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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Today's Guest: Cover Model - Jason Aaron Baca...

We are joined today by romance cover model, Jason Aaron Baca. And boy do we have some questions for him! As an added bonus, Jason will stop in throughout the day to answer any questions you might have as well.

Let's get started, shall we?

So, Jason, how did you get into cover modeling? And what is your plan for after modeling?

Jason: It was a long process getting into modeling for these covers. I sent out about a million or so emails to anyone related to the business, trying to find out what I needed to do to become one of these cover guys. Some would give me helpful suggestions, some I couldn't tell if they even read my email because of the vague response I'd receive. Some would tell me that I had to have a specific agency represent me. Most people would quit right there and say, "Well, it's all over for me then." I wasn't satisfied... If I couldn't get into things with that particular publisher, then I'd get into some of the others.. And that's just what happened.

I don't have plans for anything outside of this. I take 1 thing at a time. I do plan on coming off my diet though and having a HUGE pizza and cheeseburger with fries.

Your story sounds a lot like the process we authors go through as far as sending query letters to agents and editors, the rejections, the rejections, the no responses. Congrats on seeing your dream realized! Tell us, what is the most fun you've ever had on an assignment?

Jason: I've had fun on all my projects, I liked this one assignment where I arrived at the studio out of shape, so they painted in some abs on my stomach with some strange make up machine. It was a lot of fun watching my stomach transform into a perfect piece of art in a matter of seconds when here I'd been working on those abs for years.

That has got to be the best way to get in shape!

So we know you've said you don't read romance, but have friends or family ever read a book that featured you on the cover? And if so, what was their reaction?

Jason: I have envisioned their reactions of the books I'm on the cover of and, yes, its a shocked, impressed and possibly thrown back look they have. But that is what I am. I'm not the kind of guy that you can expect to find anything normal about.

Is there any *hero* you prefer to portray more than others? Werewolf, vampire, policeman, duke, etc? Have you ever been uncomfortable with an assignment?

Jason: Yes, I actually prefer to be the bad guy, that guy on the cover that you love to hate. It hits more the creative side of me. A happy enjoyable Jason... Well, then you know how to approach, but a lurking, mysterious Jason... Hmm, lets find out more...

Have you ever been recognized in person by fans? If so, tell us all about it.

Jason: It all depends on where I'm at. If I'm at an airport, then, yes, it happens often. If I'm at a restaurant or mall, maybe sometimes I'll get looks from those that recognize me but can't pinpoint from where exactly. Then they can't stop looking. I know they realize I'm someone. They will say, "Hey, you look familiar." And I'll say I get that a lot.

What is your workout routine?

Jason: I workout 6 days per week, 1 full hour per day. I make sure to also stretch everyday, and do some form of cardio 5 days a week to keep the bodyfat % down. What helps most is living in a balanced diet. The workouts are excellent but I have learned that if you don't have a proper diet, then all the pain you go through in the gym won't benefit you completely.

If I feel my body has become exhausted from the everyday tensions of the routines, I take an extra day off. What I prefer to do is head to my local spa where I get a hydrating facial along with a steam wrap. In the sauna I make sure to include plenty of Eucalyptus so that I can really clear my head and thoughts.

So that is your workout regime... Can you describe a typical cover shoot day?

Jason: Sure, I prepare my morning with a good stretch of all my limbs. I start with the top, shoulders, neck and work my way down to the tips of my toes. Everything gets stretched out. During this time I have an ice pack wrapped around my eyes so that if my face is puffy it will help the swelling go down.

In the shower I begin with a soothing cucumber cleansing body wash. Then the Luscious Embrace Moisturizing Body Wash then an Ultra Moisture Vanilla Winter Retreat Body Wash.

For the face I use a Shine Control Purifying Cleanser followed by a skin smoothing cream scrub then an "oil minimizing toner".

After toweling off, I moisturize my body with Quench Plus Firming Body Lotion. For the face I apply an age defying 2 in 1 anti-wrinkle day cream and serum, followed by an anti-wrinkle eye cream. I let that dry for a moment while I get changed and style my hair. Then I apply an age defying daily renewal cream (preferably one with an SPF of at least 15) followed by a regenerist sculpting cream then moisturizer that will hydrate my skin through out the day.

This enables me to really take the time to appriciate myself and look and feel my absolute best when I walk out my front door for a long day's shoot. I want to unlock my face's potential on this day no matter what. I know the authors give their heart into their writings, so this is the least I can do as their cover model.

Random question - If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

Jason: I'd probably be a blow fish... From a distance they don't seem that powerful, but then if you get to close to it... What does it do? It transforms into this amazing creature! It has suddenly become "untouchable, questionable, possibly intimidating".

As romance authors, we'll occasionally get a certain "look" when we tell people what we do for a living. Is it the same for cover models? Do you ever get that "look"?

Jason: Yes, I know that "Look" all too well also. They right away think you have an attitude attached to you. Like you are some kind of macho guy that thinks he's the best around. They soon realize what a down to earth person I really am though. But when they give me that look, I too give them that same look back when they tell me what they do for a living!

