Yesterday, Nancy, our awesome agent called to discuss the upcoming cover shoot for SAPPHIRE FLAMES and the following conversation took place.
Me: No, we do want a guy! We absolutely want a hot guy. … No, the problem wasn’t that he was a guy, the problem was that he was naked and they processed him until he looked plastic. … No. Yes. He can’t be naked, he kills people. … A suit would be great. They can rip it up. … Maybe tactical gear? … No, we definitely don’t want to do a 2010. … Yes, but I don’t know if he can do it because that’s not his style. … Guns are great. Guns would be fantastic. … I just sent you one and we can do one just like that with guns and magical woo-woo in the background. … Not attached to Houston at all. We don’t care. … Yes. No. No leather mini skirt, no leather tube top, no studs, nothing cheap biker… Flowing gown would be great. … No, we don’t like any of those. That one looks too old. Also… No, Nancy, he has to be hotter.
Consensus reached, we hang up.
The dude who is hanging our enormous new doors: I don’t mean to pry, but what exactly do you do for a living?
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you get a reputation.
Anna L says
Obviously you run a brothel and an adult casting agency. Does that mean that the guy will be wearing a shirt finally? 🙂
Sexy assassin LOL
Tina M. says
I laughed and laughed, and I thank you for the laughing!
+1 I can’t stop laughing
More laughing. The bill you receive this week for cleaning monitors and keyboards across the world may be *ginormous*. 😉
But I can’t wait to see what the Sapphire Flames cover will look like since they’re asking for your feedback regarding the cover shoot.
+1 Me too!
+1!!! Too funny, I broke out laughing and my office mates all looked up from their computers and wanted to know why I was having so much fun. Thanks!! Can’t wait for the book now.
Diane D. says
I’m definitely giggling over here. Thanks!
Much prefer killers in ripped suits, thank you.
Looking forward to eventual cover reveal.
Chris T. says
+1 for ripped suits!
+1 big laughs and ripped suits. Ty I really needed that!
Ripper cusions? 🙂
Claire M says
Laughing so hard right now!!! Thank you for this!! ???
Yes – things overheard are exactly how you get a reputation. And the one you have from your adoring fans must be quite different from stray people who wander in, like this one.
Thanks for the laugh – It is only 22 degrees below the 32F freezing point, and I have just come into warm up! This helped!
I should have just said it is 10F, instead of trying to make people do math.
Ista in Sydney says
Can we swap places cos it’s going to be 45C aka 113F where I live today. And humid until it gets to about 40C. Not going home until it’s really late.
OMG is that normal?
Ange in Australia says
We’ve been having heatwaves here in Australia. Temperatures in summer are usually in the low 30s (100F+), but we’ve been having waves of around 40C for almost a week, broken by a few days around 30+C, then back up around 40C. It is not pleasant at all. And not normal, but seems to be becoming normal over the past few years, ifywim.
I’m a few hundred kilometres inland, south west of Ista in Sydney, so my heat is much drier. On a slightly positive note my laundry is drying in under an hour after I hang it out.
(Ista, I’m in Canberra.)
Sara T says
So glad we visited Australia in your winter! The weather was cool and very pleasant. Rained only a bit.
Ista in Sydney says
Yeah the previous 2 summers were the start of hellish ones. Statistically my end of town had one 40C or higher day each summer. Last year we had eight 44C (111F) or more (one was 47C). Previous summer ‘only’ four 44C days.
For me it’s the humidity thats the worst. Canberra can be baking though the dry is more tolerable for me at least.
Patricia Schlorke says
Sounds like what the US Southwest goes through in our summers. Texas has been known to hit over 100F with or without humidity. I always am very glad for air conditioning during our summers.
Today, north Texas is going to hit around 70F. Temperatures are going to drop drastically to mid 30sF tonight and into Saturday morning.
For a minute I thought you were eyeing up Door Dude as a possible cover model?. Need more coffee. Thank you for the morning chuckle!
i went w that thought process too – you wd “discover” a talent!
oh dear, so did I…. had to go back and reread! Now THAT is how you get a reputation 🙂
My first read as well – glad I wasn’t alone!
