Cover models are the final piece to the jigsaw of your book - let's just say, they bring your characters to life. To me, they are as important as the story, itself. And that's why I took the decision to choose my cover models myself.I've been lucky that both my books, 'Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses' and 'Hibiscus Bay' have had fantastic covers (and a fantastic cover artist, Nicola Martinez from The Wild Rose Press), but how many of us have been disappointed when we see our final copy, only to think, "that's not my hero or heroine!"
So, I'd like to introduce you to my cover models - Chris Winters, voted Mr. Romance 2008 at the RT Convention and the lovely Laura Hawkins.
I first spotted Chris Winters on myspace. I thought 'this guy has got to be a model' and I was right. After befriending him and supporting him through the Mr. Romance 2008 competition, I asked if he would consider being my cover model for my Christmas release later that year. To my delight, and without any hesitaion, Chris agreed. I then asked if he would consider asking his girlfriend, Laura Hawkins, to pose with him, as she was very similar to the character in my story, and very pretty. How could he refuse?
Laura and I then contacted each other and I arranged the pose with her via email (wonderful technology!). Laura took the whole process so professionally, asking how her hair should be styled and what she should wear. She even brought a new dress for the occasion (which was a grecian style gown that Marcus had brought her character in the story, and it was spot on!) They held tiny glasses of Ouzo (which I believe was water, wink wink) and between them, created a romantic atmosphere that positively beams from them naturally!
I was so pleased with Laura and Chris, as they had tried so hard to perfect exactly what I had asked for and with the help of my fantastic cover artist, Nicola Martinez, I am more than delighted with the final copy.So, let's meet them properly in an interview below:-
Chris, you’ve recently been crowned Mr. Romance 2008 at the RT convention. That’s quite an achievement!
Thank you! I appreciate the compliments! I’m happy to be a part of the romance ‘history’, if you will. Hopefully, I would like to get my book done as well. I have three I want to accomplish, and yes, one is a romance, but with a very different thrill to it. Actually, it shows how a man can dearly love and miss his woman, and shows the reader the emotion of a man.
Laura, the camera loves you. Have you ever modelled before?
Yes, I’ve been modelling now for about 2 ½ years. Mostly local stuff for fun. I’ve always liked smiling in front of the camera anyway. When Chris and I get together, it’s always fun and surprises. We like to do the cute couple poses with nothing but smiles!
How did you both feel when I asked if you’d be my cover models?
It was quite an honour actually. It’s nice to be an image of love in anyone’s eyes.
It’s clear you both had fun during the photo shoot. Have you ever been cover models before?
Laura: No, actually this is the first for me. It was quite interesting and I got a taste of the ‘modelling’ life. I always admired watching how Chris did it on various sets. It was even more fun for me getting to work with him and just loving and hugging all of him!
Chris: I’m honoured and I am glad to be a part of it. Anytime to express love within photos is the thing for me. I love to convey that thought through photos. There aren’t enough man and woman photos depicting pictures in a romantic state.
Laura, I loved the Grecian style dress you brought specially for the character in the story. Have you worn it since?
Laura: I actually wore it on a date with Chris. He took me out to dinner to my favourite Sushi place and then out to meet friends for dancing.
Chris: HA HA! She looked Yummy!
Chris, as an actor it must be simple for you to step into a character’s shoes. Have you ever been asked to portray a Greek before?
I have to say it was my first. Well, sometimes it can be simple, however, it’s always good to research your character and get a feel to what the view should be about. You gave excellent information on how the direction should be and we went right with it!
Just like my characters, Marcus and Leah, you both love each other very much. What’s your idea of true romance?
Our idea of true romance is being gentle to each other. Learning and grasping for each other when in need and when you want to experience them. Romance is experience, not just doing simple little things. When you experience each other, you get to mix your life into theirs. In addition to this, experience also builds a great friendship and a loving relationship.
Laura, you like to read. What kind of books appeal to you?
I’m a huge romance novel fan as well as a fan of mysteries and pretty much anything that has a good story line.
Chris, you’ve recently moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue your career. How are you settling in?
Actually, to make a long story short, it’s been a little rough here and there. I’ve had quite a few personal experiences that weren’t great, but other than that, the city is great. Laura likes the weather too! I just started doing auditions and I am –trying- to get a shot done for the next Mr. Romance competition brochure. I have not moved into a place yet as I am waiting for a place to be available that I like. I still wake up every day, with a smile.
Finally, I’d like to thank you both once again for bringing Marcus Savakis and Leah Stamford to life in ‘Mistletoe and Ouzo Kisses’. Would you ever consider modelling together again?
Laura: Of course! We are our favourite partners!
Chris: Oh yes! Laura is quite a fun partner to work with! (grins)