Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The cover story, featuring John Quinlan

The weekend is coming up and you're dying for something new to read so you head to the bookstore or supermarket,  wander through the bookshelves looking, seeking something... 

What encourages you to move forward? To pick up that one book? What is it about it that has so drawn your attention? Why did it snag your attention over all the others? It couldn't possibly be the blurb, as you haven't even picked up the book yet, let alone turned it over and read it. So, what is it?

Clearly, the most important factor in your reading decision is usually the Author's writing and how much you enjoy their work, but what of the Author who is as of yet unknown to you? The Author who's work you haven't yet read, or even heard of?

This is where appeal comes into play - and the tremendous work that goes on behind the scenes to attract you, the reader. Publishers and Authors work hard to influence and earn your decision, your business. PICK ME! PICK ME!

As an Author, it is our job to draw you in and keep you reading by the quality and distinction of our story and writing. However, Publishers have the obligation of attracting your attention, encouraging you to pick up their Author's book and feel it within your hand, where hopefully you will read the blurb and decide the story sounds compelling, purchasing it. This is their entire focus when it comes to the cover. After all, as you are browsing, all you see are covers, your eyes absorbing the images and your brain drawing a conclusion - appealing or not - if it's is, you might just pick it up and read further. If it's not, you move on. 

There is an entire industry formed around this one factor - offering appealing designs and attractive images to ensnare your eye so you will pick up the book. 

I believe that it is important to feature this particular aspect of our profession, since their input so impacts our success. In future blog postings, as well as the Guest Diva Author's I will continue to feature, you will also see some of the people that work hard behind the scenes - publishers, editors, cover models, cover designers and artists, etc. These people work very hard with one goal in mind - to draw the reader - supporting the Author along their road to success.

Today, my first feature will highlight the romance cover model.

I am thrilled to introduce a popular romance cover model that many of you may already know, you may have seen his work, or recently met him at Romance Times (RT) Convention in New Orleans, (where RT's founder, Kathryn Falk invited him to appear as an official RT Convention Cover Model), or he may be new to your eyes. Either way, you're in for a treat...I know I was.

John Quinlan

I recently spoke with John from his home in Boston, Massachusetts after thinking long and hard on questions that you, the reader, may want to know. Yes, I thought long and hard. =)

He is a surprisingly multi-faceted man, his career spanning and growing throughout the years,  encompassing a career in wrestling to modeling. John's History Through it all, his focus has been, not surprisingly, on fitness and honing his body to perfection.

As you read on and learn more about John, you will see how it was an almost foregone conclusion that his career brought him here today, to us.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a romance cover model?
A: The amazing people I have been privileged to meet all over the globe. I never imagined, at the time when I began as a romance cover model, I would receive so many mails of support world wide. I am truly humbled by the entire experience.

Q: How did you first become a romance cover model?
A: People often told me I had the look for it and I never took them seriously, until one day I gave in and did a shoot with a romance theme to it. Being bald and tattooed, I bring a unique look to the table of romance, which is a refreshing new look that I think embodies men of the new millennium. I am happy to say it has been success, which has landed me here, talking with you today Shelbie.

Q: Do you have a favorite character to model as? (supernatural, businessman, warrior, etc.)
A: I do respect Fredrik Ljungberg very much, not only as an athlete, but as a model as well. Many have said I remind them of him (as we are both bald). LOL! But to be honest, I just try and be John Quinlan and be true to myself and respectful of others. Good things happen to good people, so why not be a nice guy I say.

Q: Have you ever been shocked by a cover shot request? If so, what? 
A: Not really. It's romance and we all know how the business is. I have been requested to be on covers completely naked and they told my that my privates would be tastefully covered. I was like, "OK?" Yeah, those never materialized to say the least, but you, as the reader, get my point I think. Anything goes in romance. (That it does John!)

Q: Speaking of that, do you prefer modeling sans clothing, or dressed better?
A: Both, as being a successful model requires being flexible, being able to do shoots in multiple genres. Each genre is unique and brings its own individual challenges with it, which is exciting.  Switching things up all the time keeps everything new and refreshing.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your time off? Any favorite hobbies?
A: I have three beautiful children, which I enjoy spending time with. I love doing things that are stress-free and simple, as I cherish these moments because time moves so fast. My youngest is my little girl Mia, who is two, and it can be something as simple as just sitting with her while she watches a show on TV. It is those quality moments I will remember forever when they are all grown up.

