by Sarah Mayberry
When I filled out the art sheet for my November release, All They Need, I knew I was tempting the book cover gods when I described my heroine as having long dark curly hair. The Harlequin art department are magical wizards are far as I am concerned. They produce an enormous amount of beautiful cover art every month, and I am continually amazed by the lovely covers they give me for my books. Somehow they always manage to capture the essence of the story, be it in the smile the heroine and hero are exchanging or the attitude of their body language or in some other way. (A side note: I am particularly fond of the red umbrella they gave my hero and heroine in The Best Laid Plans).
The thing with curly hair, though, is that it's rare. Certainly it's rare amongst models, from what I see in various magazines. So I knew I was stretching the friendship when I gave my heroine long curly hair. I knew it might be hard to cast. And yet I did it anyway, because I'd written the book already and I simply couldn't imagine my heroine any other way. She just wouldn't be Mel without her crazy hair.
Can I tell you how thrilled I was when I got the cover for this book? Mel has curly hair! Better yet, she's wearing the stripy long-sleeved T-shirt I described, as well as the red woolly socks. She and Flynn look so cosy and comfortable together they almost make me wish for winter and an open fire - almost!
In case you can't tell from my author photo, I have curly hair, too. For the first twenty-odd years of my life, it was the bane of my existence. Because it was so unmanageable, my mum kept my hair pretty short when I was growing up. I have since learned that short hair and curls - my curls, at least - are not a great combination. In fact, pretty much it's just a recipe for fuzz. When I was in primary (elementary) school, I used to sleep with a scarf on my head (like a pirate!) so that I when I woke up in the morning I'd have "straight" hair instead of said fuzz. In high school I used to go through a can of hairspray a week to achieve the new romantic spiky look that I rocked for the latter part of my teen years. It wasn't until I was eighteen that I had the brilliant idea to grow my hair. And lo and behold, with a bit of length came corkscrew curls instead of unmanageable fuzz and my difficult relationship with my hair became much more friendly.
I've learned a lot of things since those early sleeping-with-scarf days. I know not to wash my hair every day. I know to never, ever brush it. And if I do all those things and the stars are aligned, it's possible to pull off a good hair day.
How about you? I'd love to here about your bad hair days, your youthful mistakes, or any other hair related hi-jinks you care to share. I'm going to give away a copy of All They Need to a poster, so post away for a chance to win - and, of course, to be in the running for the fabulous Kindle we've got on offer.