Interview with Period Images

Today, along with Marie Higgins, I’m doing a “Share” interview with PERIOD IMAGES

If you think that name sounds familiar, that’s because I buy a lot of my stock from them and well…they just interviewed me  🙂
So, without further ado….

 

 

 

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Period Images is a wonderful website. How did you come up with the idea for creating a website like Period Images with the great models wearing those wonderful period costumes?
It started with a frienship and a dilemma. I had written my first Regency novel and I could not find images that even remotely fit my idea of how my hero and heroine should look like, and most importantly, how their manner of dress should reflect the elegance of that era. This sentiment was shared by a veteran author I’ve never met in person yet has become a good friend and mentor of mine—Marie Higgins. My friendship with Marie opened my eyes to the struggles of being an author; on what it was like to be in the shoes of a writer who must make every penny count. Cost of production is a reality one must face when crafting a book.  The cover, most especially, is a substantial concern. As we emailed back and forth on the seeming lack of acceptable images, I learned that other historical writers—not just the ones in my genre, have the same predicament. Of course, one can have a generic image modified and manipulated to fit a particular period, but not everyone could afford to shell out the amount of money required to make those kinds of changes. As a result, authors were forced to use whatever was within their budget, and settle with an image that most probably was not the one they had envisioned to grace their covers. For a Product Designer like me, this dilemma was something to ponder. My Creative team designs wardrobe for private clients and the entertainment industry. We have an extensive network of suppliers, fellow designers, and models in Los Angeles. I know my team and I, are well-equipped to solve this problem and do it in the way it should be done—with care, attention to detail, the right models, and proper Period costuming. Thus, with Marie’s help, I acquired more information on what her author friends were specifically looking for. As soon as the wish-list arrived in my inbox, the challenge began,––and a project was born.        
Who creates these amazing costumes? Could you tell us a bit about your staff and what they do?
It takes a village of skilled staff to create Period Costumes. My chief Wardrobe Specialist, Arleen Brown, researches the attires and proposes the concept to me. Upon approval, we do Color Mastering, sourcing and fabric selection. Then, the materials go to  one of my top designers, Rosa Candelario, who has extensive experience in film costuming, and Marcie Hernandez, my design consultant, to execute the attires. Once the basic ‘shells’ are submitted, Arleen goes back to me to consult with the right embellishments and trims. Upon approval, the shells go to one of Arleen’s assistants to finish the designs. (That is, if Arleen will willingly let them finish it. She tends to get “attached” to the costumes, LOL.) Then, all that is left is assembly and fitting—which for some perverted reason, I always become the Guinea pig.   
 JGP_2791pmfbMarie says: Sheri McGathy…I think I want this pic next!!!I say, How about this one?

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Or this one?

 

Prelude to a kissAs you can see, I love Period Images stock!

 

