Marcia James, author of hot, humorous romances
 
 

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The James Gang


THE JAMES GANG

May James Gang

Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of "James" in their names or in their work. My May James Gang interviewee is with model, Jason Aaron Baca, who graces the covers of romance novels, including Lorelei James' Cowboy Casanova!

 

1. You are the cover model on author Lorelei James's romance, Cowboy Casanova. Do you know how they chose you for the cover?

I wish I knew how all of that worked. I get the feeling they have a meeting they put together with their staff. They all come to an agreement about their cover. Once they get the final word, then they publish it. I'm thrilled to be a cover model for one of Lorelei's novels. And this is supposed to be a big one I'm on.

2. How did your cover model career get started?

Well, it got started three or so years ago. I was entering a Barnes and Noble bookstore and had noticed a lot of covers of romance novels with guys that had the same features as I did. I had already been a model for eleven or so years doing fitness and other types of modeling, but when I saw this, I knew it had opened up a whole new meaning to the word "modeling" for me. It was like my body had entered into another galaxy. Before, my mind was thinking, "Hey, I'm getting too old to model and do fashion stuff." But when I saw the romance novels, I had realized I was right in my prime! I remember saying out loud "Oh, yea!" when it came to me in the store. People were turning their heads looking my way... They didn't realize that they were witnessing the birth of a new romance cover model.

3. Tell us about a "typical" romance cover shoot.

Well, you know Marcia, none of my shoots are typical, that's for sure. If they have that feel to them when I walk in a studio, I throw them off; I will mix them all up so they will be forced to use their creative minds. I want to share my vision with the people I work closely with; so that being said, I go into the shoots with many of my own ideas in mind. Often times, the publishers end up using my ideas over what the art director wanted.

Before a shoot, I mentally and physically prepare myself for the shoot. I get a lot of people asking me how I get such a smooth shave and how come my skin is so clear and youthful. I tell them it's because I take good care of myself. It's a priority in my life. I make sure to always shave with Gillette's Dual Action Blades so that it easily glides away any rough spots on my face. After shaving, I use an after shave with no alcohol. If you use an alcohol-based aftershave, then it will dry your skin out and make you look older. I always use an anti-aging eye balm around my eyes as well as a hydrating crème. I typically prefer to use products that are oil free, since I don't want to clog any pores in my skin.

During my skin therapy, I try to focus on how the shoot will go. I usually listen to soft tranquil music, preferably songs with the piano or waterfalls. I get my head in the right frame of mind. I picture walking into the studio and everyone is like "complete perfection!"

4. What are the best and worst parts of being a cover model?

The best parts of being a romance novel model is that I get to have the honor of being this author's cover guy. I get to be the hero, the Gladiator, the King of this book. It is a sensational feeling to be chosen as that character. The worst part is having to constantly say no to pizza, wine, cheeseburgers, fries, and double-layered fudge brownie sundaes with warmed hot fudge dripping off the sides. Yes, I miss out on all that fun stuff that people do when they want to gain beef.

5. So many authors are self-publishing today. Is there a way an author can contact you or purchase a photo of you to use on a book cover?

I am glad to be of assistance. Yes actually, there is a database of stock photos that can be purchased from past shoots where the photos were never used. There are some really good ones in the mix here - http://www.theauthorsredroom.com/stock-photography/jason-baca/

6. You're an author yourself. Tell us about your books.

  

Yes, I have two books out: Journey of a Male Model (2004) and Overexposed (2006). Both books are for the beginning model. They were written as a resource for models looking to make it in the modeling world. They are both available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

7. You have also worked in films and as a double or stand-in. What were the best and worst parts of that profession?

Well, being a double wasn't what I really wanted in life. It was fun to do back then because I didn't know how to interact with other actors and models. This enabled me to learn the ropes and how to present yourself for a go-see or audition. Talking to some of these actors gave me that edge in all of this today. That was the best part of it all; the worst was the actual job of doing the doubling -- i.e., driving a car 15 times down the same road until they are checking the gate on that shot. You don't receive any real rewards for being a double either. The main actor gets all the praise... I do not stand in a shadow. This is not for me, and I knew back then it was short-lived.

8. Did you model for retailers before you became a romance cover model?

Yes, for quite a few actually. The biggest one was through YMLA clothing line, which later got bought up by Sketchers. They had a lot of far out-looking outfits to wear. It was fun for back then. It still wasn't quite me, though. I remembered being in Los Angeles doing a shoot thinking, I believe there is something bigger coming down the road.

9. Do you have a health regimen to maintain your cover hero appearance?

Yes, I do. I take excellent care of my body. If I notice a part of my body isn't looking its absolute best, I exercise that part of my body extensively. Every day, usually in the morning, I make my way to my local health club where I have a ferocious workout. I make sure to exert myself so that I am completely drained by the time I walk out. I exercise my body six times per week. I do cardio every single day. And at night before bedtime, I lay down and envision how my body will look in the end. People say, "Hey, Jason, your body is good enough already!" And I tell them, "Well, you can always be fitter, look better." We all laugh... They are laughing because they think I'm joking. I'm laughing because I meant it.

10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you'd like to impart or a favorite quote or philosophy?

My philosophy is that it's not enough to just go to the gym and "workout." I see a lot of guys there who just come in and visit with others and barely work up a sweat. May as well just stay home then. Then I see two guys on the other side of the gym doing weights together. One guy is working out really hard, sweat running down his arms, having a great time; and then the other guy is showing no expression and puts the weights down as soon as it starts to hurt with very little effort. Why is it that one guy has so much motivation and the other does not? Well, I believe it's due in part that the positive thinker, the guy having fun, has a target he wants to reach. A clear set out target. If you don't have a target, then what are you doing out in the forest with this crossbow? It doesn't matter that you have this excellent tool. Not gonna do you an ounce of good unless you know what/where/why you are using it. Go for what you want, don't hold back inside, and know you got to last, so go farther than you ever did before!

Thank you, Jason! My June James Gang interviewee will be Black Opal Books author, Jami Gray.

 

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