Note from Jessa: There’s a lot that goes into the making of a romance novel — the writing, the rewriting, the editing, the formatting, the publishing, the marketing… and of course, the pretty, pretty covers! Here’s a chance to learn more about one of the faces that helps brings the stories to life.
Jason Aaron Baca is a model who has graced the covers of some of the best-known names in romance. Read on! For a chance to win a signed model card from Jason, leave a comment or tell us which is your favorite romance novel cover pose.
(Second Jessa note: Some of the questions have been changed to be less female-centric. I didn’t quite realize how not inclusive I was being with my Disney princess question. Kudos to Jason for playing along today!)
Which is your favorite myth, legend, urban legend, Aesop fable, fairy tale, or superhero, and why?
Well I’d have to go with Superman of course… He’s practically impossible to cut up to say there’s a bad quality. The Man Of Steel.. The guy every guy wants to be.
Which Disney prince are you most like? Or least like? Personalities aside, whose hair would you want?
Cinderella’s Prince Charming I am most like. I will leave it to your imagination as to why I choose him. And he’s got a cool hair style. I wonder what type of gel he uses? Maybe he’d be kind enough to let me borrow some?
Which romantic lead tropes do you find yourself returning to in your stories?
As a cover model, I don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing which covers I end up on. The cover artists get to do that part of the thinking. I will say that I have been on a lot of covers where the lead ends up returning in an awesome sequel.
When did you realize you were a model? What was your inciting incident?
I realized I possibly had a special talent for this when a photographer from one of the movie locations approached me asking if he could take photos of me. He explained how I was a natural and should be excellent in this field. It was at that very moment that I knew it was in my heart, in my eyes, in my mind and it became a part of my entire body once I began working towards my new goal.
If you weren’t a model, what would you do with all that free time?
Boy I haven’t had a chance to really think in those terms because of how busy this has all gotten. Most likely I’d be in a beautiful location, somewhere where there is a brook with mountains of endless land and rolling hills and the smells all around are fresh and there are only sounds of the wind crackling against the trees… Yes.. that’s where I’d be on my free time.
What is your personal theme song today?
I have so many I could choose at this very moment right now. Fame – Irene Cara!
Not including the obvious (guns, knives, etc.) which object nearest you would make a suitable weapon in the event of a zombie-ninja-robot invasion?
My mind! I know that a physical weapon against something of that nature would not be suitable so I would have to outsmart them, out think them. Allow them the chance to figure things out.
What do you like best about your current work?
I get the opportunity to be that character, that hero. It has a lot of satisfaction in it for me. That feeling of being chosen as the guy, the one for this individual.
What one question would you want to ask another model, living or dead?
Don’t you think you’d look better if you had a beard?
What is your earliest memory or story?
Oh this would have to be at my grandparents house my grandpa was coming home from his last day of work. He was retiring. I just remembered the look of relief on his face. And happiness because he was able to spend time with his family.
Do people in the industry try to sabotage your career ever?
That is hard to say. I mean there are thousands and thousands of people that want to do what I’m doing. They’d do anything to do it and end up going outer limits sometimes. When a person witnesses something where someone is trying to hinder their own career, there is that initial reaction you get. They possibly take your self control. It’s important to stay focused on what you want. Energy directed other ways can only slow down your progress!
Where can a cover artist, publisher or indie author get a hold of your photos for their book covers?
Very simple, all they need to do is visit http://jasonaaronbaca.deviantart.com When they see an image they want, see the rules in the journal. That simple.
Jason Aaron Baca of Los Gatos, CA, is a romance novel cover model of more than 185 book covers and counting. Jason has appeared in some of today’s top fitness magazines including Men’s Fitness Australia, YMLA, Industry Magazine, Men’s Workout Magazine, Exercise & Health as well as many many others.
You can find him online at Pinterest as well as DeviantArt.
Jason is giving away a signed model card to one lucky commenter so just say hey or tell us about your favorite poses on romance novel covers.
What is the most difficult part of being a model? What else besides modeling are you looking at doing?
Great question Cynthia.. I’d have to say that the hardest part to modeling is avoiding chocolate! I find it to be a real challenge!
As for other adventures…. I don’t really get an opp. to think about all that other stuff at the moment.. This business has really consumed me…
I aspire to be a model. I’m 40 years old now and have been told my four head is too big like a large mountain. Can you give me any tips or suggestions to help me. Thx.
Thanks for doing this interview, Jessa. This is the first time I’ve ever seen one with a cover model–male or female. I like that Jason seems intelligent, professional, and knows where he is going.
As for my favorite covers, I have to say I’m tired of the man chest–even when it looks as good as his. I’ve always been a believer that clothing makes the man. I’d rather fantasize about what’s underneath than to be shown it all up front. In Jason’s instance, the fact he is intelligent is a big boost to the fantasy too.
Maggie, You are very kind… I thank you for saying such flattering words about my intelligence.. We can always be smarter think better so I’m always on the lookout to learning something new each day.. I dream and always will… 🙂
Cool interview, Jessa!
Hi Jason, I used to work in Los Gatos and still miss being able to walk around Vasona Lake Park on my lunch hour. On average, how long does a photo shoot for a book cover take? Do you have any advice for budding models on how to break into the book cover business?
Thanks for being on Jessa’s blog.
Small world.. Yes I am very familiar with Vasona and all the ducks everywhere… 🙂
Usually a shoot will last anywhere between 2-5 hrs. A lot will depend on how many outfit changes there will be, if makeup is involved,hair..
As for those trying to get in, it can be very competitive these days. If I was to start out in today’s competition, I’d be sooooo lost. My first suggestion would be to see if the person is even photogenic.. do a couple photo shoots with indie photographers .. you’ll know right away if you have it..
Good morning, Jason.
185 book covers? That’s impressive!
How do other guys react when they discover you’re a model?
P.S. Jessa, thank you soooo much for a great start to my day! 😉
Thank you for showing us another side of the publishing world. As a reader I don’t think about all of the details…but I am drawn to some books by their cover. Great interview, Jason and Jessa. ~~Valerie