Finding Troy

Several years ago, during the writing of Southern Man, I found a model that was his spitn'image, a fellow who'd be perfect on the cover.  The problem, he was on Corbis stock photo site, and prohibitively expensive....**

Well.... he did have a few other drawbacks -- he was carrying a laptop, which students at the University of Alabama didn't have in 1972....and his hair was a little too light.

I could fix some of these problems with PhotoDeluxe ... but I couldn't afford the photos.

So, I started scouting some of the more affordable stock photo sites, and eventually settled on this fellow -- a light brown-haired, blue-eyed Brit who I processed to be my black-haired, dark-eyed Appalachian hero.

He did not look like Troy at all, even processed -- but he did have the advantage of costing around $12.00 for 499,999 impressions....

This fellow was my cover Troy through two cover designs.

Then, several months later, when I was noodling around on the stock photo sites looking for images for a video trailer for Storm Surge, I searched the term "hurricane" and this breathtaking image came up. Hey, it was the Troy model, at Fotolia, an affordable stock site!

But, alas, this particular image was not affordable -- nor was it appropriate for portraying a corporate executive.

But I kept my eyes pealed for this model every time I had to search the affordable micro-stock photo sites.  And soon, he started showing up.

I found several photos of this model in business attire and settings, but none that really captured the essence of my character....

Until, one day, I found these:



Of course, since my story was set in 1983, there could be no cell phones or laptops....

But then I found this one....made by the microstock photographer king, Yuri Arcurs

PERFECT! -- with a little help from my photo editor.....

Here's how he looked on the new cover illustration:

And here he is on the completed cover:

One day, looking for pics for Sweet Southern Boys, I came across Yuri's website.  Looking at the pics of his male models, I found my guy -- and learned his name was "Chrismo B."

Yuri's Site
With some Googling, I found out that he is Chrismo Botha from Cape Town, South Africa... And he's not only an international model, but a photographer in his own right. Here's his website, featuring a great photo of the photographer: Chrismo Botha
And here are some other great pics of this fantastic fellow as a fashion model and in some sexy poses...


And here's the latest version, Crichton-inspired....

But this one has TO BE THE CAKE TOPPER -- This IS Troy -- or, at least, as close as it gets outside of my imagination!

I wouldn't even begin to ask how much the license would be to put this photo on my cover. But that's okay. The one I have will do just fine... Still, is that not a fine looking man in a fine looking photo?

**The images have since been removed from Corbis, but a Tin Eye search shows them available from other stock sites -- and still prohibitively expensive.