The oddest, most random things can inspire a story. In the case of my upcoming release, Go Deep, the spark came from a rejected cover for an earlier book. The cover was absolutely stunning, but wrong for the book—it suggested BDSM, which would have been misleading. We went with a different, equally stunning cover, but the first one kept haunting me. It was based on a striking black and white photo of a woman, her hands cuffed behind her back, a collar fastened around her neck. I’ve actually seen the photo used for other covers, which doesn’t surprise me.
A well-done photograph can be so powerful. It draws you into another world and makes you wonder. What’s going on in this scene? What’s going to happen next? Who are these people and how did they come to be here? What’s it like to be them?
I love the photo of this couple because it feels so intimate. But a more “posed” photo can be fun too.
Photographs don’t have to be graphic to pull you in. Some are more about the mood the artist creates with lighting and exposure and little details such as how she’s resting her head on the wall.
I’ve seen so many photos that I wished had a story attached because I wanted to know more. If only all great photographs were actually book covers! If only you could open them up and read about what happened before that frozen moment and after it.
Maybe that’s why my almost-cover photo popped into my mind when I wanted to write about a married couple hiding their true sexual desires from each other. What if the wife came across a photo that haunted her, and the husband saw her reaction? What if that provided the vehicle for them to start really talking to each other and sharing their most intimate needs and desires…
Of course, I had to change the photo to suit my characters. I added a man, then a second one. I changed a few other little details. But the mood of the photo—mysterious, erotic—stayed with me and the story reflects it. Amazingly, the cover artist, Dar Albert, captured a similar mood in her cover—with no prompting from me.
Go Deep is coming out September 7 from Ellora’s Cave. Here’s the final cover and the blurb. You can read an excerpt here.
In honor of my Go Deep release, I’m offering a $5 Amazon gift certificate.
All you have to do is tell me which of the above photos is your favorite!
A standalone sequel to Go Wild.
Beth is the shy, dreamy type. No one guesses at the wild sexual thoughts she hides behind that quiet façade. She doesn’t even share her secret longings with her husband.
Gavin loves his wife, but he’s tired of living in a marriage in which neither he nor Beth reveal their true desires. When Gavin sees Beth’s response to an erotic bondage photo in her framing shop, he jumps at the opportunity to break through her barriers.
He accepts an invitation to a showcase match for the amateur hockey team he coaches during Wild Nights, the infamous winter festival during which “anything goes, nothing counts.” But he’s opened a sensual Pandora’s box—Beth has some surprises of her own. When she meets Eagle, a free-spirited Wild resident, she knows he’s the perfect man to help enact her erotic fantasies. And once they go deep, there’s no going back.