Charlie Cochrane on Lessons for Suspicious Minds and Character Images ~ Blog Tour, Guest Blog, Giveaway

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Charlie Cochrane for taking the time to talk with us today.


Title: Lessons for Suspicious Minds
Author: Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: Riptide
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Publication Date:04/20/2015
Genre/Sub-Genre: Historical, M/M Romance



In the innocent pre-war days, an invitation to stay at the stately country home of a family friend means a new case for amateur sleuths Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith. In fact, with two apparently unrelated suicides to investigate there, a double chase is on.

But things never run smoothly for the Cambridge fellows. In an era when their love dare not speak its name, the risk of discovery and disgrace is ever present. How, for example, does one explain oneself when discovered by a servant during a midnight run along the corridor?

Things get even rougher for Orlando when the case brings back memories of his father’s suicide and the search for the identity of his grandfather. Worse, when they work out who the murderer is, they are confronted with one of the most difficult moral decisions they’ve ever had to make.

Character Images:

One of those philosophical questions which is impossible to answer is, “The colour I see and call green, is it the same in my mind as the colour you see and call green is in yours?” That sort of thing makes my head go splodey. Maybe it’s easier to answer the question , “The characters I read about in a story, do they look the same in my mind as they do in yours?”

At least with stories we have some clues in terms of descriptions; build, hair colour, skin colour, eye colour, presence of any scars and the like. But even then our minds conjure up different images. I’m sure my vision of Aragorn isn’t quite the same as anyone else’s, although Viggo Mortensen has maybe changed my opinion on that one.

The two lead characters in the Cambridge Fellows series, Jonty and Orlando, are very clear in my mind as I’m their creator or, as they might say, as their official biographer. Jonty is about five foot eight inches, of muscular build, blond haired, with a twinkle in his blue eyes. Orlando just tops six foot, has dark, curly hair, is slimmer, with brown eyes and a usually serious expression. I see Jonty as looking like a young Jamie Bamber, whereas Orlando is like a young Michael Kitchen. (Excuse me while I fan myself, it’s got a touch warm in here.)

Jonty and Orlando appear differently, to my readers. I know that on a couple of counts, not least because I sometimes get sent some lovely fan art of the lads. I find it fascinating to see what their vision is; it rarely coincides entirely with mine, but I always think, “Yes, that could well be them.”Interestingly, when people compare Jonty and Orlando to particular actors/personalities, I rarely see the likeness, but I’d never say, “That’s not them!!” Readers are entitled to populate their mental stage with whoever they want to play the parts.

Of course, there’s the whole matter of whether the models on my covers fit in with how people envisage the characters they represent. My ultimate rule of thumb is that Jonty should look like a rugby scrum half and Orlando should resemble a rugby wing three quarter. So long as that applies, then anything goes.

About the Author:

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Author Links:
Twitter: @charliecochrane
Facebook profile page:

Buy Links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA


Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a title from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excluding Lessons for Survivors.) Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 25. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!


Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

28 thoughts on “Charlie Cochrane on Lessons for Suspicious Minds and Character Images ~ Blog Tour, Guest Blog, Giveaway

  1. I love the subject of character images. Sometimes it’s hard to get a good mental image, but a lot of times I HATE the cover images. I have a comfort read that I’ve been rereading since about 2010 that had the worst cover, and I finally found the PERFECT guy on a Chase Bank commercial. My family thinks I’m nuts. 🙂

  2. I don’t consciously try to match up characters with images, although I admit most covers don’t evoke my favorite characters to me…

  3. I normally do not rely on covers to give me an image of the characters. I like to create my own image in my mind, although some models are pretty close to my own idea…
    Thank you for the interesting post and giveaway

  4. That question about how we see color always makes my head feel like exploding, too. I get a visual of characters in my mind as I read. But it does irk me if there are cover models who are way off the mark. For instance if the model has dark eyes and hair when the character is described as blond and blue-eyed.

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

    • *nods* – my head goes splodey all the time.

      Cover art is a real issue, because authors don’t always have a lot of choice about what they’re given, especially at some presses.

  5. I always try to envision the characters because as I read the words translate to pictures in my mind, like I am watching a movie as I go along. It is a major pet peeve of mine when the cover pictures do not match up to the description that the author has provided. I rather have a picture of a police car or badge, for example, then a photo of guy who looks little like the person we are reading about. Anyway, I have not read this book yet but look forward to it as I really enjoy historical storylines.

  6. Great post. I usually don’t put much stock into imagining a character outside the book. I like reading about character appearances but I like to leave the envisioning to the author. If the cover art depicts a model similar to what the author had in mind I’m going to envision that person as I read the book. If no cover model is provided I just imagine the characteristics of the character as they are described (i.e. character was described as having blue eyes and dark hair, the character I envision will only have those two traits.) It’s very similar to when a cover model doesn’t match the description too. I’ll totally ignore the model on the cover and just place a blank face with the characters described physical appearance.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  7. That question about colour always makes me feel odd, too. It reminds me of trying to think about where the Earth was before the Universe was created, and where the Universe is.

    I always forget that Jonty is muscular!

  8. Congratulations on the new release! I can’t wit to get started. I loved the bit about character images. I always want to know what they look like to the creator and compare if my vision is in sync with that.

    I find that often times if the cover of the characters does not appeal to me because of the description of the characters, it takes away from my enjoyment.

    Thank you for the post!

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