Can you believe it? I’m finally unveiling the cover of my OWN novel! My family can attest to my excitement, but it’s hard to convey through writing. If you picture me alternately wanting to cry and skipping around the house, that should give you an idea.
Are you ready? *cue squeals*
Isn’t it beautiful?!? (Okay, pardon me. I’m like a parent bragging about her baby. OF COURSE I think it’s beautiful.) 🙂
And I’m doubly excited because the picture is no stock photo. I actually got to hire a model, make a costume, and get exactly the picture I wanted for the cover! It’s funny because I had a couple different poses in mind, but once we got out there, my photographer tried this one, and, wow, did it turn out well!
A young man from my church, Tyler Adams, agreed to model for me, and he totally got into the spirit of things and made it so much fun. Tyler is a professional videographer with his own company, Sora Entertainment. He’s also the director and co-producer of the award-winning documentary, Reap What You Sew.
So please welcome Tyler Adams to the blog!
What are your hobbies?
Tyler: I absolutely love watching movies and TV shows. After all, it’s the industry I decided to pursue as a career, but I also enjoy reading books of all genres, as well as playing video games. If you couldn’t tell, I enjoy all forms of entertainment media. I suppose it’s due to my appreciation of human creativity and artistic expression. I love experiencing stories and exploring the imaginative worlds people come up with, and because of that, fantasy and science-fiction are my favorite genres. When I was offered the opportunity to model the leading character of a fantasy novel, I was thrilled! Additionally, my other hobbies include working out at the gym, writing fictional stories of my own, and occasionally drawing.
(The gym hobby definitely helped him get the job because with a character who wields a sword or an axe all day, he must have decent muscles.)
When you think back to the day of the cover shoot, what memories stick out to you? Did anything particularly funny or uncomfortable happen?
Tyler: I remember it took a long time to get the make-up on my arms. I don’t even know what all was put on me, except for one thing which was dirt. I also remember trying to look as cool as I possibly could. You can’t see it on the cover, but I had an intense look on my face. I tried to embody the character as best as I could as I posed. One thing that kind of bugged me was the dagger on my hip. It kept wanting to move around in different positions, almost as if it had a mind of its own. There I was, trying to look cool for the pictures, but then I would be talking to the dagger, telling it to stay as if it was an obedient dog as I adjusted it between shots.
(Interrupting to say that, yes, his face was very intense. I had told him his face probably wouldn’t end up on the cover, but he didn’t let that stop him from getting fully into character. Sometimes he barely lightened up between shots. It paid off in the final pictures. And that dagger! It was a last minute addition to the costume, and I loved it, but I think it was upside down almost half the time. LOL Anyway…)
How did it feel to spend an afternoon as a model?
Tyler: It felt fantastic to be a model. I loved the costume, and holding the axe made me feel powerful. I didn’t mind the heat of the day nor the numerous poses I had to do. I thought it was such a unique opportunity, and the crew was a lot of fun to be around. I just remember the group constantly having smiles on their faces and talking excitedly. That positive atmosphere really made the whole experience all the more fun.
And, just for fun, let’s see how much you have in common with Dierk, the character you modeled for…
Dierk is the oldest child in his family. How about you?
Tyler: I am an only child. In a way, I suppose I am the oldest and the youngest child in the family.
Dierk takes a journey around his country. Have you traveled much around the U.S.?
Tyler: Traveling is extremely enjoyable for me. Whenever I get the chance to go somewhere new, I take it. I’ve traveled to so many places between the west and east coasts. I’ve toured movie studios in Los Angeles, filmed in the mountains of Colorado and on a beautiful farm in Texas, rode roller coasters down in Orlando and up in Ohio, visited a World War II museum in New Orleans, climbed up the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, and stood atop the Empire State Building, overlooking the city that never sleeps.
Have your friends ever accused you of being stuck-up?
Tyler: Thankfully, no. I try to be as friendly as I can with everyone. I suppose since no one has told me I’m stuck-up it’s a good sign I’m doing something right.
Do you have a lot of self-confidence?
Tyler: I do, and I think taking karate lessons and acting in school plays really helped me build my confidence. Both have definitely helped me gain the confidence to model for a book cover.
How are you at swinging an axe?
Tyler: I’ve only swung an axe once in my life, and I didn’t chop off any of my limbs. So I’d say I’m fairly good at it.
Dierk grinned when I showed him this answer and said he’ll teach you to chop wood if you ever come to Sunland during his days.
Dierk’s favorite method of self-defense is swordplay. What’s yours?
Tyler: Funnily enough, I trained in Iai-do and Japanese swordsmanship for a brief time. I loved it, and I trained myself for a while after that, even competing in open martial arts tournaments and performing in shows for a few years. I’ve even collected a few swords to hang up in my room. I would definitely say that Dierk and I would get along very well over our love of swordplay.
I agree. Dierk might even invite you to test his skill just for fun. I, for one, would love to watch.
Tyler, thank you so much for bringing Dierk to life on the book cover! I’m so thrilled to have a completely unique cover!
Be sure to check out the Reap What You Sew documentary on YouTube. (And if anyone reading this happens to be an author looking for someone to do a book trailer, take a peek at Sora Entertainment’s work.)
Thank you all so much for rejoicing with me! Lord willing, The Crown and the Axe will be published this week. I’ll be sure to let you know the minute it’s properly “live.” (Or you might hear me squealing all the way in Nashville, Tennessee.)
Making this book has been such a long, wonderful, and sometimes frustrating journey. This moment is so big for me. The Lord is so good. I keep playing this song over and over in my head.
Hope you all have a great Monday!