(…and kind of sad at the loss of hypothetical HotGuyHandyman…)
Gracie O'Neil says
LOL. Me too! Hot Handyman Assassin. What’s not to like?
Thanks, guys. ?
Karen the Griffmom says
Oh for crying out loud. I did the same thing. I was picturing the old Diet Coke commercial, but instead of a construction worker it was a guy hanging a door.
Best commercial ever.
At least you were asking for More coverage instead of LESS… that would have really sealed your new Rep.
I am just wondering who was suggested to wear the leather mini skirt; maybe Leon in disguise? Sounds like your male characters are heading in some interesting directions…
I assumed the miniskirt, tube top and gown referred to Catalina…it IS her book after all, although I’m glad Alessandro gets a spot too (and he’s not biker-y!)
That made me choke on my tea laughing! Love this so much hahaha XD
Mary Cruickshank-Peed says
My reply to that is nearly always “I’m an historian.” which is not what I do for a living, but is what my degrees say I CAN do for a living… if … you know… it actually paid anywhere near the same wage that 40 years of doing computer stuff does and didn’t just get me doing computer stuff for a lot less…
(Last time I was asked that was in line at Walmart, while I explained to the cashier how not to get her bank data hacked on the Walmart Wifi. She knew me, which is why she listened… the lady behind me, however, had no idea who I am 🙂
Could you share how not to get your data hacked by the Walmart wifi?
If it catches me by surprise, and I’m at all relaxed, I’m likely to try to answer literally, which sadly almost always starts with “Well, that’s a complicated question. Most recently my title has been Neurobiologist, but…” Which is generally more detail than they want… or at least than I really want to give if I haven’t decided not to be low profile? (If I’m in a mood I pull out whatever bit is most advantageous to me in that situation. It’s not like I don’t know how!)
I just reply that I do stuff. Lots and lots of stuff…
That sounds like it calls for the crufty UNIX person voice.
Thank you! Made my Day!
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer says
Oh thank you for the giggles.
Cheryl M says
? I’m in agreement, thank you for the chuckle. I love making those who come to the house guess at what we do. Making life interesting for all involved…
Liv W says
What she said…?
Go Team Andrews!
To be a fly on the wall couldn’t be any better than that! Looking forward to seeing the door installer on the next cover.
Thanks for the laugh! I am absolutely on board with the no nakedness, and no to the cheap biker skirts.
Lady Heather says
You just made my day! ???
Laughed out loud at work! Thank you!
The real cover cannot possibly be as much fun as the BDH will have imagining it.
(Leon in a mini skirt would be a blast, but is unlikely to :
A – Be part of the story
B – Make the cover
C – Be half as funny as the imagined expression of panic on the poor kid’s face
Never the less…)
Thank you for these tiny peeks into your lives.
“He can’t be naked, he kills people” is a great description. So…, Alessandro will kill people and wear a suit? ?
Finally a clothed hero. Poor Rogan had to wear a donated Hello Kitty shirt…
Sara T says
Can you imagine what Door Dude was thinking when he heard “He can’t be naked, he kills people”????
OMG that cracked me up!!! made me snort and the dog gave me a look…
You need a marine… like those ones that are doing sideways hanging pushups on a bar or walking upside down.
Lord love a duck.. yes indeed.. a Marine
Yes, but will the marine have a large *ahem* sword to swing around? A large gun should be fine as well
I didn’t realize how much I needed that laugh until you provided it. Thank you!
Jean Morgan says
Jean Morgan says
????. Love it.
Pat Sciarini says
Too funny! A few ripped up clothes, no biker stuff. This made my day just a bit more fun! Thank you
That really made me laugh – thank you so much ?
Joyce Wilke says
ROFL!!!!?????. Sounds like the conversations in my head!
Patricia Schlorke says
The joys of listening in on a phone conversation without using the speaker phone option. The guy who was hanging up the doors got not only an earful but possibly some wild thoughts going through his head. 😀
At least you didn’t say to him “What you heard is for Ilona’s Illicit Video Shoot.” 🙂
Thanks for the laugh!
