Today I have the pleasure of introducing the sexy. No, not the characters in Faith, but the real-life models on the cover. I’d never featured the faces of my main characters on a book cover before for many reasons, but I wanted Faith’s cover to be extra-special. And I had a specific pose in mind for it that would require faces to be shown, at least the profiles. It took me a while to make the final decision, especially because I was so worried I’d never find the perfect models, in my price range, in time. I mean, who can be Mr. Beautiful?!
Talented photographer Regina Wamba of Mae I Design & Photography came to the rescue. She helped me find both of the gorgeous models gracing Faith’s cover. Even though they were lovely and beautiful, I hadn’t planned on showing their faces, at least not full-on. I figured with lighting, profile, pose, etc., I could still leave those to the reader’s imagination. But when Regina sent me that picture, I had no choice. I had to break my own rule and use it – it captures their expressions perfectly. And I couldn’t be happier with the sexy, sensual, divine cover for the last book in the series that means so much to me.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to one-half of the sexy: Ripp Baker. Ripp has graced many book covers as well as magazine covers. Choosing the model to represent Tristan was so difficult – there’s just no real person who can be him. But Ripp comes pretty dang close. I mean, look at that body! 😉 He’s more than a pretty face, though. He’s been a pleasure to work with and so gracious and sweet. I had the blessed luck of getting to do a quick interview with him before he ran off to celebrate his birthday weekend. Happy Birthday, Ripp!
Ripp: I’m going to school pursuing a degree in Exercise Science, I’ll be graduating this year! After I graduate I would love to move south to a warmer state and escape these cold Minnesota winters; where I can ride my motorcycle year round and go to the beach!
Me: How did you get into modeling, and especially book covers?
Ripp: I was told when I was younger I should try to get into it and would have random people on vacations ask to take pictures with me. So when I started college I started to pursue modeling to a point, while focusing on school first though.
Me: What’s been the most fun modeling job you’ve done?
Ripp: I went to Puerto Rico for a shoot, I got to experience a new area and eat some new foods while making a great new friend the photographer Osvaldo Rivera. Although I have still enjoyed all of my other shoots, for learning experience and getting the chance to make connections and new friends.
Me: You work hard for that amazing body, and it definitely shows. Have you always been health-conscious, or was there something specific that pushed you into it? What keeps you motivated when you just don’t feel like doing a workout?
Ripp: When I was younger I was in football and wrestling; one day I went up to my dad and asked him what I had to do to become a better athlete. As I’ve always been competitive and want to be the best I can. He told me he had never had the intention to push weight-lifting onto me, but when I was ready he would take me to the gym and show me the basics (that was back in 8th grade).Now I go back home over break and teach him things! I have a very strong mentality to do what I need to, whether I want to or not; I owe that to my dad and the fact that I wrestled! Also, people stopping me and asking my advice on things and how to improve their lifestyles. It feels great knowing people recognize your hard work as well as knowing I can help them. Aside from that, it is all about intrinsic motivation; one must do what they want for themselves and give their all. I believe everyone that puts everything they have into their passion can be successful, more importantly happy.
Me: When you’re not studying, working, and working out, what do you enjoy doing?
Ripp: I love spending time with my family and friends, very family orientated; most important and influential people in my life. I also love riding my motorcycle and traveling.
Me: How was working with Dani and Regina? Anything fun or interesting happen during the photo shoot?
Ripp: Dani and Regina were great to work with, I’ve never worked with Dani, but she has a lot going for her. As for Regina, always a pleasure to collaborate and see her brilliant ideas.
Me: Who is your idol/hero?
Ripp: My dad has always been my hero, having me at 19/20 I only have the slightest idea of how much work and effort he had to put in. As well as doing it with a smile, pushing and helping me excel in life and athletics. Not only a hero, but my best friend.
Me: Most proud accomplishment?
Ripp: My most proud accomplishment would have to be helping my buddies in the weight room and always being in a good mood, it’s contagious! I only surround myself with positive people and love bringing others up as well. Not only that, but always trying to improve myself, always going to the gym and attending school. No one can take away your knowledge and time you put into yourself; this is truly priceless and what I live for.
Me: Most embarrassing moment?
Ripp: I don’t really get embarrassed, I’m a pretty open comfortable person.
Me: Favorite book?
Ripp: I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books more than once, so I would have to go with that series as a whole.
Me: Favorite movie?
Ripp: I really like the movie Amityville Horror, I’m kind of a horror movie fanatic.
Me: Favorite food?
Ripp: I love when the family gets together and we make a nice prime rib, along with some potatoes sliced thin and thrown on the grill wrapped in tin-foil with sliced onion and garlic as well as butter, maybe some corn, and stuffing as well, as some crescent rolls.
Me: Dogs, cats, or fish?
Ripp: Dogs, hands down.
Me: Bonus question: You just celebrated your 23rd birthday. Happy Birthday! So the 2/3 of my readers who are older than you want to know – Cougars? Yes or no? 😉
Ripp: Thank you! HA! What a question, raised a smirk on my face as some dirty thoughts crossed my mind… Definitely into cougars! 😉
Yes, ladies, he said that. Yay for me! Er, I mean, us! Thank you so much, Ripp, for joining us today and being such a good sport. Ladies, if you have any questions for Ripp, feel free to ask in the comments. And don’t forget to clean your screen and keyboard. *off to grab a towel*