Q: What do you think is the most widely held misconception about you?
A: That I am a bad guy, a punk with an attitude. I think society as a whole is getting better, but there are still those out there that "judge a book by its cover," so to speak. They see me as a bald guy with tattoos (I currently have twenty-sever of them and am the most tattooed male romance cover model in the world) and assume I am a trouble maker. So many people have told me that before they met me they were a bit unsure about what I was going to be like. Those same people all agree I was one of the nicest people, after they had the chance to actually sit down and talk with me. (I hear you John! I hear you.)

Q: If someone wanted to be a romance cover model, what would you advise of them?
A: Go for it! Reach out to those in the industry and follow your dream. It worked for me.

Q: Do you have a favorite cover shoot? If so, why?
A: There are so many, but I did a shoot last year with Teresa Yeh, who is the exclusive photographer for Claudia McKinney of Phatpuppy Art in California. I am an official model with Phatpuppy Art and she puts out some of the very best cover pieces available for purchase in the world. My favorite was a piece called "Chain Break." I am coming out of the water during a lighting storm, breaking the chains that are tied to me. It is a very dramatic piece and one of the best anyone has ever done of me to date. (I have to agree!) -Look below for more photos!

Q: Can you share with us what you find most attractive in a woman? What turns you ON? What turns you OFF?
A: (laughs) I love self-confidence. A woman that is confident and carries herself well is a huge turn-on for me. I love body jewelry, not gonna lie. I love anklets, bracelets and chains! The biggest turn-off is a woman who is all about herself. One who only talks about herself because she is insecure and wants to keep hearing from others around her how great she is. One of those who is always like, "look at me, look at me." I'm all set, next!

Q:What do you think of the fact that mostly women readers are looking at your cover picture imagining you as the character they are reading in the novel?
A: I am truly honored and humbled when readers do this. I always aim to please the readers and I go above and beyond to get them what they want, as it is really a symbiotic relationship between the readers, authors and the cover models in this business. (Agreed!) We need all of you just as much as you need us. I always do my best for the readers and authors alike, because I understand that if it weren't for the both of you, models like me would be nothing and have no place to showcase our talents to the world. (Well said John!)

Q: Does anything embarrass you? 
A: I have done Playgirl related shoots numerous times and once a model has bared all, nothing else really embarrasses you anymore. I was nominated as Playgirl's Hunk of the Month for June 2013, which was quite an honor for me as a model. The photos were always classy and tasteful, all good.

Q: What is the most unusual request you received from a fan?
A: Videos of myself doing not so nice things. (laughs) I was like, "Sorry, but no."

Q: What do you want people to most know about John Quinlan?
A: I have a heart of gold and that I am so very appreciative to any Author who believes in me enough to put my image on his or her book cover.

A big thank you to John Quinlan for taking the time to visit with me and The Decadent Divas! If cover models around the world are anything like John Quinlan, we are all in for a treat. Their impact is huge and cannot be minimized. So, in the future, look for additional popular cover models to grace our blog pages, bringing their unrivaled beauty with them.

John's image may be a visual treat, your eyes clinging to each dip, curve and valley of carved muscle, but as I have learned in the last few hours, he is so much more than that - Beneath the muscle and tattoos, the heart of a lion beats - strong, sure and kind. Much love John! =)

I hope you've enjoyed today's post and meeting another person that makes the big circle complete in the world of romance. Below, for your convenience, I have placed all of John Quinlan's contact information.

In ending, remember to keep an eye out, right here on The Decadent Divas Blog! We have much more to come in the future, including two Guest Diva Authors I have scheduled to make an appearance in June -

W00T! =)
John & TJ MacKay at The Saints & Sinners Ball
(John won for Best Dark Fantasy - Vampire)

Best wishes to each of you - have a wonderful week!

*big hugs*

Amazon(dot)Blonde Diva
Shelbie Knight =)

No comments:

Post a Comment