If a publisher reading this wanted to book you, can they do so through your agency?

Jason: Yes they can, they can book me through Halvorson Model Mgmt.

And what about independent authors? Is there a place they can go to get stock photos of you to use for their covers?

Jason: Yes, they can go to http://www.theauthorsredroom.com/stock-photography/jason-baca/couple-images/
There are some good ones to choose from there.. There is a graphic artist on the site that can create the cover for you
as well.

Jason, thank you so much for visiting with us today! We have just one final question a certain LadyScribes lady was dying to know the answer to... Is there a cover model club? If so, where do you meet and are visitors allowed?

Jason: Well there isn't a "club" but I know where many frequent sure... http://www.romancetreasure.com/

Jason has generously offered to send his zed card to one lucky commenter, chosen at random. So, without further ado... The floor is open for questions!


  1. Is there any cover that you model for that stands out the most? Since romance is not your thing what kind of books do you like to read?

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by for us to get to know ya.

    1. Hi Melody,
      I would have to say The Legend Of Michael by Lisa Renee Jones stands out most as one of my favs.

      I am a huge fan of Tony Robbins books. They captivate my mind.. JB

    2. Jason I have another question have ever consider reading a book that you were on the cover on?

    3. Hi Melody,
      I've actually read quite a few of them... I can see now how these books can draw a reader in... jb

    4. That freaking awesome. Thanks for sharing

    5. Do you actually know the number of covers you have been on?


  2. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Jason! Thanks for being open to questions! I was wondering what made you interested in modeling for covers in the beginning? Did you have a 'role model' you hoped to emulate?

    1. Hi Deb~
      Thank you for your question. In the beginning of the romance novels I didn't have a roll model really. It was more a vision of myself and a drive to do it.

      Originally when I began modeling it was Marky Mark doing the Calvin Klein ad that inspired me to model and have a good body. ~ Jb

  3. Jason ~ Thanks so much for being here at Lady Scribes today! I have to say, your answer about giving other people the "look" when you find out what THEY do for a living almost had me fall of the couch. A million different scenarios flashed in my mind, each one funnier than the last!

    1. Hey Lydia~

      Yea that's right, you give them that "look" Next time someone asks you what you do and they give it to you... Make sure to turn around and do the same after they tell you what they do.. ;)

  4. Hi Jason. Do you model for other types of work too or just covers? Thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. Valerie,

      Great question. It can really depend on what my mgmt contacts me for. I enjoy romance novels the most though, it is my passion. jb

  5. Jason, thanks so much for dropping by! Loved your interview. I do have a question--what is the most difficult part of your job?

    1. Lily,

      Ok to be perfectly honest, the hardest part of my job is having to go each day without giving in to junk food. I mean, I love cheeseburgers and fries. I can look at the menu but I just can't eat! Jb

  6. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Jason! It's so great to have you here today!

    I know Lydia asked what type of character you like most to portray, but is there a time period you like more than others?

    And I have to agree with Lydia…the bit about giving other people the "look" is HILARIOUS!

    1. Avon Lady Jerrica,

      Thank you too! Believe it or not, I like Historical. It has a unique feel to it. In a shoot, its something you really need to sort of escape the mind from this day in age and think of how those people thought back then. It can be a lot of fun.. - Jb

  7. Hi Jason, I am curious to know if cover modeling in this day and age produces a fan following from non-romance readers? I remember back in the day, Fabio had quite the following, so it makes me wonder if it's the same or different.

    1. Misty,

      Yes there is a small base out there that follows what I do. I absolutely love it.. Its what keeps my battery going! JB

  8. Thanks so much for joining us at Lady Scribes, Jason! I was curious...do you find it more fun or tedious to get into costume if you're doing a shoot for something historical/paranormal/sci-fi? No club, huh? Too bad for that certain one of our Lady Scribes. LOL. Your response about "The Look" is priceless. I'll have to start giving it to them, too. Maybe if enough of us do that, eventually they'll start to realize...well...nah, they probably won't. Still, it'll be fun to give it back.

    1. Catherine,

      I find that getting into costume almost instantly puts me into character for the cover shoots. I find the whole experience quite fun though..

      And yes, you should start giving others "The Look" and if they ask where you got it from just say its a secret. jb

  9. Jason,
    So glad to have you with us today. First I would like to say thank you for recognizing how authors put their hearts into their writing, and thanks for doing your part to bring our characters to life. And kudos to you for not taking no for an answer when you were trying to get your foot in the publishing door.

    Okay. Now it's question time. Your routine before a shoot is just for photos, right? You don't go through all of that before a date, do you? Ladies don't like their dates to look better than them. ;D

    Thanks for being such a good sport!

