Sacrificing for One’s Art

Today my editor emailed to let me know the art department (how I love thee, Art Department!) is working on the cover for My Dangerous Pleasure. The hero is Iskander, who among other attributes has facial tats in the form of blue five stripes down the left side of his face — actually, the stripes go all the way down his body, back to front, top to bottom. He’s cool.

My editor wanted to know if I had any images or sketches or other pics of anyone I may have had in mind. Well, unlike Patti O’Shea, I don’t assemble dossiers on my characters. I have a personality pretty firmly in mind and a totally vague idea of what they might look like — I might have definite ideas about certain features, eye color and hair color (usually) but I just don’t have any one person/model/photo etc in mind.

But my editor needed my assistance and that meant I was going to have to Google for hot men with dark hair and come up with some pictures. I know, I know. It was a trial. But Twitter to the rescue! I tweeted my dilemma and very quickly got loads of links and names. I then had the onerous task of checking out each and every one and deciding which, if any, photos evoked the spirit of Iskander.

I have sent three photos, of three different hot men with dark hair. I should probably send more.

Is Eduardo Verastequi Isander?

This picture came courtesy of @ElyssaPapa who provided the name. I have no idea who he is, but Iskander has some pain in his past and I ask you, how can you look at this picture and not think he’s seen some sadness and you need to come make it all better? Iskander is of uncertain origins (doh — he’s a DEMON) but really, the name is, if I recall, stolen from inspired by the LazyDBA list of SQL Server database administrators. During my research for my historical Indiscreet I discovered that Alexander The Great had been very busy in the Levant and the now Turkish city of Iskenderun (often pronounced and spelled by Europeans as Skanderoon) is, in fact, named after Alexander (Iskander … see where I’m going with this?) The Great. Iskander is not white for one thing . . .

How is Rufus Sewell Like Iskander?

This picture has a deeper sense of melancholia which is why I like it so well. Iskander has been hurt very very badly. I would say Sewell’s face is not quite perfect, but very close. However, Iskander isn’t depressed. He’s actually a bit of a I do my own damn thing and I don’t care if that bothers you. He says what’s on his mind even when he shouldn’t. I should have looked around for pictures where he was smiling, come to think of it. For years (lots and lots and lots of years) Iskander lived with very little contact with the human world. He didn’t need or want it because his personal life was exactly what he wanted it to be. Now that’s he’s learned, to some extent, how to pass as human and get along with his own kind, life is a bit more challenging.

Is Sendhil Rammamurthy like Iskander?

This picture would, I think, be quite amenable to blue stripes. It’s too bad his hand is in the way, but the eyes are to die for and the suggestion of “otherness” from the default white male is delicious. There’s a hint of a smile here that I quite liked. Iskander smiles a lot. Despite everything he’s been through, he’s happy.

He knows how to enjoy life; good food, good sex, Jet Li movies and he makes sure that he does as often as possible. After the break with this Blood Twin, Fen (see My Wicked Enemy) he had a hard time figuring out how to react in a different world. He’s been a sexual omnivore while he was learning how to cope with his new life, but he has a preference for women, he’s learned. He’s had one relationship that might be termed normal and he sometimes thinks he ought to pursue things with her, because they were good together. She’s in love with someone else, but seeing if her could change her mind would be worth it.

He’s been doing well passing for human, he even has a tenant. She rents out the apartment over his garage. She owns a bakery and she’s really pretty. She also doesn’t have a clue about demons or magic. There’s absolutely no reason to think that will change. Nope. Not at all.

I looked at many many other pictures, too.

I’m sharing only a very few here because, well, the honest truth is the internet here is dog slow.
Close but not Iskander-y enough. It's the goatee, I think.

Jesse Metcalfe

I did this because I believe in putting out the best possible product. Whatever it takes.


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11 Responses to “Sacrificing for One’s Art”

  1. I came here actually thinking you were writing about sacrifice! What is this! LOL. This is hilarious, and also a fun way to read about Iksander. I like the fellow with the hand. He’s talking to the hand.

  2. It was a sacrifice. I swear. Really. If you don’t believe me, try doing this sort of photo-journalism without any idea what Real Life human your demon hero looks like. You’ll see it’s not easy. Make sure you email me the blog URL okay? Because I would totally support you.

  3. Susan says:

    I too opened the blog expecting something more… well… ya know.

    Imagine my delight to be greeted by beautiful men! I have to say, Sendhil Rammamurthy is making my stomach twist in ways I didn’t think was possible. I keep scrolling up as I write this comment to ogle him. C’est horrible. Where are my feminist sensibilities?

    Thanks for sharing the low-down on Iksander, to say nothing of all the photos! 😀

  4. angie says:

    oh, you poor, poor thing. your work above must have been so terribly demanding. and your editor, what an evil dictator to put you on such a task. hee-hee. if you ever need help searching for hotness, let us know (again). i want in on the action.

    seems that most like sendhil, so you can just ship eduardo over my way…

    and, by the way, we both know who the true(blood) Alexander The Great is!

  5. What a stressful time for you. A few weeks ago, my editor asked a similar question about men in kilts, and I had to do much research. So many men, so many kilts, so little time. What a difficult day that was. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your results. 😉

  6. cjewel says:

    Thank you, everyone for the commiseration! And Jennifer, if you ever feel like posting your kilt research, please do!!

  7. Natascha says:

    Love the pictures 🙂

  8. rtm says:

    Yeah, what a formidable task indeed 😀 But if you don’t mind me adding one more for you to consider: Gerard Butler as Atilla the Hun. He obviously doesn’t look like that now but he did have dark hair with piercing green eyes, take a look:

    Methinks he sort of saying ‘I do my own damn thing and I don’t care if that bothers you’ with his devilish gaze and smirk, don’t you think?

  9. cjewel says:

    Natascha: thanks!

    rtm: GB is indeed delicious looking, but he’s supposed to be Atilla the HUN? I heard the movie was really, really good, but gee. It’s not like there aren’t any gorgeous Asian actors who could have been more appropriately cast as a Hun.

  10. rtm says:

    He played that role back in 2001, and yes, lots of people were saying the same thing. I mean, I’ve never seen a Mongolian who look like THAT! I agree that they should’ve gone for an Asian actor for the part, but regardless, he makes for a great eye candy for the movie 😉

  11. Kay Bolton says:

    It’s an awful job, but somebody has to do it. Eduardo would get my vote, and I wouldn’t mind my own bit of sacrefice and volunteer to paint on the stripes … are they supposed to go all the way down? …. I’m sure they are.