If authors / cover artists are looking for models in period clothing and with props? For example: A girl in period clothing, perhaps dressed in a winter coat/cape, warm bonnet, muffler, sitting on a bench or box, lacing up her skates. Is Period Images considering staged poses with no backdrops?
Yes! In fact we have just released a set of images in a garden setting and other props. As long as the requested props or wardrobe are readily available, this should not be a problem. 
Sometimes cover artists find the perfect look in a model, but maybe they are wearing the wrong clothes. Have you considered creating a “clothes closet” – a series of shots of just the costumes laid out or hung up at various angles so the cover designer can change the models clothes…sort of like paper dolls?
For this one, because we have so many images of our models in costumes in different poses already, I think it would be easier to just trade the models’ heads, instead of trading the attires. But if you must absolutely have the dress on a hanger or whatever, it’s no biggie—we can take a quick shot for you. In fact, we just did that for someone who was looking to extend a dress so that it encompasses the front and back cover of a book.
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Before starting Period Images, did you have friends who were models? How do you go about finding your models? What, to you and your staff, is the “perfect,” model?
Yes. Because we design very high end events, it is common to meet models. We knew quite a few and I was friends with the owner of a model staffing agency. On how we find our models––it’s weird, because most of the time, they find us! Jax Turyna, who is a well-known cover model and a part of P.I. staff, found me before I found her! I almost never have to do casting calls unless it’s crucial, or I am looking for a very specific look. Most of our models are referrals from our current models. Authors and Cover Artists also send a bunch our way to check out.
The perfect model for me is someone who is bankable. In other words, one who is psychologically matured, professional, industrious, and goes out of his way to promote his work. Someone who is reliable and will not do things that would be detrimental to his carreer or the companies he represents. I like to invest in people who I know will deliver results, and will be an asset not only to my company, but also to my clients. 
Briefly describe a normal photo shoot from start to finish.
The crew normally comes in an hour before the shoot. Wardrobe crew goes into a quick meeting on which attires will be worn by which model on what shoot. MUAs (Make-up Artists) and Hair Stylist go to their designated areas to prep their stuff. Then, I do a quick briefing for everyone on the shoot schedule, models’ looks, hair, attires, and how much time is alotted for MU and Wardrobe changes.
The first batch of models come in 45 minutes before the shoot. They go into make-up, hair, and then wardrobe. I brief them with the script for the Exclusive shoots we are doing. Photographer comes in a half hour before shoot starts and begins prepping the equipment.
As the shoot progresses, more models start coming in and the same routine takes place. The photographer and I do several consults during the day to make sure we are getting the right shots and we’re happy with the results. I also check the models’ looks several times to make sure their appearance is right for the type of shoot we are doing. During the actual shoot, two assistants monitor the hair, make-up and wardrobe, and do touch-ups as needed.
At the end of the shoot, everyone usually hangs around to talk, wind down, and eat.
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Do you have a memorable moment?
I have several, but I assume you’re talking about my experience with Period Images. It was the night after our last big shoot in December. After everyone had left and I was all alone, I sat in the dark, staring at my computer screen, at the page where some of the book covers with our images where showcased. As I browsed through them one by one, I felt a sense of accomplishment—not just for me, but for all the people who worked hard to make these images possible, for all the authors who had mentored and supported us along the way, and the cover artists who had taken our images and turned them into works of art. Once again, I acknowledged and  re-affirmed, that there are no coincidences. Marie and I met for a reason, and our friendship had a purpose. And for all it’s worth, everything worked out for the better good.   
What other plans do you have in the works?
Top secret for now—we love surprises, lol
 Jax Max-JGP_0140pmfbAd

 

So, would you care to tell us a little about you away from Period Images?
As a person, I am funny, a foodie, and I understand everything that has got to do with design, except for when it comes to dressing myself. When I am clueless about something, I am never embarassed to admit it and ask for directions. I don’t care about popularity; what I do care about is genuine friendships. Oh, and I love cats!
If you could have one free do over in life with no repercussions, what would that be? 
I would write and tell more stories.
 
 
THANK YOU PERIOD IMAGES for letting us interview you!! I am very happy to have you visit and I’m looking forward to whatever you dream up…and LoTR and, and Once Upon a Time….and … well, you get the hint 🙂 
 

Winner of the Valentine Day’s Gift Basket is…

Melissa Keir!!

 

Congrats! And thank you for entering our blog hop contest!

 

Here are the answers to the contest questions:

 

Amy’s Question and answer:

Where did Amy and her husband get engaged?

The answer is, Cafe du Monde in New Orleans!

 

Marie’s Question

What is Eli’s father’s name and where is he at?

The answer is, Joshua Montgomery and he’s in a mental institution.

 

Judy’s Question

In the Silver Sage Creek series, Sam Coulson, the Comanche half-breed, had an Indian name. What is it?

Answer is, Samarjit.

 

Sheri’s question

What does Nerys do to free herself from Gerard’s grasp?

Answer is: She pulls out a dagger and slices the ends of her hair away that Gerard had wrapped around his fingers.

