Interview with romance cover model Jason Baca
Jason Baca walked into a bookstore and spied a sweet little romance novel perched on a crowded endcap. Just one glance, and he fell in love…
…with the dream of being *that* guy. The half-naked hunk on the cover.
You may not have heard of Jason Baca, but if you’re a romance reader, I guarantee you’ve seen him. In the last decade, Jason’s chiseled good looks and rippled abs have graced the covers of over 500 hundred romance novels, including my own The Night Everything Fell Apart. That makes him more prolific than that other cover guy. You know, the one everyone’s heard of, whose career topped out at a measly 466 covers.
So how does one go about becoming a romance cover model sensation? For Jason, the story reads like a romance novel. He’d done some side work as a film body double and as a model. Sure, it was fun, but he couldn’t shake a nagging feeling that something was missing. Until one fateful day, when he walked into a bookstore and spied a sweet little romance novel perched on a crowded endcap. Just one glance, and he fell in love…
…with the dream of being that guy. The half-naked hunk on the cover.
Armed with nothing more than fierce determination and unrelenting charm, Jason fired off emails to romance authors—nearly a hundred before he landed his first cover shoot. One cover led to another…and to hundreds more! I can safely speculate that millions of women have reached their Happy Endings with Jason in their mind’s eye.
I’m thrilled to welcome Jason Baca—the guy who’s probably already in your bedroom—to Joy Nash News!
Joy: Jason, your career is often compared to Fabio’s–would you like your name to become as recognizable as his?
Jason: That’s a fantastic question. I really have no desire to make my name become some sort of household name like his. That’s not what I’m about. I came into the romance book business to have a big impact on it all, to perhaps put a fresh face on the covers for a while. That idea alone was what drove me in the beginning.
Joy: What’s your favorite romance genre to pose?
Jason: I really like doing the Highlander ones in a kilt. I guess it brings out a historical side of me. I can relate to that time frame verses books where it’s all very futuristic. Heck, I can’t even keep up with how fast technology’s moving today with all the gadgets and devices and apps that I have no clue how to use. With the old school stuff…a fearless warrior with a sword, acting macho and confident…okay, I understand what to do with that idea! Then again, some of my best covers came when I didn’t have a clue going in as to what the character was all about and I ended up portraying a modern age warrior. I enjoy the army outfits and getting a chance to cut my hair short for those.
When I read the books…I am in shock at what my characters are saying. I think, “Wow, this is what women think to themselves…ohh the dirty devils!”
Joy: You say you like reading the books you’ve posed for. Do you picture yourself acting out the story? Do you ever get to a scene and think, “Hell, there is no way I’d ever do or say that!”
Jason: I do try to picture myself on the cover of the book. It’s always nice to get some sort of synopsis ahead of time or a little about the character which some authors will send me a day or two before a shoot. When I’m in an airplane or driving to the shoot, I try to go over in my head how the character might look or act and then I try to imagine myself on the cover.
And yes, when I read the books I do get to that point when I am in shock at what my characters are saying. I think, “Wow, this is what women think to themselves…ohh the dirty devils!”
Joy: LOL! Yep, women can certainly dream! A lot of women read romance novels as a temporary escape from real life. What’s your preferred way to escape the mundane world?
Jason: I truly believe being a cover model is my escape! When I’m in the real world, I look forward to escaping to the fictional one. I’m always dreaming and curious, thinking, “Hmm, I wonder what my next cover will be like…”
I’m given the opportunity to be a part of peoples’ fantasies. I get to heighten the level of their hot lovin’ every night when they put their book down on the table next to their beds and turn over and do whatever they do with my cover on their mind!
Joy: You stick to a pretty strict diet and workout regimen. How do you keep yourself motivated day after day?
Jason: It’s pretty hard not to be motivated about a job like this. I’m given the opportunity to be a part of peoples’ fantasies. I get to heighten the level of their hot lovin’ every night when they put their book down on the table next to their beds and turn over and do whatever they do with my cover on their mind. Hey how can a cool thing like that make a person unmotivated? I get to be an outlet or an escape for these ladies!
Joy: You have a day job, too! Is it hard to fit in the workouts, photo shoots, and publicity around a regular 9-to-5?
Jason: Yes, I do have the day job and have had the same one for 19 years now. And when all my days of romance book cover modeling are over, the job will still be there. In the book cover and media world, it seems as though once the story has been told about you and everything about you has been figured out, that’s it. From that point on, it’s just regurgitated info over and over until it’s run its course and the last news station has been in touch. When that happens, my job as a regular office guy will still be there for me and bring me enjoyment from that angle in my life.
Joy: You’ve talked about your need to protect your skin as you get older. Do you remember to wear sunscreen every single day?
Jason: I do believe in taking care of myself. I’m 43 now. Most models are long gone in the business by that age. But I owe it to using good quality creams and anti-aging facial lotions with SPF. You gotta do that. It’s a necessity as far as I’m concerned because if you start getting aging signs all over the face, they may select the next guy. Whenever I go to a tropical vacation I make sure to douse my body from head to toe with an aloe based lotion. I let that dry, then use a 30 SPF non-oil based facial cream.
I can say to those who want to do romance cover modeling…you picked a great career. It’s a fun one and I hope I’ve put some inspiration into your heart.
Joy: Got any advice for up-and-coming wannabe romance models?
Jason: Just stay focused on your goals. In this business of cover modeling, there’s a ton of ups and downs. More downs than ups in the beginning, but you just have to keep coming back stronger. Those that feel defeated and don’t get back up on their feet are the ones that won’t make it long in this world. But I can say to those who want to do romance cover modeling…you picked a great career. It’s a fun one and I hope I’ve put some inspiration into your heart.
Joy: Jason, thanks a bunch for visiting my blog! And for being such a great Arthur on the cover of The Night Everything Fell Apart.
Got a bucket of ice handy? Check out Jason Baca’s romance covers and poses on his Deviant Art page.
For those of you who’d like to meet the hero of your dreams in person, Jason tells me there’s a good chance he’ll attend the 2018 Romantic Times Convention in Reno, Nevada!