It is a truism that we do judge books by their covers and this is more than evident in romance fiction. That cover has to be "just right"... I know myself what a tortuous business it is finding just the right image and how devestating it can be when you feel that the image does not reflect the story. In the world of independent book publishing there is now a service industry of editors, formatters, designers... and cover models.
Ms. Stuart's gentleman guest today is Jason Aaron Baca, who is the gallant hero on many a romance cover. She must confess to being in a little bit of a flutter and may spill the tea while pouring it... and if you hear girlish giggling...
Mr. Baca, do take a seat? Do you drink tea or do you prefer a coffee?
I’ll take the tea with a little honey please… thank you for letting me come sit in with you. (AS: My pleasure!)
I see from your website that you dislike boring questions so the challenge is on to find some interesting questions for you… Let’s start with how you got into the modeling business and what was the break that drove you towards being a cover model?
I got into modeling by accident. I was on location for a movie where I’d been a double for one of the main actors. The photographer of the film had pulled me aside and asked if he could take a few shots of me. It turned out to be my first big break into modeling. From there fast forward a good 8 years and my career was all but over when I’d happened to walk into a book store that had romance novels. I glanced over at one and saw a guy that looked a bit like me. I thought, hey wait a minute! This is something I’d never gotten involved in… From there, my mind was totally focused… It was in my heart, in my eyes , in my mind and it became part of my entire body. And it was at that moment that I wanted nothing more then to be a Romance Cover model!
I imagine it takes hundreds of shots to produce that one “money shot”. Can you describe a typical shoot?
Yes , you are correct, it does take quite a few shots to get that one that has all the great qualities the cover artists look for.. The lighting is just right, the attitude fits, the overall feel of the shot. There are so many photos that just don’t make the cut. And as far as how the shoots typically go, it’s hard to say because each photographer does things differently. Some will take shot after shot after shot in split seconds while others make sure the lighting is just right or get me to move more to the left or flex.
You have some wonderful ‘intimate’ shots with female cover models which are perfect for use on a romance book. To get a reader to “buy in” to the relationship that is portrayed in the shot (sensual/tender/romantic), how do you and your fellow model approach these sort of shots?
Well it’s basically a business agreement the co-model and myself have. We meet with the photographer and art director and they give us some concepts to look over then we get into our positions and they take the shots. We both know that if they are going to have any useable material then we have to act as though we are in love or desire one another. A lot of people see these shoots of me in intimate poses with the models think we had a romantic involvement of some kind, but these are the people that don’t understand romance cover modeling so it’s strange to them. Its just like it would be strange to me to get onto a motorcycle and try to drive up a steep hill that is a ½ mile long in 15 seconds. See that to me is strange, but to those that are professionals, they are passionate about it.
Do you have any idea how many covers you now appear on?
As of today 196 with about 7 pending. I still have a long ways to go to reach my ultimate goal in the business…
As a small boy if someone asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” what was your reply?
A professional baseball player. And that dream stayed with me all through my high school and college years in the sport.
Finally, if someone is interested in purchasing your photos for possible book covers, where would they go?
They would go to my website http://jasonaaronbaca.deviantart.com when they see something they want, they then look over my instructions in the journal section of the site.
And all about Jason...
Jason began his short film career in Nash Bridges (1996) in 1996. He continued acting and residing in the Bay Area before moving on to modeling. He was discovered by a photographer on location for I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) where he had been doubling for Freddie Prinze Jr.. Jason went on to pose for some of today's top magazines including Industry , Men's Workout, Men's Fitness, YMLA Magazine, Hong Kong Silk, Joe Boxer Int., For Women UK, InStyle Magazine, Playgirl, and many others. He has been linked to actress Jennifer Love Hewitt as well as a former Miss Florida.
In 2005, Baca began modeling for romance novel covers. As of Jan 2014, he has graced the covers of over 196 romance and sci-fi novels. Jason is known best for his candid interviews with numerous author blogs expressing his concern for smooth skin and maintaining good health.
In 2011, he appeared in Men's Fitness Australia, Exercise & Health Magazine, Men's Workout, Optimyz Fitness,Natural Muscle Magazine and Scene Bay Area doing various interviews on how to stay fit and younger looking.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROCESS OF MAKING A GOOD COVER OR THE LIFE OF A COVER MODEL... JASON WILL BE ONLY TO HAPPY TO ANSWER THEM!