 

Mary’s Question

Mary’s wedding wasn’t your typical wedding, where was it?

The Answer is: They were married at a University of Utah Tailgating.

 

Thanks again, everyone!

 

 

Valentine’s Day Contest and Blog Hop

Welcome to my little cyber home!

It’s Valentine’s week!!! To celebrate, a few of my author friends and I are having a cyber party! Since Valentine’s Day is all about romance and love, we invite you to share your favorite love stories, movies, or true experiences. Please post, because we’d all love to hear!

 

Plus, we are having a little blog hop contest. If you play along, you’ll have a chance to win this great gift basket! (Approximate value is $50.)

giftbasket

 

Marie Higgins: Download of Crazy for You and $5 GC to Amazon

 

Amy Durham: Download of Dusk and $5GC (your choice Kindle and Nook)

 

Mary Martinez: Download of Honky Tonk and $5 GC to Starbucks

 

Sheri McGathy: Signed Print book of Elfen Gold (Please note the paper copy only applies to within the USA. If you live outside of the United States, you will receive a PDF copy of Elfen Gold in your e-mail.)

 

Judy Baker: Download of Better She Die and a $5 GC to Amazon

 

 

 

How can you win? You need to answer the five questions listed below. Each question has a link where the answer can be found. E-mail your answers to one of the five participating authors. Deadline is midnight 2/14/14. Winner will be announced along with all of the answers on all blogs on 2/15/14. Good luck.

 

 

1. What does Nerys do to free herself from Gerard’s grasp? Find answer here.

2. Mary’s wedding wasn’t your typical wedding, where was it? Find answer here.

3. What is Eli’s father’s name and where is he at? Find answer here.

4. Where did Amy and her husband get engaged? Find answer here.

5. In the Silver Sage Creek series, Sam Coulson, the Comanche half-breed, had an Indian name. What is it? Find answer here.

 

 

Thank you for participating. We look forward to your stories and comments. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Sheri L. McGathy, Marie Higgins, Mary Martinez, Amy Durham and Judy Baker

 

 

 

And now, an excerpt from Within the Shadow of Stone

 

~ And She Shall Be Named Shroud ~

 

The mist pooled at Bree’s feet, each step causing it to swirl in small eddies about her ankles. Its touch was gentle, a cool caress across her skin.

 

Sun Orb sat low in the sky while the silent hush of twilight hung over the land. Hazy streams of fading sunlight trickled down through the mist and cast the circle in dusky shades of gray. Soon, Moon Orb would claim the night sky to mark the passage of another day.

 

A warm breeze played over her skin and brushed the edges of her hair from her face. She closed her eyes and listened to its soft whisper. Within its voice, she thought she heard the teasing echo of a piper’s tune. She paused, her breath held, willing the song to life, if only within her mind. She began to hum. The notes swept through the circle to fill the silence with its haunting melody. The song called to her—invited her to join with it, to come and dance within its magic. Keeping her eyes sealed lest she awake from the dream and spoil the enchantment, she swayed to the rhythm of the pipe.

 

The song was an ancient one. The Legend of the Stone. She hadn’t heard it since she was a child. It had been a part of the Spirit Dance, sung on the day a Shroud gave her pledge to the stones and wed her chosen.

 

“A day I will never have.” Bree sighed. Her gaze sought the Spirit Stones standing like silent sentinels along the circle’s edge. Their presence a mocking reminder of what she could have been.

 

The music grew stronger, its voice calling her away from the past and back to the present. She straightened her shoulders. “Yet, I can still dance.”

 

Holding her arms before her, she stepped sideways, then back. Pointing her toe, she tapped it on the ground twice, then skipped forward while swinging her arms upward until her hands met. She clapped once, then turned back the way she’d come.

 

She dipped forward, the action sweeping her hair over her shoulder to form a silken curtain about her face. Stepping sideways, she skipped around the altar and reached toward one of the stones.