    1. I don't know if I would mind that my date looked better than I did, as long as he looks like Mr. Baca, Samantha LOL. I would be perfectly okay with it. =D

    2. HaHa... Samantha & Suzie you guys are something else! :)

      Well as for my morning ritual, no I don't do this every single morning but I do in fact believe in taking care of myself and I moisturize on a daily basis with only top quality products. Got to stay on top of my game at all times... JB

    3. Suzie,

      I suppose I could cope with being the less attractive one if I MUST. LOL

  10. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Jason and thanks for taking the time to answer *almost* all of our burning questions. I say almost because I really wanted to know if you had Fabio's number, but decided to wait until today to ask. Seriously, isn't he like the Godfather of Romance Novel Covers? Does he give out advice on how to have perpetual wind in one's hair? ;)

    And I'd like to second what Samantha said, thank you for recognizing the hard work that goes into writing a book, and we appreciate all the hard work *you* do to make our covers look hawt. :)

    1. Marquita,

      Well thank you too for creating these books. It is my job to look my best so that I can get my authors the maximum sales possible. I feel its my responsibility.

      And as for him, he has achieved so much in this arena... He was a natural at this and could never be replaced by someone else. I don't have his contact info on hand though :( Jb

  11. Thank you for joining us today at Lady Scribes, Jason. And, yes thank you for recognizing the hard work authors put into. I have two questions for you: First, I'm not a publisher so I can't book you (although the thought has merit) but is there anyway for Indie authors to get you to create a custom photo? As a historical romance writer it's very difficult to find photo's for certain eras like regency or even the Viking era. Not that I can afford this but it would be nice to know if I ever could afford it.

    And second, on my off time, I'm a gamer girl and an adventure lover. My family loves to hike, go sailing, and go camping. So what do you do on your "off time" for fun?

  12. Suzie,

    Great questions.. for the first one, yes Indie authors can go on that authors red room site (linked in interview) and choose a photo they want to use and then email the site and they can create any type of cover.. And yes, viking era included..

    As for me, on my free time I enjoy the beach, the gym, biking, hiking, playing the stock market, and dreaming about eating hot fudge sundaes with extra whipped cream, crushed nuts, and 4-5 cherries on top.. :) JB

  13. I don't have any questions to ask. I'm just pondering which of my books Jason should star on for his next project. :) Okay, and I'm also thinking about that hot fudge sundae. . . LOL

  14. Hi Jason! Thanks for visiting us today! This is so fun...
    Hmm. Well, my burning need to know what animal you would be has been answered, so let's go with- if the agency could contract any model or actress in the world to star on your next cover with you, who would it be?
    Skis or Surfboard?
    Night or Day?
    Movie or Book?
    Cheeseburger and fries or Ice cream sundae? (I'm so mean! LOL!)

    I ask all the DIFFICULT questions... ;D

    1. Olivia,

      These are not difficult questions at all.. Keep 'em coming.. Ok I would have to say that if I had any choice of which actress or model I'd go with Andromeda from the original Clash of the Titans.
      and also...
      neither.. I always fall off both.
      Day because I'm a morning person.
      Book of course! It brings out the creative side..
      and for the last one....

      It all depends, like right now I could do the cheeseburger & fries along with a few ice cream sundaes but I can't... I have a shoot in 2 days.. :( jb

  15. Jason - Do you know if there will be more historical images "coming soon" for indie authors to search through at the link you have listed above?

    1. Ava,
      Yes there will be more of the historical images coming soon. There are only solo ones on that site for now with a long white sleeve shirt. The graphic artist on the site can create a historical look for the covers using my current shots if you need some...

      There is an example of one in my "book covers" section on this site http://jasonaaronbaca.deviantart.com/gallery/

  16. At the grand ol age of 40, I like the covers to have men on them rather than the pretty boys. Hairy chests does it for me sigh. Shame they arent as popular. Hope to see him on the cover of a BBW romance sometime. That would be great!

    1. I'll put a note in there for chest hair.. got it.. Jb

  17. Very nice interview. Do you get to meet the authors for the books you pose for?


    1. No actually I haven't yet though I have talked to them via email. You can always tell when they are a writer because of how well they put their words together... jb

  18. No questions. I've simply come to bask in your fineness. Sigh. ;}

    1. LMAO, Andris! You crack me up!!

    2. Andris,

      Thank you very much! You made my day! jb

  19. And you've made mine, darlin'. ;}

  20. I'm late, waving from Australia! Great post Lady Scribes and hello Jason, lovely to meet you.

    I had no idea it could be so hard to get into cover modelling for books. I've bookmarked your site and will check out your images.

    Of course, you'd have to be a Duke or an Earl for my covers but, I'm sure you can handle it.

    Tam :)

  21. Great interview! Please, please, please let me interview you at www.caseycrow.com I feel the need to make everyone I know jealous. :)

  22. Hi Jason!

    Thanks so much for joining us today with such as fun interview! Sadly, I had to work in the salt mines today (aka the day job), so I'm a little late joining in - but I wanted to say you should consider coming to the RT convention! It's so much fun, and the cover models absolutely make those readers' days :) (and the authors' days too!)

    Keep up the great work - you provide a lot of inspiration for us writers!

  23. Drum roll please....

    The winner of Jason's zed card is... Melody May! (Aren't you all jealous now?)

    Melody, if you will send your snail mail address to me in email at lydia@lydiadare.com I'll pass it along to Jason!

    Thanks everyone for stopping by!!