Friday, April 9, 2010

Cowboys Don’t Do Romance Photos

Oh, those sexier-than-all-get-out cowboys are out there and starring in many of our romance novels, these days. Our very own Celia Yeary has authored TEXAS BLUE, SHOWDOWN AT SOUTH FORK and ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS. My author friend, Gem Sivad, pens western erotic romances that are realistic and gritty, but where love triumphs over all.

Western romance has exploded onto the scene. Like a huge cyclone racing and churning over the prairie, there’s no stopping these hero-driven stories. Yep, a lot of readers want them. And, I’m in their camp. I was raised on all the great TV westerns and cut my teeth on Gene Autry and his famous horse, Champion.

However, I have a question: Where Are the Romance Novel Cowboys? Their photos, I mean. I addressed this question on my personal bloggie,
Kougar Kisses, and I thought I’d share and expand on my experience here. Plus, I got a little crazy over it all, as I am wont to do, so beware, strange flights of x-fantasy ahead.

I spent most of Wednesday searching out those *not to be found* cowboy photos, only to end up spinning my eyeballs and draining my brain. As an author, I find I am in desperate need. Yes, this little lady is desperate for cowboys to star on the cover of her next release.

However, as I discovered, evidently, cowboys don’t do romance photos. At least, if they do, they don’t make them available on the royalty free sites. I found out this sad truth after my cover artist,
Amanda Kelsey, told me there were no Stetson-wearing men awaiting their chance to be featured on my cover. Dang! Dang it all.

So, of course, I went spanning the Google globe and the Bing globe... nope, not really much of anything usable. Great pics, but zero, zip, zippo...nada. So, my next two moves...

First, I contacted Gem Sivad because she has a photo stable of the most studly cowboys. She hires them on whenever they meet her rigorous romance-author standards. Gem took pity on my plight and sent a selection of Jimmy Thomas photos from his biz sight ~ Oh, yes! Do take my breath away like a Spring whirlwind...and were my fingers ever itching to write stories around some of those photos. Woooweee!

Okay, Jimmy is not wearing a Stetson in any of the pics, as I envisioned my cowboys would be, and I finally decided a change of plans for the cover was in order. The pics I chose as possibilities... well, we’ll see. That’s in the ‘goddess of cover art’ works.

My other move was to email the Cowboy’s Sweetheart artist, Deb Trotter ~ ~ Deb is a wonderful inspiration as an individual and as an artist. Check out her webbie place. Anyway, I thought she might know something the rest of us don’t. But, no. She’s lookin’ for those elusive gone-wild cowboy photos, herself.

So, where are you Stetson-wearing, rough-tough cowboys hiding? And, why hideout from us desperately seeking romance novelists? We, who adore you, sigh over you? And only want your images to sexily grace our covers.

There’s a market there, boys... if yer of a mind to sell photos of yourselves through the royalty free pictures sites. Give it some thought while yer out there ridin’ the range, eatin’ dust and listening to the bawling cattle.

What about all you ultra tough rodeo cowboys? How about giving us authors a break before you break something flyin’ off that longhorn bull? Before Tornado, the worstest and bestest bronco in the wild, wild west tosses you into the dust, an instant after your triumphant ride.

Or, if you’re holed up in the hole-in-the-wall...why not invite us to join you for a secret photo session? Yep, we’ll bring the whiskey and good times, and not the law. And? Maybe there’ll be a little hanky panky pantin’. Oh, and we promise...shhhh...we won’t reveal your location...wink, wink... unless, you want us tell our best girlfriends and other gal pal authors.

Good gosh, wouldn’t that be a fun erotic romance novel to pen... stalking the wild cowboy... infra-red trail cameras, lookin’ for boot tracks or horse hoof prints in the soft ground... maybe a stray hair or two caught in the brush... a lost sweat-stained Stetson... a frayed lariat. Bait, okay, let’s see... freshly brewing coffee wafting on the early morning winds... yep, sorta like the way some are searching for Big Foot... okay, maybe not. Still, our elusive cowboy could have big feet...if yer gettin’ my drift here... and this Big Cat cowboy-lover is definitely drifting toward the extra naughty in her always-wicked imaginings...meow-wowsa!