 

Bree paused with her arm stretched before her. The act—such a simple gesture—held great meaning to her. She recalled how, toward the end of the Spirit Dance, the men led the women forward, threading a path in and out amongst the towering megaliths, each woman caressing the rough sides as they swept past.

 

“And she shall be named Shroud.” Bree dropped her hand to her side.

 

She pushed her heavy locks aside and leaned her head back, letting her hair cascade downward. Lifting her arms, she clasped her hands above her head and pirouetted, her hair twirling out behind her as she spun across the circle.

 

When she reached the circle’s edge, she bowed low and waved one arm in front of her in a slow, graceful motion. As she rose, she balanced her arms out before her to spin one final time, coming to rest with her hands crossed over her chest.

 

“Joined, they shall be as one,” she whispered. “And her touch shall set them free.”

The music echoed through the circle, yet she no longer had the heart to continue the dance. Biting on her lower lip, she folded her arms beneath her breasts and stared down at the swirling mist as it wrapped itself about her legs.

 

If only things had been different, she found herself wishing. If only….

 

Bree closed her eyes. A single tear escaped through her sealed eyelids. There is only one I would have chosen, and he is beyond my choice.

 

The feather-light brush of fingertips caressed her cheek to wipe her tear away before tracing a path along her throat.

 

“‘Tis never too late to dream,” a voice whispered near her ear.

 

She opened her eyes.

 

Nathan held out his hand. “Come.”

 

She placed her hand in his and smiled as they skipped forward four steps. He paused. Stepping before her, he trailed his fingers across her waist while he danced around her. Then, gathering her in his arms, his long stride guided them across the circle, keeping their pace in time to the phantom piper’s tune.

 

Nathan led her along the circle’s edge, their steps weaving in and out amongst the silent stones. Bree reached out and caressed one, the rough surface scraping against her fingertips, as they swept past.

 

Moon Orb loomed overhead, its pale rays filtering through gaps in the mist to cocoon them in a shell of soft light. Fog hung low to the ground. The ethereal vapor rolled back in billowy waves as they glided through.Moisture laced the air, its dewy touch causing their skin to glisten in the moonlight.

 

An errant wind swept through the circle to snatch up the piper’s tune and carry it away. A mournful wail announced its departure and cast the circle in sorrow.

 

Nathan moved away from the stones and back within the circle. Pressing his hand against her back, he drew her close and slowed his steps. Laying his cheek against hers, he continued to twirl them in slow, lazy turns around the altar long after the music had faded and left them wrapped in silence.

 

They came to rest at the circle’s center. Nathan cradled her within his arms, his chin resting upon her head. Bree sighed and laid her cheek against his chest, comforted by the steady beat of his heart. The faint smell of heather tickled her nose, its scent a reminder of the springtime of her youth and of a world where dreams held promise.

“You have named me true, even if only in my mind,” she whispered against his chest. “And I have chosen you.”

 

He placed his finger beneath her chin and coaxed her to look up. Without taking his stare from hers, he bent down and brushed his lips across hers. “Joined, we shall be as one.”

 

Then, like the music, he too faded, leaving her alone.

Trading Guest blogs

Hello all, I am/was a guest at Marie Higgin’s blog. Please feel free to drop over and read the section, leave me a comment? I’d love to hear from you. AND, today I am hosting Marie on my blog. She has a wonderful new release that I think you are going to enjoy!

So, without further ado I would like to welcome the very talented Marie Higgins to my blog. She is not only a multi-published author, but also one of the nicest folks you could hope to meet. Please come on over and meet her! You’ll be glad you did! Sheri

 

What is it that draws readers to series books?

I can only speak for myself, but I enjoy family life. If there is a story about a family and the writer has written her characters so vividly that I feel as if I’m part of the story, I’m definitely going to read the rest of the series to find out what happens to the others.

