s great-uncle) and the heroine. Which puts me in a rut as to what genre my novel falls into. The sequel is more of a romance, while I guess the first is more historical fiction.


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 12:07 pm

      Here’s the short-list of men 10 or more years older than me (which makes them 20 or more years older than you, Sylvia) that I’m “in to” at the moment:

      Vincent d’Onofrio (50)
      Jeremy Northam (48–LOVE him in The Tudors and An Ideal Husband)
      Brian McNamara (49)
      Sean Bean (50)
      Keith Olbermann (50)


      • Friday, June 26, 2009 12:11 pm

        Sean Bean will be the God Zeus with Kevin McKidd (the God Poseidon) in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)!


      • Friday, June 26, 2009 1:32 pm

        Oh, and I should have mentioned, I already have a story idea worked up using Keith Olbermann as the template for the hero!


  5. Sylvia permalink
    Friday, June 26, 2009 9:08 am

    Oh, talking about Menu for Romance, I see that CBD has it in stock now! Yes!:)


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 12:09 pm

      Today’s my day to go around to area stores to see if anyone has it in yet, and if they do, see if they’ll let me sign them.


      • Friday, June 26, 2009 1:17 pm

        The Nashville LW hadn’t received their copies as of yesterday…hopefully they’ll get them checked in this weekend at the latest!


  6. Friday, June 26, 2009 10:04 am


    I know that in Stand-in Groom, music had a big part to play in the story…I would love to see a post on the music in the novels!

    I was thinking of that as I was looking at a video of a song that plays a key role in my novel, the second movement of Beethoven’s no. 8 sonata. I found a video here,

    Anyway, I know that for some people music plays a big role in plotting, even…my brother collects soundtracks for his stories the way I collect RWT…and I am interested in your POV on this. Do you have music that helped in the making of your stories?


  7. Sylvia permalink
    Friday, June 26, 2009 12:48 pm

    Here’s a real-life couple that would make very good book characters. He’s 43 and she’s 28. They are John and Jennifer Newton. He was in The Christmas Card with Alice Evans.


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 12:51 pm

      Very cute couple–just seeing the age difference, I’m already thinking of possible scenarios!


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 1:09 pm

      Ooh, ooh, ooh. The only reason I liked the Christmas Card was because of his character…really really liked him. Didn’t care for Alice Evans in it, though. πŸ˜‰


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 1:19 pm

      Oh, I love John Newton in The Christmas Card movie!! He & Jennifer make a lovely couple. πŸ™‚


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 7:24 pm

      I’ve never seen JN. She has a very interesting face. Lovely bone structure.


  8. Friday, June 26, 2009 12:56 pm

    I have a couple of templates with whom I’m completely “in love,” and I think they’re the two best-looking men on planet Earth, and yet to this day, I’ve never been able to come up with story ideas to use them in—well, that’s not completely true. If I ever get my time-travel idea going, Karl is the hero of that one.

    Karl Urban (big surprise there, for anyone who’s been reading this blog longer than a few weeks) and Oded Fehr.


    • Friday, July 3, 2009 10:00 am

      Forget Karl Urban…that COSTUME is making my heart beat faster! The FABRICS! The cut of those sleeves and that vest!


  9. Friday, June 26, 2009 5:37 pm

    How funny that Silvia has links to Philip Winchester. I was just looking for photos of him before I came here to read your post, Kaye. I want to upload one to a site called, which lets you morph two or more celebrity photos to get a pretty decent blend, and create a unique looking person (for a character template, in our case). The photos have to be a certain size, the person looking straight ahead and not smiling, or at least not showing teeth. Not so easy to find.

    I’ve been looking for Philip Winchester, Simon Baker, Rachel Luttrell, among others.

    The site is a bit addictive though, so be warned!


  10. Jess permalink
    Friday, June 26, 2009 5:55 pm

    I don’t understand your taste, Kaye πŸ™‚
    But then, you probably wouldn’t think much of
    Kirk Cameron
    if that doesn’t work.)

    Pictures don’t really do him justice, though–you have to see him move.
    Speaking of the age thing–I’ve recently started finding older men very attractive–does the “double your age minus seven” rule apply to RNs? Obviously a girl can’t be less than eighteen, but other than that, do you think it’s okay to break it?
    And update us about whether you found the books yet!


