Tight skirt, strawberry hair
Tell me what you got, baby, waiting under there
Big green eyes that look like, son,
They can see every cheap thing that you ever done
Recently, a red headed woman burst into my life.
Well, okay, that's not completely true. I've been living with Monique for quite some time. If we're going for complete honesty, I created her. But it was the cover artist (Taria A. Reed) for my soon-to-be released novel, Fairyproof, that took the description I'd written and gave her a face.
It doesn't give too much away to say that when Fairyproof's hero Daniel meets Monique, the first thing he notices — and the thing that sticks with him throughout the book — is her long and curly red tresses. So, for the focus of the cover to be all that red hair was perfect. (The other elements of the cover, perfectly match the story, but for this article we'll stick to the red headed heroine.)
Bruce Springsteen tells in the lyrics to "Red Headed Woman" with a keen accuracy all the reasons that influenced me to make Monique a redhead. She's on the run from her brother and a potential mate and using her womanly and fairy wiles to make her way among the humans. As I wrote the book, I put a lot of thought into what the heroine looked like, especially since she was depending on her appearance so much, but what I wasn't really prepared for until I saw my cover is learning what men really think about redheads…or this redhead in particular.
Like a very proud mommy, I've been showing my cover to anyone willing to look (and anyone I can trap in a corner). My study may not be scientific, but as I compile the reactions I'm finding that Mr. Springsteen isn't the only one whose jaw drops and libido stirs for a pretty woman with a lot of red hair. But, that's sort of the point of this feature, isn't it? That the key to making a song – retro or not – universal is the emotion it conveys. Even if that emotion is, quite simply, lust.
There are many reasons why cover of my first novel depicting my red-headed heroine will always be special to me, and it will be hard for me to look at the cover and not think of this Springsteen song.