Your poor door installer is probably thinking “Don’t make eye contact-don’t show fear-DON’T LET THEM GET BETWEEN YOU AND THE WAY OUT”.
What did I sign up for?????
How did “tassels” not come up in that phone conversation? O_O
Patricia Schlorke says
Priority one is getting a hot guy. Tassels are secondary. ??
And remember she said “not naked” so no naked = no tassels…. LOL
(Oh dear. Technically I’ve been trained to use such, though I can’t say I favor them.)
Do we want to know?
Of course we want to know.
Do we need to? No.
But at least a description of a “tactical tassel”, please. Pretty please. That’s not an exotic weapon I’ve heard of – and it sounds fascinating.
And how do you get “technically” trained to use them?
Oh, the YouTube videos I watched in search of the one I wanted (that doesn’t seem to be up) to illustrate this point.
Okay, I have mentioned previously that for the last good bit, my favorite sword has been the jian.* So, jians traditionally are used with tassels. There are a bunch of reasons why, and I’ll leave you to do your own reading**. But for my purposes, there are short, medium and long ones. Short ones have useful training purposes, are decorative, and theoretically can be used as a distraction (I’d prefer to remove one before an actual fight, but whatevs. It’s not like actual sword fights are a regular occurrence in my life!) Oh, and technically I train with a medium tassel, when I bother. ?♀️ Long tassels are a secondary weapon and traditionally included weights and wire and other nasty stuff (…or so they say). I couldn’t find the video I was looking for, but here’s a nice one:
Anyhow, I have trained with a medium tassel rather a lot (yeesh, I just hit twenty-two years in this particular art) but big deal. I have learned some long tassel techniques, but I don’t consider myself particularly adept, nor is it a huge interest, at least compared to many other weapons I’d like to learn/get better at.
* This is actually a super complicated question – especially since I mostly don’t think that way, and use what’s handy. Ahem.
** With the super helpful caveat that there is a lot of bullshit about martial arts out there. Have fun!
Ista in Sydney says
Are tactical tassels in camo sequins? Former amateur belly dancer brain is curious.
Very small grappling hooks at the ends of the bright red cords. One set moves clock wise, the other moves widdershins. First time I saw that move was about fifty-five years ago on the Reeperbahn.
LOL, you guys are the BEST.
Ista in Sydney says
When I wrote tactical tassels, I was thinking of something to match the hero’s clothing, and not of anything I had experience of… (though if the jian tassel did in fact historically derive from a lanyard so that you didn’t lose your weapon in battle, well, that I can see.)
Brilliant! Exactly the laugh I needed in the middle of a trying week. Thank you
Really excited to see it! This is a nice pick me up. Life has been a rough start to the year but this definitely a bright point.
Is it bad that as I read your phone conversation I imagined Edna from The Incredibles? “No, darling, hotter! What do you want my stories to wear? Peasant pants?”
And no capes!
hmm my question is – do we know yet what Alessandro does for living in his house – “he kills people” :-0 …
The Saggredi power isn’t a combat power, but it is house politics. Italian house politics, so combine the Medicis with Spaghetti Westerns and throw in some sword duelling.
Honestly, I’m surprised it wasn’t Allesandro wearing a modern version of a leggionnaire tunic when the leather miniskirt was mentioned. He does look like a gladiator.
Jocelyn Malone says
At least he asked and got an answer from you instead of going home and saying “Honey, I think I may have put in doors for people who sell hot pictures online” or something!
????? thanks I needed that. *still giggling*
Definitely no Ripper cushions!
Bill G says
Bwah-haha-ahaahaa! Love it.
So did you show Door Dude how Rogan’s cover photo was improved with a Hello Kitty shirt?
Helen W. says
OMG. I am laughing so hard. Yes I am.
I used to get some worried looks when I was still more active in the LARP community and organized some of those events.
Maybe because people could often overhear stuff like that when I was on the phone:
Me: “No, I’m almost done with the shopping. You think 20pounds of ground meat will be enough? … yea… oh, did you remember to get some new knives?… No, we need the good ones and add some throwing stars as well. … what? But we need that deamon for … oh, ok, … yes, the glowing stones would add a nice touch too. And get some more of that black face paint. … Hmmhmm… *giggle* yea, you can never have enough duct tape. Have fun with it… yea. See you later, bye.”
