Hello, dear readers! I am very excited to welcome back author Victoria Kincaid to Austenesque Reviews today! I must say I’m so glad Victoria keeps as busy as she does and has just released her new book President Darcy! How cool is it that Mr. Darcy is POTUS?!? He’d have my vote for sure! 😉 Victoria is here to share a little about finding the perfect Darcy for her cover!!
The Quest for the Perfect Darcy
Thank you for having me as a guest, Meredith! I’m thrilled to be here. However, I do have a confession to make: whenever I picture Mr. Darcy, I imagine some version of a young Colin Firth. It’s not a conscious choice; my subconscious mind simply sees Colin Firth as the ideal Mr. Darcy. Unfortunately, when it comes to creating covers for my novels, Colin Firth isn’t available to be a model. 😊 So I’m always seeking images that project that same combination of intelligence, gravitas, and sex appeal. And then I usually need to find that combination in a model who’s wearing period-appropriate clothing. It’s not easy. Many stock photographers don’t understand Regency clothing, so I’ve waded through pictures of Regency men with broadswords, “Regency” women who look like they’re wearing prom dresses, and Regency “heroes” who look more like Snidely Whiplash.
So when I wrote my first modern Pride and Prejudice variation, President Darcy, I thought my stock photography woes were finally over. All I needed was a good-looking guy in a suit in front of the White House. I didn’t need period appropriate clothing or weaponry. Maybe I would even be able to find an appropriate Elizabeth to include on the cover.
Little did I know how hard the quest for the perfect Darcy would turn out to be. The cover designer first sent me the guy below, who I felt looked too young and too much like a playboy.
Then she sent me this guy, who was definitely too old.
By this point I was beginning to feel a little like Goldilocks. Could I find the model who was “just right”?
My designer threw up her hands and suggested that I look for the right guy, so I spent literally hours combing through stock photo sites looking for my ideal President Darcy. What did I find? There are millions of pictures of guys in business suits, but most didn’t work. The guys were too old or too young. They had too much facial hair or hair that was too long. They were smiling too much or were in goofy poses. This wasn’t easier than finding a Regency Darcy. This was harder!
This guy had the right look, but he was scowling too much.
This guy was a little young, and what was he looking at?
I liked this guy’s expression, but he was blond and had scruff. I don’t have anything against scruff, but I hadn’t written it in to the story and wasn’t about to rewrite the novel.
But, by this point I was desperate, so I sent guy #3 to my designer and asked her to do a mock-up of the cover so I could see how he worked. I liked the result, but he was still blond and scruffy. So I asked her to darken his hair and remove the scruff. When the new cover arrived in my inbox, I held my breath, not sure if the result would be what I wanted. The designer had written in her accompanying email, “This one is my favorite.” When I opened the attachment, I had to agree. The changes worked. Thanks to the magic of Photoshop, President Darcy was born!
Thanks, Victoria! This was such an interesting post! I would have never expected that finding a modern Darcy would be more challenging than finding a Regency Darcy! You and your cover designer have a good eye! The blonde model doesn’t look the most Darcy-like at first, but with the darker hair it definitely works! 😉 Can’t wait to read President Darcy!!
Connect with Victoria
Today, Victoria brings with her ONE copy (paperback or ebook – winner’s choice!) of her newly released novel, President Darcy, for me to giveaway to ONE lucky winner!
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment, a question, or some love for Victoria!!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Victoria!
- This giveaway ends November 15th!