    • Friday, June 26, 2009 6:03 pm

      Nope–Not a big Kirk Cameron fan. Never understood why his picture was all over the magazines aimed for people my age when I was in Junior High (I mean, yes, I knew he was on TV–a show we didn’t watch in our house), but I just never thought he was cute. I guess it’s a good thing, though, it kept me from getting into all of the teeny-bopper magazines of the time. Of course, around that same time, I had a HUGE crush on Adrian Zmed*, who played William Shatner’s young, hot partner on the cop show TJ Hooker (*he’s the cute one, on the right).


  11. Friday, June 26, 2009 9:34 pm

    I really liked Kirk and thought him very handsome:-)

    Okay, so my characters. Jack is Chris O’Donnell and Jenny is a lady I found a picture of on a Wedding announcement site… so she’s a “real” person and not a celebrity, so I’ll be nice and not share the link to the world. (plus it might not be there anymore…. I saved the pic on my harddrive!)

    For my NEW book though… *grin*

    My hero, Rueben, I’m deciding between Toby Mac (don’t laugh!) and Jesse Spencer (thanks again for the name, Kaye!)

    See, he has a haircut at the beginning of the book. So he’s Jesse before, but I needed a funky short cut for him afterwards. He’s young, about 27, is an entreprenuer but is still VERY stylish and “cool.” I think he’s a Jesse, but my hubby thinks he’s a Toby.

    Madison (Maddie for short) is Katie Holmes. She’s 20, probably closing in on 21, and is quirky, fun, but has been through a lot of crap in her life. She’s a hairdresser… well, for a very short period of time anyway before Rueben gets her fired…


  12. Quinn permalink
    Friday, June 26, 2009 11:07 pm

    Keith Olbermann? Will your story be political?

    I think John Stamos (with 5 o’clock shadow and not smiling) would be great.


  13. Quinn permalink
    Saturday, June 27, 2009 12:16 am

    Ooops – noticed you already had Sean Bean!

    Just one more:

    Adam Baldwin


  14. Leelee permalink
    Saturday, June 27, 2009 3:19 am

    Kevin McKidd I’ll second that …..


  15. Saturday, June 27, 2009 9:07 am

    woo hoo! πŸ™‚ Congratulations on finishing it up!!

    I just got the first book in the series yesterday – can’t wait to start it!


    • Saturday, June 27, 2009 1:13 pm

      Yay! I’m glad it arrived before the new book comes. Hopefully you’ll have a chance to read it before you get Ransome’s Honor. (I’m still waiting on my books–as soon as they come, I’ll mail them out to all the contest winners!)


  16. Quinn permalink
    Saturday, June 27, 2009 9:16 am

    So true with Adam Baldwin; he does play secondary characters who deserve more of the story!

    Trying again with correct links for him:


    • Saturday, June 27, 2009 1:14 pm

      I think Jayne Cobb has to be one of my favorite roles he’s played—because he got to do the humor, which a lot of his roles don’t always give him the opportunity to do.


    • Saturday, June 27, 2009 6:03 pm

      I love Adam Baldwin in the TV show Chuck – like his turn on Firefly, he makes his character on Chuck so interesting and a lot of fun to watch. And he gets to be HILARIOUS!


  17. Carol Collett permalink
    Saturday, June 27, 2009 12:50 pm

    Alex O’Loughlin as Mick St. John


    • Saturday, June 27, 2009 1:15 pm

      What a cutie-pie. So is he your vampire?


    • Saturday, June 27, 2009 6:04 pm

      Oh my gosh!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Alex O’Loughlin in Moonlight!!! LOVE that show!!!


      • Renee permalink
        Saturday, June 27, 2009 6:25 pm

        I loved him in Moonlight too…they always cancel the shows I like 😦


  18. Renee permalink
    Saturday, June 27, 2009 6:02 pm

    Oh wow love this Fun Friday!!!

    I just love Richard Armitage in North and South, Robin Hood, and The Vicar of Dibley. *SighP…so cute!!! πŸ˜› I have always pictured him as a hero in some of the books I’ve read so he’d definitely make a good book cover!

    Also I have a huge crush on Josh Groban but he’d only work as a hero with “boy-ishly good looks” as you can see from the pic, he’s sorta innocent looking so he wouldn’t work as a ruff and tough kinda hero.

