Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Cover


When I finished this book and was ready to publish it, I had to come up with a cover. I was really stuck for what would be a good cover and delayed publishing the book because I just couldn't come up with anything that seemed appropriate and appealling.

Then I noticed that most of the new book covers were photographs. Tom and I had tons of old and new photos. His hobby was photography before he ever became an actor. And he'd worked in photo developing labs in Chicago.

I was a model, so I had about a trillion shots myself. We also did pictures of each other for publicity purposes. But did we have a shot that would make a great cover for a time travel book about Old Hollywood?  A shot that was evocative of the mystery of time and love, that was styled in a way that suggested the Thirties, and that captured the spirit of the heroine/narrator? I doubted it.


Then I found an ancient shot of myself, what we called in the modelling business a testing shot, where the model supplies the clothes, hair and make-up, and works with the photographer to do a shot that will help both their careers.

For this testing session, I had brought along the black, thirties style dress, the silver belt, and the head wrap. The dress was a favorite of mine, bought in Greenwich Village from a woman designer who owned a shop and made the clothes herself. I bought several incredible pieces from her and still actually have this spectacular dress, which everyone always admired.


When I saw this photo, I felt like I must have been time travelling when I posed for it, because it's perfect for the cover, even down to the cigarette in my hand. It's almost like some day I knew I'd write this book, and so I posed for the cover.

But perhaps it's not so surprising. When I look at my old self, the world weary pose, the look on my face of someone who'd love to believe in love, but doesn't even dare dream of it. And though I think Tom took this picture, it would take him years to wipe the bored cynic off my face and out of my heart. But he did, and I was so lucky.


The men are all Tom, in various outfits for various roles. Tom in his tux is one of my favorite pictures of him and still sits on my bedroom bureau. It seems to me to capture the essence of Tom, his elegance, his mischievous sense of humor, his steely resolve, which never interfered with his charm. There may be other men as charming as Tom was, but I can't imagine anyone better at casting such a spell of happiness and delight over any group of people like he did, no matter where he was or what was happening. Even when he was very ill with cancer, he could always make the nurses and doctors smile and laugh.