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14 October 2009 @ 10:30 pm
*laughs out loud*  

Discussing cover art for an upcoming book, I asked my editor, “Oooh, ooh, can she have a head?”

The response: “We don’t promise to give her a head. The model for the photo shoot will have a head, but we may decapitate her. Logic being that readers can identify better with women they can kinda sorta imagine themselves to look like, at least on their best day, back in high school, while wearing an unnoticeable all-body girdle and just having come from the best hairdresser and colorist in town. Yeah.”

To which I said, “I believe women also identify with women who have heads… :)” and my editor said, “Perhaps she has just decapitated herself and that’s what we’re showing on the cover.”

*laughs and laughs and laughs*

(N.B. I’d rather this didn’t turn into any kind of slamming on cover art. My editors/marketing people/art departments have really genuinely been extremely responsive when I’ve made cover art suggestions, and since they are in no way required to listen to me, this is highly awesome of them. I’ve made my case for the cover image having a head, if they decide otherwise, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. It’s the current popular style in marketing’s mind, and that means it’s the current popular style on the shelves. So be it.)

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: happyhappy
Laura Anne Gilman: trouble?  moi?suricattus on October 14th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
I'm just glad I managed to talk Pocket out of putting Jerzy in a pair of low-slung leather trou on the cover of Flesh and Fire. Bad enough he has a tramp stamp.

Jim C. Hines: Mermaidjimhines on October 14th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
To which I said, “I believe women also identify with women who have heads… :)”

Thank you for the best line I've read all day!
pgwfolcpgwfolc on October 14th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
That'll teach you. Next time, write a book about Ichabod Crane's long-lost soulmate.
Denysedenyse on October 14th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
That's hilarious.
mela_lyn: Chicks Dig Geeksmela_lyn on October 14th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
At least your editor has a good sense of humor. :)
kitmizkit on October 15th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
My editor is *awesome*. :)
irishkateirishkate on October 14th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
thank you.
mayakdamayakda on October 14th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you for putting in a good word for capitated women.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on October 14th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
“Oooh, ooh, can she have a head?”

"No, it's cleavage again. Sorry."
UrsulaVursulav on October 15th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
I am afraid that I shamelessly mock my buddy Deb's covers, because in order to make the Sabrina Jeffries name take up a third of the cover, they have to make the female figure have a ribcage that goes on for about three feet. I know all about the expediencies of cover art, I've BEEN a cover artist, but this I cannot forgive...
Axisor: Krosp Innocentaxisor on October 15th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
My cats would like to file their objections with you for disrupting their naps so badly with the laughing fit you induced in their favorite pillow
Evil Headdrivingblind on October 15th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
I was expecting this conversation to turn into a dirty joke, I admit.

Still funny, tho. :)
annathepiper on October 15th, 2009 04:35 am (UTC)

Yes, count me as one of the women who identify with women WHO HAVE HEADS. :)
spiffikins: alienspiffikins on October 15th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)
you are made of win - best thing I've read all day!
Gideon Hallettgmh on October 15th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
*looks at Ballantine edition of The Queen's Bastard and grins*

- presumably, that was an intermediate stage, when the cover designers decided that the lower face was OK?

I can just see it several years down the line...

'It's a toe.'

'Yes, but it's one of the nicest toes anyone has ever seen!'
kit: inheritorscyclemizkit on October 15th, 2009 09:32 am (UTC)
Half a head appears to be acceptable in terms of "women can imagine they are this person". Apparently it's the eyes and brain part of the head that are dangerous. :)
mayakdamayakda on October 15th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
kitmizkit on October 15th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
oh dear. o.O
Rovandarovanda on October 15th, 2009 11:28 am (UTC)
Wow... I hadn't noticed that trend before. I was reading through the post thinking you were originally asking for her to be carrying a disembodied head, and that the editor was just joking around...
sammywolsammywol on October 15th, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)
It might be fun if they interpret the request that way. Beware of what you ask for!
sammywolsammywol on October 15th, 2009 11:59 am (UTC)
I gather heads are very unfashionable right now, or at least faces are. sighs! Still, lots of points for trying!
pgwfolcpgwfolc on October 15th, 2009 01:12 pm (UTC)
Incidentally... I'm male. And I read your books. And I have to say that, strange as it may sound, I find women with heads to be more interesting and attractive.

I know, I know. I'm a traitor to my sex. We're supposed to like sexy bodies with no brains. But... I'm not afraid to be different. And, really, I don't think those guys are buying too many books, anyway.
kitmizkit on October 15th, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
*laughs* The truth is, a lot of guys read my books, and I suspect practically all of them really prefer women with heads. :)In fact, I'd be pretty willing to put down money that you're right, the sort who prefer women without heads--or at least sexy bodies with no brains--are probably not buying books at all... :)
(Deleted comment)
kit: ironman_wtfmizkit on October 15th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
apparently that model (who in real life says she's 5'10" and 120 pounds) GOT FIRED for being too fat. W. T. F.