My first passion is photography. I have made a living of being a photographer for several years now, hold two degrees, and countless awards for the same. So after writing my book I started wondering what they would do for the cover and it made me a bit annoyed. I wanted to do it. I didn’t want to give up creative control of part of my project particularly to someone else who does what I do.

I started designing covers and considering different ideas for the shoot, then I started thinking even more broad. With digital readers becoming so prevalent and publishing houses charging the same or more for eBooks than trade novels and hardbacks I thought how great it would be to work within the medium. Printing images is expensive, but adding images to an eBook isn’t anymore difficult than adding pages, if you have the images. So why on earth wouldn’t I illustrate parts of my book? Add visual representations throughout, instead of just on the cover. After all, it is what I do.

So I started casting and drawing up storyboards and planning the images, hunting down the right breed of horse, finding the right costumes for the period (and knowing when to take them off!) So far, with my art director, we have finished two of the shoots for the novel. Both solo shoots with the hero, Roxleigh, in studio. It was so much fun I can’t wait to finish the next book and start shooting it.

For me a project that starts coming together is the most exciting thing in the world, and right now I am obsessed with this book. I found the horses —a specific breed that isn’t prevalent in the U.S.— and have plans to shoot with them this spring, and since the book is set in the spring/summer I look forward to a couple outdoor shoots to finish off the novel.

Until then, I’ll give you a little preview of one of the images from the shoot, this won’t make it into the book because it isn’t very telling, it is also a little too far on the side of objectification of form to be comfortable, what with being a headless, faceless body. What it is, however, is sexy as all get out. Well, if you like naked men and water, always have to add water. Water makes everything better.

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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