I love the kind of books that tease the reader, giving little hints about the other characters’ lives without giving away the whole story. Because these are the type of books I like to read, these are also the type of stories I like to write.

Once upon a time, there were three brothers who did not want to become the scandalous, deceitful, irresponsible man like their father had been. Trevor, Tristan, and Trey—the terrible T’s—each had different trials in their lives, and each one had obstacles to climb which would make them emotionally stronger.

In book #1 of the Sons of Worthington series, you meet Trey Worthington—the youngest brother in the series. He’s been told all of his life he’s exactly like his father. Can the love of a woman make him want to change? Find out in—“The Sweetest Kiss”.

In book #2, you meet the oldest brother, Trevor Worthington, Duke of Kensington. He’s been hurt by a woman and he doesn’t think he wants to love again. Will the woman he almost killed be able to change his mind? Find out in—“The Sweetest Touch”.

Now, the much awaited book #3 is out, Tristan Worthington who is the middle brother. “The Sweetest Love”. After three years of only remembering pieces of his life, Tristan Worthington is kidnapped by the one woman he wishes to forget. Wanting revenge against the man who ruined her life, Diana Hollingsworth wants Tristan to suffer as she has. But fate has other plans… When both Tristan and Diana are accused of murder, their worlds crash down around them. Their only hope is to find the true killer so they can be together. Will they be able to find true happiness once again?

Watch the book trailer

(Book #4 of the series will be coming out later this year – “The Sweetest Secret”)

 

Excerpt from The Sweetest Love:

“Ever’one raise yer glass and toast ta Lord Tristan’s nup…nup…shuls.” Tristan Worthington slurred his words as he tried to ponder on what he wanted to say. Realizing his mind was too unclear, he laughed and stumbled against the man standing next to him, spilling his whiskey over the side of his tumbler.

The man rolled his eyes. “Worthington, will ye quit toastin’ to yer own weddin’? We all ‘no ye aren’t gonna marry the lady.”

Tristan scowled at the bloke. What was his name… “Ah, but my good man, ye’re wrong. T’morrow afta-noon, I’ll be there in church standin’ next to my beautiful bride, lady…er…lady…” Tristan rubbed the throb growing in his forehead.

The other men who’d gathered in the tavern, released a fit of laughs. One belched loudly and lifted his cup. “Worthington has fergotten her name already.”

Blast it all! Tristan grumbled. What was her name? “Doesn’t matter. I’m marryin’ her t’morrow.”

His legs wobbled and he plopped his butt down on the chair before he ended up on the floor like he had last night. Inwardly, he groaned. How many nights had he been visiting the taverns toasting his nuptials, anyway? Too many to count. Tomorrow his life—his very freedom—would end no matter how badly he wished for a different fate.

You’re making a colossal mistake, Worthington, the warning came from the back of his mind. Yet, he figured by marrying Lady Jane he would be able to put his past to rest once and for all, so it must be done.

“Ah-ha!” he called out loudly to his nameless associates. “I remember now. Her name is Lady Jane Fair…er…burn, or something like that.”

Once again, the men broke out with boisterous laughter so loud it nearly shook the walls. Tristan’s headache threatened to crack every bone in his head. He couldn’t take any more of this celebrating. He must return home and sleep off his drunken stupor, especially since he needed a clear head tomorrow when he walked into the church.

Glancing down at his wrinkled clothes, he tried to smooth out the material. He needed to change, as well. It wouldn’t be seemly to arrive at the church looking this unkempt. His mother would certainly not have her son acting—or looking—like a fool in public. And heaven knew Tristan had brought enough worry to the woman in the past few years. Her health couldn’t take any more. He must be clean and dressed appropriately for his wedding.

His mother had high hopes of Tristan marrying into a good family, especially after the turmoil he’d had the past three years… He’d nearly died and lost his memory for a good twenty-four months before his brother, Trey, found him. And because the one woman—the woman he thought he’d given his heart to—was not in his life any longer, he needed to do something to move on. Marrying the young widow, Lady Jane Fairbourne was exactly what he needed in order to put Diana in the past where she belonged.

