Readers have asked me about Tate and what she looks like. I’m actually excited to answer these questions since I really don’t go into detail about what she looks like. Of course, in the book I give details here and there about Tate’s skin tone. Here is where you get a glimpse of Tate through a description of Zoe:
[Zoe] had the most beautiful skin that was a rich almond color like my dad, blemish free and only a few shades darker than mine.”
But I haven’t talked about the fact that Tate is bi-racial outright in the book or the description. I use the term “light brown skin” quite often in book in relation to Tate, but that particular color can be perceived in many ways to every reader. I could have used food and colorful metaphors, but those drive me crazy and I use them sparingly–which can lead the reader to wonder what my cast looks like.
To me, a diverse cast is important. I do want my readers to enjoy books with people of color and hope more readers take a chance to enjoy them. 🙂 In case you’re curious, here are the celebrities who best fit what Tate and the other characters look like in my mind.
Actress/Model Rachel Meghan Markle
Every time I look at Meghan, who is an actress on the show Suits, she makes me think of Tate. There’s something about her smile that is warm and she has inner strength which works well. She has an African-American mother and a father of Irish and Dutch descent.
I tried to see myself through their eyes. They would see the same light brown skin tone and the same brown eyes. But, with the General in control, they would see a black emptiness that had no end to its depths.
Actor Jay Ryan
Okay, just take one look. That was about all I needed and I was like, dude you are gorgeous. You could totally be a Master of Blades. Ha!
It was the young man beside him with rich reddish-brown hair. The one who’d attacked me while I’d been sleeping. Instead of looking at the far wall, he stared at me with dark green eyes, his hand resting on his knife’s sheath.
Actor Michael Ealy
Okay, first of all, who is still mad that Almost Human was cancelled? I’m not bitter at all. Back to the subject at hand. I adore Michael Ealy. He has the cutest smile. And those cheekbones. Ummm, I could keep going but this guy is perfect for the role of Tate’s father.
Actress Naomi Watts
There is just something special about her. Her smile is so reassuring, and yet, there is a strength to many of the roles she has played.
Zoe – Tate’s Cousin
Actress Jurnee Smollett
Jurnee is perfect for Zoe. Have you seen her in Eve’s Bayou? Such a talented actress. And that smile of hers is so beautiful.
Actress Dame Judy Dench
This is one of my favorite characters to hate in the book. Ha. Rebecca is so easy to hate, but she has a commanding presence. Dame Judy Dench is the same way. She loves the control and considers General Dagon to be the epitome of control. I also think Helen Mirren could’ve fit, too.
…one had a stern face, framed with golden hair and gray streaks. Her beak-like nose jutted out over thin lips. If she hadn’t looked so bitter, I might’ve called her beautiful.
Actor Doug Bradley
I’m a horror movie fan and I love Hellraiser. There is a particular scene where you see Pinhead before he became the nightmare from the hell. Its the face of that man that clung to me and that’s actually who I see when I think of the General.
I couldn’t look away from his piercing black eyes, the obnoxious smile on his face.
And now for my next goodie! Check out the full cover flap for UNDER MY SKIN. Click on the image to see a larger copy. Isn’t the cover beautiful? I spent a long time with the cover designer to find the right model. It was SO HARD to find stock images with a model with the intensity and strength in the pose who could come as close as possible to what Tate looked like. Many models were smiling–and not that there isn’t anything wrong with smiling–but I needed something more. I wanted my readers to see what Tate would look like with General Dagon in control. The red lips. The red dress. That is all something he would make her wear. As much as I’d love to spend a few grand on a custom photo shoot (which I don’t have unlike NY publishers), I had to settle for what could be found through stock image websites.
To the readers/reviewers who have stated that romance isn’t a major plot point and the cover/description leans toward romance and a female-based market, yes, I’ve heard you and I have plans to update the cover so that it will appeal to a wider audience. This will take time though for my cover artist.