The Editor-Model Hybrid Is Born: Posing For Jean Plaidy Covers with Editor Heather Lazare

Heather Lazare is the Associate Publishing Manager and Associate Editor of Three Rivers Press. You can see parts of her on the repackaged editions of Jean Plaidy’s Novels of the Tudors series: A Favorite of the Queen, For A Queen’s Love, Mary, Queen of France, and The Sixth Wife.

”What’s up with all the headless women?”

As an editor, the last thing you think anyone is going to say to you is, “Hey, do you want to be the model for a few book jackets?”

But when our jacket designer needed more photos for the repackaged Jean Plaidy series, she realized she had the funds to hire the photographer but not a model; and thus the editor-model hybrid was born.

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One September day in 2008, I spent an afternoon in the East Village with photographer Barry Marcus and our designer, Laura Duffy. There were wigs galore, luscious costumes created by Sharon Spiak, and far more makeup than I’ve ever worn. At the end of the day, we had hundreds of photos and I was exhausted—turns out, standing still is surprisingly tough work.

• See the whole photo set on Flickr

Once Laura had all the photos, she created numerous jackets, and pretty soon, I was walking into jacket meetings in which topics of discussion included my neck. When we finalized the jackets and put them in our catalog we talked to our field reps about their thoughts. One rep said, “So, what’s up with the headless women?”

Blushing, I found myself fumbling while trying to explain that we wanted the sense of allure, of distance—Jean Plaidy wrote about real historical women and having someone who doesn’t look a thing like Elizabeth I on a jacket could be jarring to a reader. Then again, the other half of me wanted to just tell them, “Well, because it’s the same woman on most of the jackets. Me.”

A couple of the finished book jackets:

So this is the headless editor, signing off. I hope you like the new look of Jean Plaidy and enjoy the final two books in the Novels of the Tudors series.

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • cathie spindler

    I love the updated covers. The model has the perfect body to act as your Hybrid!

  • Chris

    I’m a long time Jean Plaidy fan, and found this article fascinating. Very neat to get the “story behind the jackets”, and I can hardly wait until these repackaged editions come out!

  • Vanessa

    What a beautiful model-editor hybrid! I love the new jackets – they’re sumptuous and sexy. Reminds me of The Tudors on HBO.

  • Alexander

    In my research for editors and agents who worked with historical fiction, your name came up on more than a few occasions.

    I just finished my first novel on the reign of Richard III and the rise of the Tudor dynasty. Would you know any agents who might be willing to represent such a work? I haven’t had much luck as of yet. I keep getting told historical fictions books with male protagonists don’t sell well.

    Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.

  • Jennnifer Kinney

    I have been a fan of Jean Plaidy’s works for some time. Learning about history is interesting with her books.


    It’s great to see all aspects of getting a novel out.

  • Bonnie Wemyss

    I love the two new book jackets! They will really stand out on the shelves!!!

  • simone williams

    i am so in love with jean plaidy’s writings. i am in the middle of loyal in love. the new jackets are wonderful. i have become a great fan of the tutor stories.

  • Marci Herman

    What a interesting experience that must have been. Would love to read more … the updated jackets are fantastic!

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