“Milord?” The toothless bugger next to him grinned. “Do ye need me to stand with ye for yer big day t’morrow?”

Tristan waved a hand through the air. “As much as the idea sounds appealin’, I must decline.” He lifted his drink to his mouth and finished every last drop before slamming it on the table. “My friends,” he called out, “I shall take my leave now. The next time I come ta this fine ‘stablishment, I’ll be a happily married man.” Well…he wasn’t too sure about the happily part, but he most certainly would be married.

The men inside the tavern cheered his name and lifted their cups in a salute as Tristan left the building staggering his way toward his coach.

Although his fiancée was beautiful and wealthy—thanks to her late husband—this was a marriage Tristan didn’t really want. Lady Fairbourne had been paraded in front of him so many times in the past few years he’d grown tired of looking at her. But he was even more tired of trying to look for the woman he could give his heart to. Now he just wanted to marry and start a family, and it didn’t matter with whom. Most of the ton’s married couples didn’t love each other anyway, so why should he be any different?

He stopped and leaned against the building, blinking to clear his vision. Where is my bloody coach? He scrubbed his hand over his face, trying to think of where his driver had parked. “Ah, there it is!”

Taking slow and careful steps, he headed toward his vehicle. Tristan released an agitated breath. Lady Fairbourne would look as good on his arm as his wife. She knew how to tease men to make them quake, but Tristan had never really envisioned her by his side making him truly happy for the rest of his life.

As quickly as that thought came, another one followed, and he pictured a lovely, young woman with auburn hair—perfect ringlets framing her heart-shaped face.

Diana.

Stars had danced in her green eyes, and when she’d turned her gaze upon him, her smile had melted his heart. When he’d met her three years ago, he’d had his share of women, yet in her presence he truly felt like a man. How could he not when he knew she stared at him with so much admiration in her astounding eyes?

Groaning, he pushed the torturous memory aside. He’d been foolish then, believing that love could conquer all. He’d fallen hard and fast for this woman, and his head had literally been in the clouds during that time. Thankfully, though, reality crashed around him and made him realize there was no such thing as a faithful woman…or love.

 

Now tell me…as a reader, what do you like most about series books?

For a chance to win a PDF format of this story, please leave a comment with your name and email. I’ll choose one winner.

 

Marie Higgins is a best-selling, multi-published author of sweet romance; from refined bad-boy heroes who make your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. Visit her website / blog to discover more about her.

To buy Marie’s latest:

Building Your Story (How To)

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library

Building Your Story

Come join Lee Killough, Linda Madl, and Sheri L. McGathy for a “how to” morning of World Building, Character Development, and a bit of Show vs Tell. Lee will give you the foundation for crafting your world while Linda will discuss the how to’s of character development. Sheri will explain the differences of showing verses telling in your work. Finally, you’ll get a chance to put it all together.

Then, Saturday afternoon, Lee, Linda, and Sheri will present readings from their various works, and discussion various writing techniques from The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels.

Pre-made Covers

I’ve created a few pre-made covers

http://sherimcgathy.com/book-cover-design/premade-covers/

Contact me if you are interested. I also do freelancing for individuals and have samples on the Cover art page tab of this site.

Thanks!

Christmas Sale

Ghosts and Christmas? Sure, why not! But like Christmas, the sale will soon be gone.

Ghostly Tales Christmas Sale

Click here

Enter code XN68M prior to completing checkout.

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: XN68M
Expires: January 1, 2012

Description

Ghostly Tales by Sheri L. McGathy is a collection of four short ghost stories set on the American prairie. They first made their debut in the anthology Trespassing Time. The stories range from the humorous to the scary, with ghosts that might make you smile, cause your heart to sigh, perhaps bring a tear to your eye, or maybe, just maybe, will give you pause as you pass an old cemetery.