Missing Photographs

Last Sunday, I returned the art fact sheet for my book to the publisher. This is the information Carina Press will use to come up with a cover, among other things.  (Yes, digital books DO have covers, smartypants. In fact, Carina Press covers are beautiful, and I suggest that you go look at them sometime.)

Anyway, when I was working on HOLD ME, I had photographs I thought pretty much nailed the looks or attitude of some of the characters, including the lead characters – Luc and Katie. They weren’t exact, but they were close. And so when I thought about celebrating the return of the art fact sheet, I thought it would be fitting to share these photographs with you.

Then I went into my computer and realized I had deleted them.

All of them.

I spent a lot of time trying to find them again. I was not successful.

At first, this upset me. It would be nice to have photographs showing different aspects of the characters I’ve come to know and love. On the other hand, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was a good thing too.

A photograph, after all, is static. Everyone looking at a photograph will see basically the same thing. But if I tell you that Luc is tough and built and has dark hair and brown eyes, all of you will see something different in your mind’s eye. Some of you will see Antonio Bandaras. Some of you will see Al Pacino. Some of you will see the accountant down the hall. Or your brother. Or no one you even know. But all of you will see someone who is tough and built and has dark hair and brown eyes.

And I think that’s the beauty of reading, don’t you? We all can see things basically the same way, and yet totally differently. In the end, it doesn’t matter exactly who I saw when I wrote Luc and Katie. What matters is who you see when you read about them. That you see Luc’s brown eyes and Katie’s wild red hair, yes, but that you see them in your mind. That you know them. That you can identify them.

With all of that magic happening, why would I try to tie either of us down by making us stick with a photograph?


  1. One of the most difficult question I am ever asked is, “If your book was made into a movie, what actor/actress would play your characters?”

    I can’t answer that question….ever. Other people might answer for me. People have told me that Brett Murphy looks like Hugh Jackman. But that’s not who I see in my head.

    • Betsy Horvath says

      I know – I just can’t answer “which actor would play….” because any particular actor doesn’t fit everything I know about a particular character. I guess that’s because I see the characters as people, and if I try to fit an actor into them, they aren’t their own people anymore.

      I never saw Brett as anybody but Brett. I didn’t really see Hugh (but that could be because I tend to picture Wolverine when I think of Hugh – LOL) I tend to not see any specific actor when I read, even when a one-to-one comparison is made by the author in the book.

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