Being a Cover Model by David Deslandes !


It was suggested to me by DCL staff that a piece about being a romance cover model or a Mr. Romance contestant would be great as the convention is going on.

I can say being involved in 3 past contests was a great experience on the whole, and of course it can be quite an ego boost. I can say I’ve made some friends that I still keep in touch with today. One day, perhaps even next year, I may visit the convention again. I had some questions put to me in regards to being a past model; such as am I ok that some women may only like me for my looks and muscles?  Another statement given, what I thought about the fact that most women look at cover models as ‘unattainable’, and another was what I thought about the statement that “cover models are not intelligent.”

So first off, what do I think of only being seen as muscles or looks. Honestly, I would be surprised. I understand that some could see me that way I suppose, but I’ve always been slow to accept compliments that way. Moreover, if I were only seen that way, it’s not much of a compliment to me or the observer themselves. I suppose if women were only to see the models that way, that may explain why some of the visitors at conventions feel they can be so touchy feely with men they don’t even know. After all, if they are just muscles, it de-humanizes them almost to be being an object. I’d like to think I am worth a deeper look by anyone.

Now whether models are unattainable is another question, and I think it’s very specific per definition of unattainable. The idea I was given was whether the “average” woman could be with a cover model. The answer is of course she could. The problem lies in that whether you’re a cover model or not, every single person is drawn to certain physical types or personalities, hair colour or whatever. So I think it would be unfair to suggest a particular model is “unattainable” simply because he prefers someone over someone else. We all have a criteria, some of these “average” women could seem “unattainable” to certain “average” men who have asked them out and been rejected because they were too bald, too poor, too heavy… who knows. Are these women “unattainable”?…well to those gentlemen, I guess yes, they are. One thing that has puzzled me over the years is how a woman could look at the guys for his looks, his muscles, his smile, know almost nothing else about him, and then call him “unattainable” or superficial because she feels his rejection is based on her being heavy set and not taking time to get to know her on the inside. Yet she’s asking him out or even just to sleep with her based only on his outward appearance, not his heart or mind beyond some public persona. Maybe the guy is just not into one night stands. Maybe he is looking for someone equally dedicated to being in shape. Maybe he’s looking for someone that respects him enough to engage in real conversation before suggesting anything. Maybe he’s into brunettes and not blondes…and maybe even if the conversation is great, he is simply not physically attracted to you. He is not “unattainable”, he is simply selective.

Are cover models intelligent? Well, I think on the whole it would be no different than the percentage on the street. I imagine intelligence varies from person to person, model or not. The convention and the sight of some models can make some of the ladies act crazy, yet they are normally reserved, intelligent and in control, so time and place may change one’s judgment of the model too. Some models may play dumb because it’s easier or that’s what they think women want to hear, who knows. One can only get to know people, reserve as much judgment as possible, and allow experience to decide, if one must judge at all. And for what it’s worth, “cover models” also have women that are “unattainable” to them, we don’t always get the girl either…

DCL Blog Tour interview with best selling author Kristi Ahlers

Chloe and the Beast 6 x 9

1. What does your writing process look like?

UGH, I don’t have a process! LOL! At least not one that is remotely organized or makes sense. My characters have to talk to me first before I can start to write them…AND the first scene has to come to me. I know how it starts, I know that big issue in the middle and I have the ending sorted. I then write scenes and quilt them together to form the whole. 🙂

2. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Yes, but not like that! LOL. I have to have either Supernatural, or Bones playing in the background and I have to have bubblegum on hand for chewing. Keeps me busy and focused. And I write like a crazy person normally able to produce 5k a day at least.

3. What book do you wish you could have written?

Oh, good question! I wish I could be super creative and twisty to write like the writers on Criminal Minds. As for authors, I envy Kresely Cole and Sherrilyn Kenyon…both super creative ladies with an amazing world to play and create in!

4. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

Hands down, Heather Graham! She was the first historic romance author I read and she amazed me. She was really the one author that made me think I wanted to do this.

5. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Hmmm, well for my book Gabrielle, I’d love Colin Farrell as Devlin and Keira Knightly to play the role of Gabrielle.

6. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Names are very important to me. I try to pick the name based on the time period (I write multi-genre/era books) and location. So if I set a book in Scotland, I try to pull good Scottish names.

7. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

Aside from the writing which is always a huge accomplishment. I’d have to say my best accomplishment was raising two very amazing little boys to equally amazing young men who are serving in the in the military. One in the Marines, one in the Navy. Couldn’t be prouder… 

DCL Blog Tour with Mary Alice Pritchard

Billy Freada

Billy Freada

1. What does your writing process look like?

I’m a typical punster. Sometimes something gets stuck in my head that I can’t get rid of and I’ll write it down and a book develops around it. Sometimes a title comes to me and I’ll write a book around it. More often than not, characters speak to me, telling me their stories, fighting among themselves to be heard. I keep two or three books going at all times so that when one stops flowing and another one does, I can just start on it without having to change gears.

I start each writing time out by rereading what I’ve already written and editing it as I go. By the time I reach where I had left off, I’m already immersed in the story and ready to continue from there.

2.  Do you have strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Hmm, not really. I pretty much have to have silence when I write so I can hear what to put on paper. Music tends to distract me. I want to sing along when I hear it. Even classical music is a distraction. My fingers try to play along with the melody even thought I can’t really play the piano. So, it’s silence. Only it isn’t really silent with all of the voices in my head.

When I had my dear Dippity with me, I sometimes had to write around him. I got a baby sling that you wear to carry a child around with you and used it to hold the feline while I wrote. He was quite content to curl up on my chest and sleep that way. I do miss him.