    Clive Owen (Arthur), Hugh Dancy(Luke in Confessions of a Shopaholic), Elliot Cowan (as Mr. Darcy in Lost in Austen) I could go on and on! Thanks again for the interesting Fun Friday!


  19. Lori permalink
    Saturday, June 27, 2009 8:03 pm

    NOW I know why I haven’t heard from you. πŸ™‚


  20. Saturday, June 27, 2009 9:50 pm

    Finally got my head out of the RA clouds enough to think of a couple other people…

    I’d love to see Mel Gibson as a hero.

    Or Kevin Costner. I always liked him because he had more of the cute-boy-next-door look vs. the so-gorgeous-Hollywood-glamour (not that there’s anything wrong w/that… πŸ˜‰ )

    Or Thomas Gibson (he was one of the guys I considered for Paul Landon in my current WIP)

    A related question…do you ever reuse RWT? Like say you cast someone as, say, a secondary character. Have you ever ended up using that RWT again, as a hero/heroine?


    • Saturday, June 27, 2009 9:53 pm

      I have reused someone—Rosamund Pike is a secondary character in Ransome’s Honor and the heroine of the third book in my proposed new contemporary series (in the story tentatively titled Turnabout’s Fair Play). I try not to, though, because I don’t want descriptions of characters to start sounding too similar. I don’t think I ever actually describe her physically in RH, so reusing her works out pretty well.


  21. Saturday, June 27, 2009 10:16 pm

    Trying to think of actresses here…I’m not much of an actress person…have twenty or so favorite actors and only four favorite actresses…yeah. πŸ˜‰

    Anyway. Some girls that are in upcoming novels I have in my head right now…

    Cari Shayne

    Reese Witherspoon (before bangs… πŸ˜‰ )

    Susan Egan (loved her in Beauty and the Beast)


    • Saturday, June 27, 2009 10:39 pm

      I’m definitely adding Cari Shayne and Susan Egan to my casting book!


      • Saturday, June 27, 2009 11:03 pm

        Love Susan Egan’s voice!


    • Sunday, June 28, 2009 3:15 pm

      Just realized what I recognized Cari Shayne from . . . from the TV-movie version of Louisa May Alcott’s The Inheritance!


      • Sunday, June 28, 2009 3:53 pm

        That’s where I saw her and Thomas Gibson for the first time. πŸ˜‰


  22. Saturday, June 27, 2009 10:56 pm

    Speaking of female templates. . .
    Here’s a plus-size model from Nordstrom’s website that I like:

    And this girl is one I’m seriously considering using for the second book of the proposed new contemporary series instead of Kate Dillon. She used to model for Nordstrom (where these images came from), but now is modeling for Lane Bryant:


    • Sunday, June 28, 2009 2:18 pm

      Wow, she’s gorgeous. Love red-headed gals. I always wanted to be a strawberry-blond…oh, well.


  23. Sylvia permalink
    Monday, June 29, 2009 3:38 pm

    I’m not plus-sized, but I’m glad you’re putting larger sized characters in your books. There are millions of people out there that fit that description and it’s not fair that they don’t have books with people they can relate to. I’m not gorgeous and I always appreciate it when authors write about characters that are just average, normal people. That, I can relate to.


  24. Sylvia permalink
    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 8:22 pm

    Here’s another suggestion for a character. Hugh O’Gorman. I have seen him live in two Shakespeare performances. One was The Merchant of Venice and the other was A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


  25. Friday, July 3, 2009 10:30 am

    Kaye, I have a casting story for you. I was at a family reunion last weekend, a dinner at a restaurant. The head waiter was an attractive Irish man, probably 15 years older than me, and was an almost perfect template for the hero in my WIP (set in historical Ireland). I kept staring at him all night, every time he came near our table, trying to picture him with longer hair, trying to see what color his eyes were, etc. But he kept catching my eye – he must have felt me scrutinizing him! At the end of the evening, as we were leaving, he made a special point to talk to me, thank us for coming, etc. I was mortified…he must have thought I was flirting with him the whole time! How do you explain THAT – “Oh, I was just staring at you because you look like the main character in my novel…” I didn’t say anything, just slunk off embarrassed.


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