As a writer, I have a very clear vision in my head of how my heroes and heroines look. Which is not always necessarily what shows up on the cover of the book. Or how a reader describes one of my characters to me.
That's okay with me. I like drawing a picture with words that others fill free to color in.
Perhaps it is because I'm book collector too. I know that people's visions of heroes change with generations. A favorite example is John Carter of Mars. For me, he was first that dude on the cover of the Ace paperbacks that I discovered in my aunt's basement. Then I found those Science Fiction Book Club editions with Frank Frazetta's view of the hero. But as I've collected both older and new editions over the years, I found many different versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John and his more famous Tarzan.
You can see several different artistic interpretations of John Carter and Tarzan on my Pinterest Board -- as well as a picture of one actor that I'd love to see in a ERB movie. Also you'll find a few books in my collection featured on the cover of John Carter, Tarzan, and Friends at Amazon.com. Enjoy!