Rie: Welcome to the Spotlight, Jimmy. I'm thrilled you could join me today. Before we get down to business here, I just want to say thank you for agreeing to this interview and also for being on the cover of two of my books. I have to say they are the best covers I've ever seen! How did you become a model for romance novel covers?
JT: Well, first off, thank you for this opportunity Rie, as well as for you wanting me on the covers of your books J I began my romance novel cover modeling career when I was invited to be a cover novel contestant at Romantic Times BOOKlovers Convention in 2002. I decided that I wanted to be on many novel covers as I had been doing romantic and sensual ‘couples’ photo shoots since I started modeling 4 years prior to that. So I took it upon myself to make it happen, and here I am J
Rie: I know you have been on over seven hundred book covers now, do you remember the first cover you were on?
JT: Actually, as of right now I’m on more than 800 covers ;) And yes, my first cover I guess is like your first sex partner… one you’ll never forget ;) My first book cover was Susan Kearney’s “Solar Heat”.
Rie: Wow, it just seems like a month or so ago my book was your 500th! Tell me, what is a typical day at work like for you?
JT: LOL! Seriously? How many pages do I get? Let me save everyone from taking too early of a nap ;)… working on images, go to the gym, work on images, set-up/confirm upcoming photo shoots, work on images, filling out answers to interviews, work on images, reading and responding to numerous messages and photo comments on facebook, work on images… oh, and did I mention work on images? ;)
Rie: LOL, okay, do you work on images every day? Just kidding! Seriously now, besides book covers, what other type of modeling do you do?
JT: I’m limited now with my hair being long, so more or less just music videos now, where they want a long hair, Mediterranean look.
Rie: Hmmm, how do I make the jump from author to music videos? Oh, wait, okay, I'll fantasize later. Ummm, oh yeah, what made you decide modeling was the career for you?
JT: When I started getting many of my images published in fitness magazines and commercial print ads quite a bit and was accepted by many modeling agencies and booked on a good amount of print work. Then through the romance novel industry I took my modeling to different heights J
Rie: And you do that very well, I might add. Now, modeling depends entirely upon your looks and physique. If you were unable to model, what is your back up job?
JT: Many, many things. Besides owning a rapidly growing stock image website ;) I’ve been an Architectural Designer since 1994. I’ve been a Personal Trainer since 1998, a Self Defense and Kickboxing Instructor since 1992, a Chef, Head of Security at various nightclubs, a sports bar owner… the list goes on ;)
Rie: Wow, a man of many talents! Could you just jump back into one of those jobs?
JT: I keep all my prior careers available for me to still do if ever needed, but I’m looking to eventually get into producing and directing movies.
Rie: Really? I have a couple of books that would make excellent movies, by the way. You appear with some pretty sexy female models and often the clothing is minimal. Is it uncomfortable to pose with someone you hardly know in such seductive positions, or is it just another day at the office?
JT: Uncomfortable being with a next-to-naked/naked sexy women? Are you serious? (looking over my shoulder for whomever it is you are asking this of ;))… heck no! J I wouldn’t say it’s just another day at the office because I respect women and appreciate each and every one of them, especially those that I shoot with. They trust me, my judgment on the poses and the end resulting images won't make them look bad in any way. It’s not like I’m some college kid or someone freshly out of prison. Having a naked sexy woman in my arms...it’s complete respect, but I’m a heterosexual male, single, and a hopeless romantic Pisces, so I enjoy it of course, but more for a beautiful face looking at me with desire, than just a naked female body.
Rie: (Sighs, and looks around to see if little hearts are circling my head!) I read that you don't do nudes. What made you draw the line there?
JT: Anytime I see a guy implied nude or completely nude in an image, he’s usually holding a small towel over his crotch, laying face down on the beach naked, or just standing there letting it all hangout, they all look 100% homosexual to me, so I’m sure I’m not the only one viewing them that way. And I think I would be limited on settling down with a woman who would be ok with my junk hanging out in many images for the world to see ;)
Rie: Aww, you really are a hopeless romantic. What does your family and friends think about your career?
JT: My brother is the most active of my family with my romance novel career. He’s proud and excited about it, he brings his kids into the bookstores to find covers I’m on, and he leaves comments here and there on my facebook pages. My friends love it! They are very proud of where I have taken myself, as they know how hard I’ve worked at it day in and day out.
Rie: Sounds like you have an awesome support system. That's great. I'm sure there have been some amusing mishaps during shoots. Can you think of a quick story to share with us?
JT: Well, some girls have personal drama they reveal during a shoot, which is why I chat a while first with each model before shooting with them. I want to be sure I don’t get surprise attitudes during the shoot. The only real mishap would be when I fell asleep near the end of a shoot, lol. I was posing naked with a sexy female model, who was also naked, we were under the bed sheets, hands all over each other, and when Bruce, my photographer, had to change lights, I passed out! We had shot at the beach earlier, so I was exhausted, as well as from shooting back to back, day and night a few days earlier. Bruce kept shooting us anyway, with me just lying there. She was playing with my lips… those shots came out really cute actually ;)
Rie: Lucky girl! Christmas is coming up this month. Do you have any special plans for the holidays?
JT: None yet. I may go to FL to spend it with my brother and his kids.
Rie: It's Christmas Eve and Santa is checking his list, which one are you on—naughty or nice?
JT: BOTH! ;)
Rie: Pumpkin pie with whipped cream or pecan pie?
JT: PUMPKIN!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE Pumpkin pie, bread, cookies, muffins, pancakes, ice cream, eggnog, spiced coffee, anything pumpkin flavor!
Rie: A Christmas goose, or turkey with all the trimmings?
JT: Turkey with all the trimmings!!! It’s like Thanksgiving, which I love! J
Rie: Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Jimmy, it's been a real pleasure. Is there anything else you'd like people to know?
JT: You’re very welcome Rie! Thank you again for this opportunity. And yes, I have something I’d like people to know. I’ve launched my very first Jimmy Thomas – Romance Novel Cover Model - 2011 Calendar, which can be seen and bought here: http://www.jimmythomas.com/calendar/2011-Calendar.htm So don’t be shy, help keep RNC alive, active, and full of variety by contributing funds that keep RNC going J
(Woo hoo! I asked Jimmy to provide a couple of pics and he sent the ones with my cover art! Sheesh, no wonder the women flock to him! *fans face*)
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