Bwahahahhaha you’re probably on some list 😡
Mouth zipped emoji, not the angry one ?
Yea might be…
We had that one series where the setting included a lot of soldiers (the army of an evil king) and we were constantly discussing troop movements and assassins and what would be the best way to kill the king…
That really made me laugh! Thank you for brightening my day!!
LOL! No service tech is safe.
Well, maybe some of them are safe.
Answer: “Oh dear. Did you just hear that? Stay here. I have to call my husband.”
Thanks for the laugh. Government employee not getting paid and trying to figure out how to pay the bills.
Been reading your books to cut the stress and it helps. Thanks for everything you all do.
Diana Pharaoh Francis says
Hi. I am so sorry for your current work situation. If you’d go to my website and email me through the contact page, I’d be happy to send you one or more kindle or epub versions of my books. http://www.dianapfrancis.com Just let me know what format you’d prefer.
Diane Drayson says
Irishmadchen, Diana has made you an offer too good to refuse. I love her books.
I just did. There are good people out there, like you all. Thank you to all of you. I just hope it ends soon as the stress is killer.
I was an essential federal employee for a dozen years. I don’t miss the shutdown BS at all. Way too many people don’t realize, and don’t care to know, what the government does for them every day of the year. Thank you for all your efforts.
They have no clue. My department emailed us last week and told us that if we don’t show up, we either have a Dr.’s note or we are held AWOL and possibly terminated. Yesterday they emailed us and told us not to talk to the media. That if a reporter wants to ask questions, refer them to the PR department.
Really sorry to hear this. It has gone on far past any of the shutdowns I experienced. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia has proposed a bill which would, in the event of a lapse in authorization, continue funding at the levels of the previous year, except for Congress and the office of the president, which would not get paid until an agreement is reached. I’m all in on that one.
Mike P. says
Diana Pharaoh Francis, If I hadn’t already bought your newest two books, Diamond City 3 and Everyday Disasters I’d go buy them just because of your offer to Irishmadchen.
Marian Bernstein says
I’m so sorry about your situation. I was out of work for a couple years, at age 50. Took forever to find something. Being unemployed is the pits.
I am the same, but since I am essential I am still working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
That was hilarious Ilona, thanks for the laugh.
Not even sure how to do this in this format but I’d love to send you a gift card for some groceries. I was a govt employee for years and get it.
Please, if you want to help gov workers – be careful about monetary gifts. It can put people in ethical quandaries. Instead donate to one of the many charities that is helping out with food, groceries, etc (they know how to help without generating a potential ethical conflict). Or volunteer at a local food bank. There is nothing worse than thinking you are getting help and then being told by the ethics board that you violated the terms of your employment.
This. Also, sending food is great too! My hubby and his coworkers have been getting donuts, Subways, pizza etc delivered to them and they’re super appreciative of it.
Food banks would help a lot. Please, donate to those. That way those who really need the assistance can still feed their families and themselves.
Thank you for the offer, but personally I am fine. I was saving $$$ for a down payment on a house. So I could go 6 months without a check. Not that I would be happy about it, but I could do it.
Storm Rise says
That was a great ‘start the day’ giggle. Thanks 🙂
“Editor and chief of French Vogue”
If the door dude is finished, could we see a picture of the doors? They sound interesting…
(If the shoot doesn’t work for “Sapphire Flames”, you might get something that works for the next “Iron and Magic”, even if you need to redo with the proper actors.)
Victorria Wytcherley says
…Er…or a pic of the guy hanging the door?…
Gloria Burroughs says
Yes a pic of that gentleman yes. I like the one with the abs too.
What did you tell him? Because *that’s* how you get a reputation.
The scene in tomb raider comes to mind when she gets the UPS delivery after house was destroyed as the bad guys stole the clock. “I just woke up and I didn’t like anything…”
lmfao one of the best Angelina scenes out there …. and omg ILONA … my sides hurt!! Thankyou xo
Speaking of Sapphire Flames. I just got off Amazon and some idiot posted a 1 star “Not my cup of tea” review already. Then again, she posted the exact same review on dozens of other books. I didn’t think Amazon allowed reviews until the book was published.