3.  What book do you wish you could have written?

The original Anita Blake books, the Laurann Dohner books, or the Lora Leigh books. Not because they’ve made anyone rich, but because to be able to tell a story like these women did with these books amazes me. I strive to create characters and emotion like they have.

4.  Just as your books inspire authors what authors have inspired you to write?

When I was very, very young, I wanted to write like Grace Livingston Hill. I loved those books. But then, about eleven or so years ago, I heard Sherrilyn Kenyon’s story and realized that if she could overcome so many odds and continue, never giving up, I could do it too. I idolize her, Lora Leigh for her wicked ability to make you love her characters and Laurell K. Hamilton’s early amazing Anita Blake books. I still go back and re-read each of these author’s books that remind me it can be done.

5.  If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaption of your book, who would play your characters?

Okay, that’s a hard one for me. You see, I don’t watch TV or go to movies anymore. I haven’t for many years. I will occasionally go if a friend is adamant about it, but normally I buy DVDs of movies or TV series that are similar to the books I write. I use them to get me in the mood before I work on a particular series. So, I know very few actor or actresses’ names.

My favorite ones will probably date me. J  Sam Elliot, Johnny Depp, Vin Diesel, and Clint Eastwood. I’m afraid I don’t know a single actress’s name.

6.  How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

The names of my characters are very important to me. They usually reflect their personality unless there is a specific reason for them to have a certain name. Sometimes it only means something to me and doesn’t really relate to the story at all.

I will sometimes use a surname generator to pair one with my first name, but as for my first names, I took a week and dug through name sites and baby books, collecting every name I thought I could ever use without cringing and put them in a spreadsheet in alphabetical order based on if it was male, female, or either. I keep it updated so that when I use a name it gets highlighted with the name of the book next to it. That way I know if I’ve used it for one name I write under but not another one that I use to write.

7.  What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

The first book I completed and sent off to be considered because I finished it, I edited it, and I sent it off for consideration. That was an accomplishment that some writers never attain. Then the last book I wrote, because I haven’t stopped writing, even when I get a bad review, a rejection, or a drop in sells. Perseverance is an accomplishment because among those who do finish the book, edit it, and send it off, many will never write another book after they are rejected a few times.


Mary Alice

DCL Blog tour with the amazing author Lynn Hubbard!

lynn bio2


-What’s your favorite book? 

My favorite is a set. I was a sick child and growing up, “Trixie Belden” was my best friend. I read them so much I had them memorized! I still have my entire set and pick up additional copies whenever I find them.


-Are your characters based on real people?  No, they are all original. They pop into my head, and I have to write them down to get them to leave.  I really wish some of my heroes were real! I would love to have a man that could cook.
-Have you ever cried while writing a book? Yes, I write historical fiction, life was very hard at times. And I express that through my writing. The hardest part to write was when one of my popular characters died. I never intended it to happen, a stray bullet and they were gone. I grieved for her as did my characters. And readers have cursed me for it. Which was a powerful moment, realizing that my fans loved my characters as much as I did.
-What’s your favorite book you’ve written? Wow, that is so hard. The one that has been with me the longest is Return to Love. A YA romance that popped into my head when I was a teen. It is looked over much of the time, no vampires. But I love the simpleness of it. It is set before cell phones and microwaves. I hope you take a peak.
-How did you do in English as a kid? My sister excelled at English so I obviously had to hate it. And I still do! I love the creative aspect of writing, but when it comes to participles, I do not know if they are dangling or not!

I loved Math and numbers and science, I still do.
-When did you decide to become an author? 

I have always been creative. I loved to draw growing up. I was over 30 before I started to write. I started out with fan fiction. I would write a chapter, and people would review. They liked it. They wanted more. That positive affirmation gave me the courage to finally write Return to Love. The rest is history. 😉


-Where can readers best contact you? 

I’m usually trolling around Facebook. Or they can email me at



Interview with our amazing editor, Jean Watkins!



-How do you handle sensitive writers who question every edit you make?

By discussing it with the author. I explain why I think the changes I suggested makes the story better and listen to the author explain why he/she prefers to have it the way they originally wrote it. We have always come to a happy median, my authors and I.


-Give an example of a time when you had to edit or write a piece under a strict deadline. How did you ensure that you met the deadline?

I have only had a few strict deadlines, but the way I ensure that my work on a piece is done in a timely manner is by not allowing someone else to butt in and tell me to do something else first. I try to stick with a first in/first out method. The few times that I have strayed on that concept always ended up coming back on me even if it was at the author’s request.

-There are two projects with the same deadline. One author is easygoing while the other constantly calls to ask when we will be done. Which project do you make your top priority? The first one that was submitted to me. However, if one is a second edit that an author has been sitting on for a while, I do not get in a big rush to finish it. I will not stop working on one project to rush another one through. Everyone deserves the same consideration and attention.


-What is your favorite style guide? Why?

I’m not sure that I have a favorite style guide. My editing is based off of what I was taught by my English teachers over the years in middle school, high school and college. If I am unsure of something, then I ask someone who is more knowledgeable than myself.



-What is the best advice you can give to writers that want to submit to you to be published by DCL?

Write a story not a screenplay– you want the reader to be able to follow your action. Write something that you would enjoy reading. Pay attention to your details so that you stay consistent in your story. Read it through from start to finish before submitting; that will help you catch some of the little things yourself. Do your very best to use the right word–take what MS Word recommends with a grain of salt because it is not always right. Follow the guidelines set on the submissions page for anyone you consider submitting to.



-Where can they contact you to do so?