I was recently on one of my casting call networking tears and came across an artist who does amazing book covers. Actually, he does a lot of ridiculously beautiful photorealistic art for a lot of different industries, but the work that caught my attention was his pulpy, gritty, sci-fi book covers--they brought me back to my youth and my addiction to hard-boiled cyberpunk fiction.
Anyway, I leave him a nice note on his page saying I love his work and continue on my networking quest. I don't expect anything to come from it--I simply wanted to leave an honest compliment.
I certainly didn't think he'd want to use me for one his covers. Turns out I was wrong.
I get a very nice message back telling me he likes my look and we should work together some time. I jump at the chance, but assume "some time" is somewhere in the distant future. Action heroes tend to be taller, and have better hair than me.
A week later I'm in his studio posing for the cover of an upcoming sci-fi crime book.
The process went something like this: he had already crafted the cityscape the character would be standing in front of, and had even taken the body shots on another subject to get the pose right. But he needed the right face. A stubbly, shaved-headed thug. And so, in front of a simple backdrop, he took a couple hundred photos of me making a variety of faces looking at different points in the sky.
A week after that, my head is on someone else's body, pulling a laser pistol from a hidden holster, ready to launch into action.
As a side note, I have to admit, I geeked out during the shoot. I try to keep my inner nerd under control, but deep down I'm still a geek for sci-fi, and this gentleman has done some remarkable--in fact, you might even call it iconic--work over the years, some of which I recognized on set. I was a strange combination of awed and intimidated. I wanted to hang out and hear about how all the different projects were created. Instead, I have to admit, I actually found myself clamming up. I didn't want to look stupid in front of someone whose work I admired this much.
I really couldn't believe I was being paid to be there. And the best part is, those headshots could potentially be used in the future for other images, so my mug could end up on the moon, or in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, or a pristine alternate future
So this is how I ended up on my first book cover. As a lifelong writer, I always figured I'd end up on a book cover with my name as the author, not as a model in a leather jacket, trying to save the day. And as much as I look forward to my own book coming out later this year... I'd say this is quite nearly an equal thrill.
The book can be found for sale on the Simon & Schuster website, or on Amazon.