It’s not every day that this writer gets to correspond with cover models. But that’s exactly what I’ve been doing lately! Leigh Foster and Stephanie Gooley posed for the cover of my soon-to-be-released contemporary romance, Meant to Be Mine. Here’s what the final version of the cover looks like:
When I contacted Leigh and Stephanie and asked if they’d be willing to answer a few interview questions for me, they both graciously agreed.
So without further ado…
How old are you? I’m 28.
What do you remember about the day of the cover shoot? At the time the cover for Meant to be Mine was shot, Stephanie and I had been a couple for a little over a year. Unfortunately, shortly after I made the move to Chicago, we decided to split up. I think the long distance relationship was harder than we both expected. Stephanie has a magic in her smile that never failed to light up the room. It was an incredible sight to see. I still spend much of my days thinking of her and the amazing times we had together. On our first date we drank coffee’s and went for a walk around Loring park in Minneapolis and when she got in her car to go back to class that day, I knew I loved her, still do today, and am sure I always will.
Can you tell me a little about your career path? When I graduated from college, I took a job in sales. I hated it. There was no creative outlet in it whatsoever. I’ve always had an immense fascination with the art of acting but, at that time, I didn’t know the first thing about how to actually do it. So I did some research, took a few classes, and then built up courage enough to go audition for an agency in Minneapolis. A couple of weeks later they called and said they would like to represent me. I quit my sales job that afternoon and never looked back. That was two years ago. Today I’m a professional actor living and working full-time in Chicago, and I love it.
What do you most enjoy about your job? What’s the most challenging aspect? An actor will often have very busy times, and very slow times. One week I’ll work every day, twelve hours a day, and the next I don’t work at all. It’s nice to be able to have that time off to really do things I love to do; exploring the city, reading, cooking (I just learned how to bake bread!).
Where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing in 10 years? I’m single now, but in 10 years I think I would like to be married and have a child, or three. I plan on being at the point in my career where I could support that kind of life comfortably.
Have you modeled for other book covers? If so, can you name a few? So far I’ve been on three. The first was called Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig, the second was Meant to Be Mine, and the latest one was called A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears.
And now (just for fun) a brief quiz to see how much you’re like Ty Porter, the hero of Meant to Be Mine.
- Have you ever been to Texas? Yes, when I was 20 I took a road trip to Houston to drop one of my friends off at Rice University.
- Do you have a weakness for baked desserts (pie, donuts, cake, etc)? Fortunately I do not. I’m a savory treat kind of guy.
- Ever done any rodeo bull riding? Only on a fake bull at the Minnesota State Fair.
- Is there anything ‘cowboy’ about you? If so, what? When I was a kid I found an old pair of cowboy boots at a yard sale. I think I wore them every day for about two years. I loved those boots.
- Do you come from a big family? I only have one brother but plenty of relatives scattered around the world.
- Have you been to Las Vegas? Yes, once. I was about 17 and went with my parents, brother and grandmother. It was fun to see but I think I would rather go back to the real Eiffel Tower if I had the choice.
Where are you from? How old are you? I am from Brooklyn Park, MN and my Golden Birthday is coming up on the 24th of May.
What do you remember about the day of the cover shoot? I remember how beautiful the location was, and how much I enjoyed being able to not only model for the heroine of a book cover, but with my boyfriend. Everyone I worked with was so enjoyable, and I could not have had a better time.
Can you tell me a little about your career path? I started modeling when a dance camp I was attending scouted me and asked me to model for their magazine. This led to other companies, then signing with four agencies in the twin cities. I am also graduating this Summer from the University of Minnesota with a double major in Psychology and Communication.
How do you think the final cover turned out? I am so proud to be on the cover – it turned out amazing. I look as though I was transformed into the character.
Have you ever read any contemporary Christian romances? I have not read any contemporary Christian romances. School has monopolized my reading material.
And now a brief quiz to see how much you’re like Celia Park, the heroine of Meant to Be Mine.
- Do you have a particular fondness for Oregon? I do not have a particular fondness for Oregon.
- Do you love to bake? I LOVE to bake.
- Did you have a crush on anyone your freshman year in high school? Of course I had a crush my freshman year of high school! He ended up taking me to my first formal dance.
- Do you enjoy watching pro bull riding? Although I have only watched it once, pro bull riding is very exciting!
- Are any of your uncles surfers? None of my uncles are surfers, as we all live in Minnesota.
- Do you tend to like healthy, organic food? Going against how much I love baking, I do tend to like healthy, organic food.
My sincere thanks to Leigh and Stephanie for taking the time to answer my questions. All my best wishes to you both. I’m honored to have you on my book’s cover.
Stay tuned! The next time I blog, I’ll be sharing behind-the-scenes photos from Meant to Be Mine’s cover shoot as well as some runner-up covers that didn’t get picked.
Now for the age-old question. Do you enjoy seeing faces on covers? Or do you prefer to imagine what the characters look like?