In July, I went to San Diego for the annual conference of the Romance Writers of America. I attended sessions on the craft of writing, the business of promotion, and opportunities in publishing. I hung out with friends at the pool bar, watched a 19th-century fashion show, and attended the Hamilton sing-a-long.
I also watched a faux romance cover shoot. With the guy who’s been on three of my covers:
His name is Julian Christian. I had suspected he might be the model in attendance since the session presenters were Kim Killion and Jennifer Jakes of The Killion Group, Inc. — the company which supplied all of the photos in the above covers (and created the cover for The General’s Wife). Plus I happen to know Julian is San Diego-based.
I got to the conference room early, wanting to get a seat in the front. The room slowly filled with tittering, excited authors. And then the presenters arrived. With Julian:
He got up on the stage to begin the mock photo shoot:
Then he took his shirt off:
And when Julian took his shirt off, there was swooning, gasps, and sighs.
He posed as he would during a real cover shoot: Brooding,
crouching (this drew breathy exclamations from the audience and a bemused look from Julian)
And then Jennifer Jakes walked around the room looking for a willing participant for a romantic suspense shot. As if we all weren’t willing…
The young woman was chosen — it happened to be her birthday! They did a romantic suspense pose:
Then Kim and Jennifer explained how they get male and female models to feel comfortable around each other so they can enact a romantic clinch like this
Another willing participant was sought from the audience for a historical or Amish romance cover. The volunteer author donned historical garb. Julian put a shirt on and played the dashing hero:
Then there was a costume change:
for a Scottish historical cover:
Another volunteer got to participate in a rather intimate historical pose:
After all the posing and the question and answer session, the authors lined up to get their pictures taken with Julian. Of course, I had to meet him
(Thank you to Kimberly Anne Hoffman for taking the photo!)
then get my photo taken in a mock romance cover pose
(thank you to Tricia Linden for taking the photo!)
Then historical romance author Sherry Ewing joined us for a threesome
I mean, we all just posed together! (Thank you to Kimberly Anne Hoffman for taking the photo!)
It was fun, and Julian was a good sport with all the fawning, swooning female authors. He’s super nice. I’m really glad I got the chance to meet the man on my covers!
p.s. if anyone knows who any of the author volunteers were, please let me know in the comments!