Nov 082017

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

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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!
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  64 Responses to “Guest Post + Giveaway with Author Victoria Kincaid!!!”


    We readers don’t appreciate (I am sure) all that extra work on top of writing the stories. I do like the man you selected to grace your book cover…and I enjoyed the story. Thanks for sharing.


    Great choice Victoria, he is perfect for Darcy the President. ❤️


    It was fascinating to read about the search for a cover model! The final result is fabulous! We would all vote for President Darcy, right?


    Thanks for sharing the process of finding your Mr Darcy. How surprising that it was more difficult finding a modern Mr Darcy than a Regency one. I agree with your critiques regarding the ones you were sent. You made an excellent choice as at first glance you wouldn’t think he would work with his blond hair but using photoshop to darken it was a great idea.


    I share your angst at getting the right Darcy for the cover. Have had my designer darken many a “Lizzys” hair but never a Darcy. 🙂 I read a preview and it made me laugh. Got hooked! Congrats on a different perspective on our dear couple!


    Congratulations! What a wonderful and unique books which is so appealing.


    That was really interesting! Glad you two could refine and mold the right guy. (Perhaps you could do the same for real life?)

    I would be thrilled to win a paperback. Thanks ever so much for the opportunity. Cheers to your success!


    President Darcy has my vote!


    I really like your final choice (although the playboy was rather appealing! ). It amazes me how much work is involved in publishing a book. I would find writing one hard enough but as for the rest? No I would definitely fail at that.
    I so look forward to reading this book.


      Hi Glynis, It is a lot of work, but I really enjoy it. Even the cover process isn’t all difficult — looking at hundreds of gorgeous guys in suits. There are worse ways to spend my time. 🙂


      I agree, Glynis! He would have been a nice choice too – but not exactly Darcy-like.

      And lol, Victoria! I guess the hours spent designing the cover aren’t too painful! 😉


    Yay! Another chance to win! Thanks! I totally agree with the final cover, the dark Darcy is way more handsome than the blonde 🙂


    What a lovely post, Victoria, and oh my, what a selection of Presidents! I’m with Glynis on that one, cool final choice but the playboy wasn’t bad either :))

    Best of luck with the new release, I heard absolutely wonderful things about it!!


    I haven’t read a modern variation for a while. You nailed the look, so of course you’ll have nailed the story! Looking forward to it.


    I have to agree!! The final one is my favourite too. The scowling one was also very Darcy-esque, in my opinion. Would love to win this book. Thanks for the giveaway


    I never realized how difficult designing a cover can be, but I do love the cover of President Darcy. You picked the right photo and then photoshop did its magic. Hopefully he will run in three years, and he has my vote! Thank you for the giveaway.


    Yes, definitely the final one works. A blond Darcy–nevah!! 😀

    Thank you for sharing your Darcy cover woes, Victoria. I love your books, and your covers are always so professional yet warm and inviting!!

    Definitely crossing my fingers to win a copy of President Darcy!! 😀 He doesn’t fit in my book budget, so this is my big chance!! Vote Darcy!! 😀

    Susanne 🙂


    Wow, what a job trying to find the right Mr. Darcy. And those poor guys don’t understand their being rejected has nothing to do with anything other than… they are simply not Mr. Darcy. I loved that older guy. He could be the elder Mr. Darcy or even head of security. Man… he looked a bit dangerous.I thought of him for our dear Colonel but he may not fit that either. Oh, well. I certainly appreciate your struggles in wanting to pick the ‘just right’ Mr. Darcy. I think you succeeded. I agree with your choice… especially since Collin Firth is no longer available… Dang!


      Hi JW, I’d totally use Colin Firth if I wouldn’t get sued for using his image without permission. 🙂 I liked the older guy too, but Pres. Darcy is supposed to be 37, so he didn’t work.


    You chose the right one, definitely! Cover looks great! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


    I haven’t been this excited about a JAFF story in a long time. I’d LOVE to win it! The excerpt I read on another blog was just FANTASTIC!

    And yes, readers would never dream how long it takes to find the right cover model!! If you find the right guy, he can have the wrong expression, or be looking in the wrong direction. Thank goodness photoshop can change hair color and put a head on the body of another man’s clothes!


