Fresh Meat! An interview with a romance cover model.

Hi All,

Jennifer the Scribe, here.

So, I was wondering how many of you have looked at the cover of a romance novel and thought, “Man, where do they gets these guys?” The ripped muscles, blankless expressions, and perfect bods almost look computer generated, don’t they?  Well, I’m here to tell you not so!

Our guest today on the Scribes is cover model Jason Baca, who has graced the cover of over 100 romance novels.  I was lucky enough to get an interview with Jason, and yes ladies, I kept my hands to myself.  But, isn’t he handsome:

JF: How long have you been modeling for book covers and how were you discovered?

Jason:  Well, I have been modeling since 1997, but for the book covers since 2008. I actually went after the book covers on my own. For the regular modeling, I was discovered by a staff photographer in Bodega Bay, CA where I’d been a body double for one of the main actors in I Know What You Did Last Summer.

JF: Tell us what a typical shoot is like.  How much knowledge of the book do you have prior to shooting the cover?

Jason: Most of the time I have 0 knowledge of how/what type of shoot this will be. They may tell me to bring some clothes or don’t shave a few days before. They often give me photo reference the day of the shoot as far as the posing goes. This helps me out a great deal so I know the look they want. Quite often they’ll want me expressionless.

A shoot can last anywhere from 2-6 hours. Some photographers will take thousands of photos of very similar poses of me and the female model. You get into awkward positions and hold a stance for a while. And at the same time you are having to flex your muscles to show the definition in the body. By the end of the shoot, I’m usually starved and beat tired from all the tensing up.

The shoots are very professional. I make sure to always bring the confident powerful side of me to the shoot since more often then not, they want a character that has that in them.

JF: Do you believe the cover helps sell a book?

Jason:  Absolutely they do. Many times I’ve been in a bookstore and saw a cover of a book and just was completely turned off by it. It could have been the best read in the world too but if you don’t have a styling cover… forget it.

JF: What covers do you have out right now?

Jason:  Well, there are currently 95 out there with about 6 pending. Lucky for me, I’ve worked with some pretty amazing graphic artists that have recreated my image and made me look better.

JF: If you could be on a cover for your  “dream author” who would it be?

Jason: Gena Showalter. She has some awesome covers. It would be a big deal for me to be a part of her world.

JF: I know under all that muscles, lies a junk food junkie, right?  Come on, tell us, what’s your favorite junk food?

Jason: I have a few actually…  Jack & the Box Tacos, Mr.Goodbar, and my number 1 favorite.. Reese’s Peanut butter cups dark chocolate flavor.

Well Jason, I hope one day you can grace the cover of my book.  Thanks so much for being a good sport and agreeing to be interviewed by the Scribes.

So, ladies, what questions do you have for Jason today?


13 thoughts on “Fresh Meat! An interview with a romance cover model.”

  1. Welcome, Jason! Great interview, and let me say, I LOVE Reese’s Peanut Butter cups Dark chocolate flavor. On the question side of things, you are obviously in magnificent shape. As a personal trainer, I’m curious about your workout routine. What do you do for cardio, and how many days a week do you strength train? Do you “buff up” before a cover shoot?

    1. Hi PJ Sharon,
      Well thank you very much. And glad to hear you like those ever tempting Reese’s Cups… Bought 5 packs of them at the store yesterday.. Too bad I ate them all before I got to my house! 😦

      Great question! for cardio I usually do between 15-20 minutes per day followed by 45min-1 hour of lifting. Yes, I always go to the gym before a shoot and I drink very little water so that the cuts come out as much as possible…

    1. Marian,
      Thank you… And yes, I look forward to the day that happens as well. It keeps me going to the gym… And Reese’s are also what keeps me going to the gym 😦

  2. Jason, thanks for the great interview. I am so glad to hear you are a real man gracing those DD covers of muscle and hunk. My hero is a 19th century blockbuster, but they didn’t have weights back then, so how much of a blockbuster could he be? My story is from real people. I can’t imagine my hero using a chinning bar everyday. Ummm, maybe I should think about it? Guess more research is due about now. Call Gena, she might be really impressed and invite you to join her cover group. Jen, thanks for the great post.

    1. Well thank you Gail, it was a pleasure doing the interview.. It sounds like the book you have coming should be a treat for the readers! Yes I too wonder what those guys used for exercise back then.. They just had to do something… As for that author, I have emailed her website but that was a long time ago. Didn’t hear back..

  3. Hi Jason! Welcome to the Scribes! You are our first cover model! I agree that a cover can sell a book or at the very least get someone to pick it up. I’ve found loads of books that way. It’s great that you love dark chocolate Reese’s those are great! And, for the record, you would look great on one of Gena’s covers. So tell us, how did you meet Jennifer? And do you attend romance conventions?

    1. Casey,
      I’m so honored to be your first cover model to be on here.. I’m lucky to have such a great group to talk to on here as well! Yes… with all this Reese’s talk today, I may have to head to the store in a bit and grab 20 or so..

      I met Love during the filming of I Know What You Did Last Summer. I was a double for one of the main actors. Back then I didn’t have a clue who she was, I actually thought she was an extra. But we became friends there.

      I haven’t attended a conv. but have been invited a few times. I’m considering the one in KC in the coming year…

  4. First of all, thank you to Jennifer for getting us such a great topic of conversation. It’s also nice to know the cover models are often (unless fully illustrated) real men. I also have to agree that a cover art does indeed sell a book, which is why we’re all so excited to talk to a real cover model. We agonize over our cover art, and pray like hell we’ve chosen the right one. With cover models like yourself, who take their business seriously, it makes our jobs a little easier (and more fun). Good luck with getting to Gena. A suggestion…call or contact her or her agent to try to set up a meeting or phone interview, or send her a couple of photo ops geared to her genre. Can’t hurt. Oh, and I stay away from peanut butter cups – they meld to my hips the moment they enter my mouth. 🙂

  5. Jason, you are an inspiration on may levels. Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself here and a lot about yourself on the covers of sexy romance novels. You are definitely one attractive man, and I’m glad my aversion to water helps my muscle show–all one of them. 🙂

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