I’ve already admitted in the book’s endnotes that the models on the cover are not Indigenous. That’s standard stock art.
For my original plan, I envisioned hiring a photographer and taking photos for the first four planned books all at the same time. I had a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and an emergency plan and they all fell through. Most of the problem was finding models.
I had some connections but apparently young people hear “romance novel” and don’t come running forward to get involved.
I figured I could make do with stock photos. If you’ve ever search through stock photography (for example: istockphoto) for Indigenous people the selection is not wonderful. Just checking right now, it looks better than the first time I checked. There are great family type photos but after the first screen or two you start getting non-native people dressed up in headdresses and stereo-typical buckskin garb that makes my head hurt to see that even exists.
I had booked the cover artist months in advance so I had to make a decision so we went with the present photo. Holly did a fantastic job. The final project looks great. I was afraid I would be disappointed with it.
I am actively looking pro-quality photos of cute native couples. I’ve you’ve got something, get in touch via the contact form. I’d love to work with you.