    Glad I didn’t have the job of choosing the Darcy model. I’d still be looking for a look alike for my favorite Darcy!


    Great choice and the wonder of photoshop…amazing! I would agree with Jeanne, the older guy certainly appealed to me too! A hint of a little danger there! Looking forward to reading this one!


    A job well done because the guy on the cover is delicious.


    Wonderful choice! What a hard decision! Looking forward to reading! Congratulations!


    I know what you mean about seeing some version of a young Colin Firth in your head. When I read JAFF, that’s what I usually see Darcy like, too. However, there are some stories, especially ones that take place in high school or college, where I see a young Chris O’Donnell! It definitely isn’t intentional – he just pops in there.


    I love author ‘behind the scenes’ pieces, and so this was another way to appreciate what it takes for an author to get the final product out. Ooo, I’m sure we all know exactly what you meant when you referred to the offerings for Regency models. The sad thing is that obviously many authors are somehow forced to accept a non-authentic cover model. ‘Prom dress’….I almost laughed out loud.

    I also read a cute excerpt. Your book is getting so many great reviews, congrats and best of luck.

    Pass me by for the giveaway this time, but good luck to all of the rest of my co-commenters. I’m just swamped right up to my receding hairline with moving right now.


      I agree, Michelle! Learning about what it takes to put a story together is always fascinating! Especially when the path is curvy and unpredictable.

      Good luck with your move, Michelle! Hope all goes well!


    I like the final cover. It is interesting how that makes such a difference.


    Hi Victoria!
    Good choice! The guy of your cover fits in Mr Darcy’s character: smart, handsome and proud. The dark hair put the finishing touches! . I also want to vote for Mr Darcy although I live in Spain LOL .
    Thanks for showing us the process of making a cover design and its difficulties. ..I think it was easier!
    Thanks for the giveaway and good luck in the release!


    Darcy is always my favorite guy & this president sounds so wonderful he for sure gets my vote. Also his looks are pretty good so, love how the cover turned out!


    Wow what a process. I have this image of what Mr. DARCY looks like in my head and yet I have never come across any photos that fit. I am no artist so sketching is not an option. I like your choice for the modern Darcy. I think your premise is very interesting. I look forward to reading it.


    I think your cover guy looks better than the original. Best Wishes with your publication and I look forward to reading your story.


    Your cover is perfect! I love your books!!!


    Love the cover!! And thank you for suffering through the ordeal of having to comb through lots of photos of good looking men to find the right one! ;_)


    I loved reading about your search for the perfect modern Darcy as POTUS! It’s so weird to see the original was blond… I definitely like how the cover came out and must agree that the others were too young/old looking.


    How fantastic to be able to create your own Darcy picture. He seems rather, well, perfect. Just like I imagine him to be. Would love to read this book & find out more about Mr President.


    Who knew that picking the perfect Darcy for the cover would have so many choices?! Very cool.


    I love it when authors share the story behind the cover selection. I think you chose the perfect Darcy. (Though I also picture Colin Firth in my mind every time I read P&P or a variation.) I’m looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the chance to win!


    Much needs to go into a book, so not only the work of writing which I always admire but coming up with the right cover – which in a book browsing situation is often the first thing to grab one’s attention. So you definitely have quite a job to do. Anyway, the man you chose for your cover works well for me.As I read the words of the book, most often the image that emerges in my mind is the book cover Darcy as the story is the authors and so must be their visual version of Darcy as well. I am glad you nixed some of the others as I agree they seemed like they were too young. Not only too young for the job but to have all life experiences and emotions to deal with what I assume is to come with dealing with Elizabeth. I look forward to reading the book. Thanks for the opportunity to win a book of yours. : )


    You had me at the title! Thanks for sharing your search for the perfect Darcy to grace the cover ~ you found him! I’m looking forward to reading this book ~ the premise is delightful. Thanks for the opportunity to win it.


    I make graphics since I was 8 years old. Recently I have began to make book covers and I can understand what you say. It is difficult to find the perfect picture that matches what the author has in mind! I think your graphic made a good job!

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