One of the occupational hazards of being a romance author is email from men you don’t know. And not the usual strangers pushing prescription drugs and things to make my root grow like wood, but men who want to send you pictures of themselves, specifically male models. Yes, there it is, one of the perks of being a romance author: young, half dressed men send you their pictures just for you to privately oogle and enjoy, er review, purely on a professional level, of course.
But I realized I was being selfish, keeping these emails to myself, that and my DH busted me checking out a recent inquiry online. Again, purely professional. So I thought I would share one of these letters with you and the response I probably should send.
How’s it going? Good I hope…
Well, Jason, let me tell you. There are only two people who call me “Beth”: 1) people who don’t know me, and 2) people who shouldn’t expect me to respond. I am Elizabeth. Or sadly in your case, since I guess that you are old enough to be my son, Mrs. Boyle would probably be more appropriate, especially since you are asking me to help you find a job.
Also, “Hey” is something I usually don’t respond to either, since it is usually followed by “Hey Mom, did you eat all the cookies while I was at school?” or “Hey, mom can you give me a ride over to Patrick’s?” Neither of which gets my avid attention.
But in your case, Jason, I will make an exception.
Hey I was just browsing over your website . . .
Again with the “Hey.” Shudder. I am starting to feel a bit equine. But I digress.
. . . and noticed you are quite the romance writer! You must have a very creative mind! : – )
Well, Jason, I am quite impressed that you figured out that I write romance. Was it the flowers on the site, the heading “Historical Romance” or the New York Times bestseller that caught your eye? Or maybe it was the heaving bosoms on the cover of How I Met My Countess. Anyhoo, good for you! Unfortunately, as you can see “very creative mind” can also mean “snarky old bee-yatch,” though I prefer “uproariously hilarious.”
I wasn’t sure how to go about this but I got to thinking.. .
This is usually where I get a little nervous in these letters . . . I never know if this is a legitimate letter to me, or a misdirected letter to a men’s magazine, or worse, a proposal to co-write said letter. Really, I know I write romance, but do I have to explain it as well?
I did a shoot for a romance novel recently and they gave me the extra shots they didn’t use. If you want them for your site or promotion, I can send them to you.
Oh, relief, he only wants to send me half dressed shots of himself. Note to self: Next time you get one of these letters, discretely close the office door before you go gleefully clicking on the link to check out the male model. Or else endure the mocking laughter of the husband when he catches you looking at pics of men half your age.
Or better yet, if you like my look enough,you can tell your publisher about me.
I’m a model if you haven’t figured me out yet…
Jason, you sort of had me at hello. And you are a good looking fellow. You have that Nathan Fillion sort of charm about you. Therefore, and I am presuming here, I doubt you will mind me teasing you a bit about your email.
But seriously and sadly, I have about as much to say in picking my cover models as I do in just about anything that has to do with covers. If I did, the guy on the front of Mad about the Duke wouldn’t have a Flock of Seagulls haircut nor would I privately refer to the cover of Love Letters from a Duke as “Miss Mary’s Whorish Return to the Wild West Show.”
Since times are a little slow running , I’m doing this for promotional reasons.
I hear you on that front! They are slow for writers as well. Why do you think I am putting your picture on my blog or shamelessly adding one of my covers with a link to Amazon.com where readers can order it in either mass market paperback or ebook for their Kindle? Print runs are down, advances are down, folks haven’t got the money for their mortgages let alone extra reads each month, everyone is hurting. So I can’t mock you for taking the initiative and actively pursuing your profession, and in fact, I commend you. And if I can help a little, it is to write this blog and share your link with my readers, my friends on Facebook, my editor and other editors. It is the least I can do, since I have poked a bit of fun at you. Truly, I do hope you find more work.
All I ask in return is that I can be credited as the model and can have
my modeling page listed on your website.
Let me know if you want me to send you a few photos.. And I hope
this email finds everything well with you.
No, I think the links are enough. But thank you for the offer. And my best right back at you, Jason.
Jason Aaron Baca
Okay, you got the polite, professional closure thing down.
P.S. – If you can’t use my photos but know of a romance author or cover artist that
may be able to, by all means , forward this to them.