IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK. That is my new mantra. IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK!
I discovered Cory Zwierzynski when I saw gifs of his Andrew Christian “Kiss” video on Tumblr…
(Do yourself a favor and watch the whole video, so HOT! http://www.andrewchristian.com/index.php/kiss.html )
Once I tracked down who the sexy man with the smirk was, I searched out everything I could find about him, and learned that he’s an Andrew Christian exclusive model. I watched all of his Andrew Christian videos and drooled over all of his pics. I followed him on every social media known to man.
(Follow him on Instagram, it’s worth it! https://instagram.com/coryz07/ )
When I began writing Signs of Life, the physical description of my character, Kai, started to become Cory in my head. The eyes, the hair, the tattoo, the attitude…Cory was Kai. So when it came time for the cover art, I couldn’t stop thinking, what if? What if I could get Cory for my cover?
Nah, that will never happen. Andrew Christian will laugh you out of town.
I told myself that over and over, talking myself out of it, until I brought up the idea to my friend Kenya one day. She told me, “What do you have to lose? The worst that could happen is they would say ‘no’ or totally ignore you. So what? At least you’d know.”
So I screwed up my courage, emailed Drew LaQuang, Cory’s booking person, and asked if I could license a picture of Cory for the cover of my book, explaining that I was a huge fan of his. Within a few hours I had my answer: “Sure!”
Cue intense fangirling and celebration! (My friend Monica heard me screaming all the way from Brazil and messaged me to ask what was going on, LOL).
I contacted Paul Richmond, the art director at Dreamspinner, and asked about the steps I’d need to follow for licensing a picture. He was extremely helpful, sent over the legal forms I had to have, and made sure I was aware of the size requirements, pixels, etc., for cover art.
Unfortunately all the pictures I found on the Andrew Christian website were too low-res to be used, so I emailed Drew and asked if they had higher-resolution pics I could look at. He immediately and graciously opened their photo archives to me, and I was able to browse at my leisure.
When I found one that I liked and that my cover artist, Natasha Snow, could work with, I filled out the licensing form and emailed it to Drew, who had it back to me in a few hours. I forwarded it to Paul and boom, I had my cover model. I had my actual face cast for Kai on my cover!
The whole experience has been amazing. I can’t emphasize enough how awesome the Andrew Christian organization is. Nobody laughed at me, nobody said ‘No,’ nobody said ‘Figure it out.’ Every time I emailed with a question or a problem (the low-res pics), Drew wrote me back in a timely fashion and helped me resolve it.
For a huge, multimillion dollar company to do that for some strange woman who emailed them out of the blue, that says a lot about their customer service and their appreciation of their fans. Andrew Christian and Drew made everything easy and painless, and now I have a cover that’s personal, and beautiful, and means a lot to me.
So from now on my mantra is, and I encourage everyone to adopt it because you just never know…IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK!
(All photos used in this post used by permission from Andrew Christian, Inc.)