Many people have your back because there are a mess of 5 star reviews already.
MARIEANDREA MCCLENDON says
Perhaps the 1 star reader is picking up the wrong genre/style of writing? For example, some people will always dislike first person narration. Soooo, it’s not the book, it’s you, and please recognize that.
One of the 5 stars is definitely for Diamond Fire. It’s weird that you can review something that you haven’t received yet. It’s also weird that you can review something you didn’t actually buy through amazon (you see reviews, I bought this at xy but I love it or hate it). How can amazon be sure you actually do own the product?
Also I am definitely NOT the Amanda who left that review. I already hate my name enough as it is, this just makes it worse. 🙁
K D says
You can report the profile. I did when I first saw this review and all the other 1 stars she spammed for other books. Some of which are also not out yet.
I don’t know if she’s commenting that as she browses maybe, for stuff she’s not interested in? It’s amazing how many people don’t understand how amazon works when it’s been around for so long. (Look at all the people that leave reviews for a product when they are really complaining about the seller.)
A friend of mine publishes in the religion field. I do some occassional contract marketing work for her, like managing her amazon central page. One time there was a troll review of someone hating on the book merely because she wrote it. In their review they actually stated they hadn’t read it. I was able to report it to amazon as an invalid review (“look, they even admitted they hadn’t read it”) and amazon did actually delete it.
Some people enjoy having the “power” of being trolls, and just 1 star everything. And it’s frustrating. I know of some companies that actually send company wide emails asking for employees to 5 star their product, 1 star the competition. Or who hire out others to do so. Back in my university days I managed a set of public & vlassroom computer labs, and with the exception of around finals, the place was pretty dead Friday afternoons. I caught a team of students logging in, leaving reviews, logging out, to repeat on the next open computers. They got paid so much for every review.
With things like ARCs many publishers actually count on those pre-release reviews from those who have ARCs to help entice and promote the purchase for coming soon titles.
Amazon does rate “verified purchase” reviews higher and even denote those reviews differently i.e. they can see you purchased it from them, so they give you a “verified purchase” badge next to your review.
Oh, that made my day. ?
This. Just, this.
Snorted soda through my nose from giggling. Thanks for that!
Inga Abel says
Ha! I just can‘t wait to see all your „Magical Woo Woo“, too ???!!!
Good Luck with the „manly killer guy shot“!!!
Greets from Switzerland!
Tim McCanna says
I just need to know if all I need to do is use the phone to become a hot guy? I’d definitely rather do that than hang doors or work out 🙂
If possible, I’d love to see a video clip of the photo shoot like you did for Iron & Magic. That process is so interesting!
It made me laugh. Too funny.
Thank you, I feel so much lighter now after reading that. ??
Bill G says
Being just a wee touch off the top of the Bell Curve for normal, I’ve had a variety of reputations …
Oh, but such fun getting the reputation! Darn. I don’t need any doors hung, but so many puns come to mind.
OMG that’s hilarious ??? Thanks for making me smile today & I can’t wait to see what they actually come up with for the final cover!
Excuse me for asking, but what is the objection to “we don’t want to do a 2010”? That reference went over my head and flew away. Can anyone explain?
I think there was a cover type that was overdone in 2010. It might have been camo green tshirt and gun. Not sure.
Bwahahaha…I can imagine what was going through the dudes head while listening to you….
So, the “Dancing with the Stars” pro dancers are probably all Actors Equity now, but the male contestants on “American Ninja Warrior” are not union, so you’d have your pick of age, height, ethnicity, and those guys are smokin’ hot! (And yes, this from someone who is old enough to be the mother/grandmother of all but maybe 2% of the guys on that show….)?
Oh what a giggle ! Thanks for the laugh!
Thanks for the laugh guys. Everyone looked at me as I chortled and guffawed.
So were the doors really hung? Enquiring minds want to know.
What ever happened to the cover that just had a big blue feather?
And it’a Catalina’s story so why do you need a guy on the cover at all?
