So I’m working on a story about a bookstore owner and a trans writer who is to give a reading and book signing. While a hurricane is building. The key is that the hurricane hits, they are trapped in the bookstore together, and romance/lust/sex ensues.
The problem is this: the main character changed before my very eyes! When I started the story the owner was a youngish lesbian who is struggling to make a success of a bookstore dedicated to feminist literature in a small Florida town. The first image is what I worked from. The trans is an ex-marine who has written a book on the politics of transgenderism. The trans is fine. The owner has grown into, still young, but to reflect rebellious youth of today, is tattooed and pierced. As I wrote I had to explain how she became a feminist, disagreements with parents, rebelled, tattoos, then piercings, then announcing her lesbianism. She grew right out of my fingers!
First problem: I have nothing tattooed or pierced so I have no point of reference.
Second problem: I do a cover right after I get a book idea. I like to have some form of cover for inspiration. I refer to it as I write and so can add little details in the story itself. I also download a bunch of pictures — usually from Pinterest — of things, buildings, weather, whatever will aid me in writing realistic details.
Third problem: finding a new main character photo to replace the first. (I don’t use any Pinterest picture for covers… all rights reserved. Don’t wanna get sued.) Try doing a search on DeviatArt or another photo site of “sexy tattooed bookstore owner” or “sexy tattooed librarian”. Pickings are slim. And too many tend to be buck naked. Amazon unacceptable.
I finally ended up with just some general photos of “sexy tattooed girl”. I really preferred the first non-inked photo. Very sexy and eye-catching. Which is exactly what you want if you’re selling erotica. You only have seconds to catch some browser’s eyes. If it doesn’t grab you immediately, you’ll just browse on.
So the last picture to my right will probably be the new cover. Eh… it’ll do. It grabs you, doesn’t it? By the way, I had to do a lot of research on piercings. Ohmigod! From what I read, it can really enhance sexual feelings! I thought it was just decorative, but apparently they serve a purpose. Not for me, but man. One testimonial was of a woman who got a piercing on her clitoris. Now whenever she takes a shower and she washes her hoo-haw she might have an orgasm! I would be exhausted.