Wait! That’s my next title, my next inspiration ~ Stalking the Wild Cowboy. It’s mine all mine!!!!! Rawrrrrrr... scratch and claw... unless, someone has already laid claim and used it.... hmmmm....but, what an adventure. Famous woman photographer takes to the western wildlands of America to hunt down a reclusive cowboy for her next coffee table book. He’s rarely been sighted and he’s rumored to be almost every cowgirl’s perfect dream lover. Women lost in the back country have claimed an ecstatic unforgettable night of pleasure in his arms, only to be returned home with no idea who their rescuer is, or where they can find him again.

BTW, can you copyright a premise?


Happy Spring Reading!


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~


Savanna Kougar said...

Cowboys, feel free to comment.

Serena Shay said...

Oooh, that my dear is one story that neeeeeeds to be written!

And yes, where are those sexy cowboys and how do we entice them to pose? ;)

Savanna Kougar said...

That could be the wild and woolly fun part, enticing our hunky cowboys to pose.

Linda Banche said...

Savanna, where do you find these pictures? We could all use a few more of them.

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, cowboy pics? I've been rounding them up whenever I come across them...
And, if you want to see a lineup of sexy cowboys, check out Gem's blog ~ ~ Last I looked she still had her Blog tour ranch hands on display.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Savanna - I'm amazed with the heritage of the USA that cowboy pics are such a derth. Free cowboy pics.

Savanna Kougar said...

Lindsay, I think the trick is photos that are royalty free and are of cowboys who fit the bill as heroes on a romance novel.
The royalty free sites are behind the times, or the market.
If you've noticed the western line Siren has out is computer generated images, not actual photos.

Celia Yeary said...

Whoa, Savanna!! You know what I was doing? Chekcing out blogs on my Dashboard trying to find one with three columns so I could ask--"where did you get that?" And--my eyes popped! That photo. Then I saw my name and my books. What a pleasant, wonderful surprise. Thank you! And now that I'm here, I absolutely know there are cowboys for covers somewhere--maybe they're all custom made, but check out all of Linda Lael Miller's McKettrick series and more of hers. Real guys, but she probalby wouldn't be getting these off the same place you and I look for pics. Try Goggling "Rodeo photos" and see what you get. Good luck--and I'm still looking for a three-column blogspot template. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Please forgive my typos--I have a chore to do and little time to do it, so I'm rushing through everything. Celia

Savanna Kougar said...

Celia, good idea about the rodeo pics. If those good lookers would allow their photo to be used for romance... ?
No, Linda Lael's publishers wouldn't use the same sites. At least, that I know about. In the past they've done their own photo shoots, or paid an artist who paints that kind of cover. Usually, way too expensive for us little folk.
Now, with the economy, the big publishers may change or may be changing... I don't know. I haven't done any research on it.

Isn't there a basic 3 column on blogger or are you on wordpress?

Celia Yeary said...

SAVANNA--I don't see a basic 3-column template on Blogger. They're all some variation of two columns. But I've seen at least one 3-column blogspot, and I want that one. Can't find it though, even when I Google "Free 3-column blogger templates." I'll research it later, when I have more time. When I begin looking for something particular, I'll stare at the computer screen half a day, knowing that on the next click I will find the exact thing I'm looking for. I hate when I do that. Celia

Deb said...

Yee Ha! And OMG! Too bad you can't use the pic you posted here. Every woman in the good ole USA would buy it! :)
Would that some of the vintage photos of cowboys I have, showed even one of them without his shirt on! Sigh~
Keep up the search, my cowboy-loving friend, & I shall do the same.

Savanna Kougar said...

Yeehaw! Deb, yeah, if only I could use this excellent speciman of cowboy manhood.
We'll both keep up the diligent search! Those cowboys can't stay hidden forever... lol...

Savanna Kougar said...

Celia, I know what you mean. Sometimes, I get into the obsessive search mode... hate it!

Check out Serena Shay's blog. She just changed the format to three column...

SilverWolf said...

I loved the picture of the cowboy you have, but that's not what real cowboys look like, at least the washboard abs. I grew up in a little country town and a lot of my friends were cowboys, they do wear the hats, and they are usually tall and slender, no extra fat because they work it off beleive me. That and the fact they don't have time to stop for a picture is probably why you can't find any. Your next book idea is correct for how you will have to get any pictures as they won't think it's worth their while to stop work and have their picture taken. But, it sure makes for great action shots, and they sure do have some moves.

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi SilverWolf, you're right. That's a fantasy hunk pic.

My cover artist did find one shot of the cowboy type like you're talking about, hat included.

Now, that would be fun. Stalking the wild cowboy with camera in hand. Yep, if you're a real cowboy then you're too busy and probably tired after a long day.