I thought the idea was to get away from the cheesy romance novel bodice- ripper covers. Even though I read romances, when they have that kind of cover,
my paperback immediately goes into a leather cover to hide the picture.
Of course, then the book gets no advertising perks for the authors.
But it’s also fun to answer, “What are you reading?” with “Popular Quantum Mechanics”
Do you of the BDH really like the soap opera type covers?
Of course, also, I can’t wait to read it, and whatever cover sells the most books I’m for it!
I hardly ever look at covers anymore except to look for the author name. Some covers are more eye catching than others, especially when you’re looking at thumbnails of covers in Kindle, but since Kindle recommends titles by genre or author, then I only see bodice rippers if I last read a bodice ripper.
Some covers in Kindle are too hard to make out, though. Too busy, or fonts that don’t scale down well, or not enough contrast to make out the author’s name. I tend not to click on those, because if it’s not a book I want to read, then I don’t want it skewing my recommendations.
I’m with Chris (1) Did the doors get hung? and (2) I hate cheesy bodice Ripper romance covers.
I hope the publishers have learnt from the mess they made of Hidden Legacy covers (especially BFM) and resist the temptation to have some shirtless body builder with a girl draped enticingly against his six pack. It’s a real turnoff because, when people have asked me who is my favourite author and I have shown them a copy of BFM and raved about how good the IA books are, I can see them dismissing them as bodice rippers. Unfortunately people do judge books by their covers.
PS Congratulations Authorlords and Subterranean Press on the excellent covers and illustrations in the new KINSMEN book . My favourite story(Silver Shark) and a beautifully presented book.
I appreciate all your thoughts, even if you disagree I will learn from you. So glad others are as repulsed as me by the cheesy sexist romance covers. I looked at the Sapphire Flames cover on Amazon and thought, “Finally ! all you need is the author in largest type and the title.” The publishers finally understand that most of us are looking at a postage stamp size book cover on the internet. Even if I’m looking for a book in a bookstore or library it’s usually just the spine of the book that is seen. So don’t we think that the ALs should save their money on expensive photoshoots? If the cover has to a picture, what about Ilona’s Simply Beautiful Blue Feather?
Give Catalina the promise of a Partner, not a savior.
What do you do for a living?
I’d tell you… but then I’d have to kill you. *chuckles* *stops chuckling suddenly and scowls at door installer* *smiles again* The door looks wonderful; have a nice day!
It’s a classic. 🙂
Oh you know, they have their built in cover story: mysterious Russian Spy that seduced American soldier.
It’s in their bio. ?
Going to be chuckling over this for quite a while
Samantha DeRamus says
THEE Joan Wilder!??
Lisa P says
HAHAHAHA. Loved Romancing the Stone. I forgot about that part!
I loved that movie! And his Little Mule Pepe!
Lol! Thanks for the laugh. 😀
Robin Moore says
About hot guys, when the abdominals and pecs are over developed they can start looking almost deformed. It can be the pose and amount of flexing too I suppose. Pecs especially can make a totally fit guy start looking like he needs a bra for the things. I have seen some covers where the guy needs to put something on to look sexy cause nekked aint it. Not prudish, just unbalanced muscle development.
A guy without undies looks more vulnerable than sexy to me. Especially if he has zippers near the equipment. I have been through watching a traumatized boy child who got the skin sucked into a zipper. Then seen his horror at having to reverse the process to get it out. It cured him of experimenting with going commando in jeans.
Now everyone in the office wants to know what’s so funny …
Debi Majo says
Omar Mtz says
I read the last part wrong, and at first I thought you were asking the Guy that installing your door if he modelled. I thought, ” ha, she found the new cover guy at her door, nice”
Ms. Kim says
Yea, me too!
I love it! It made me smile after a rough day so thank you!
My co-workers already thought I was. After that outburst of laughter they are convinced of it!
Thanks! I really needed that laugh. And a paycheck, but the laugh felt good ?
I am still laughing ten minutes after having read this the first time.
I swear you’re my hero. ?
Love the pic!
Love the magicl woo woo!
Lovvveed the guy hanging doors!!!
Laughed out loud!!
I too would like to know what you said!