Please welcome author Shari Nichols to Diane's Book Blog.
Cover Model David Santa Lucia is Fifty Shades Hotter than Christian Grey…I invite you to decide!
By Shari Nichols
Whenever I think of Valentine’s Day, images of long stemmed red roses, heart shaped boxes of chocolate and of course, hot men come to mind. The Fifty Shades frenzy has hit with a vengeance. This Valentine’s Day women will be lining up at theaters around the globe to finally experience the allusive Christian Grey in all his male glory on the big screen. But there will be another incredibly sexy male on the scene, whose face and muscled physique will soon be everywhere.
I have no doubt he’ll capture the hearts and the imagination of women both young and old. His name is David Santa Lucia, and not only is he easy on the eyes, but he's smart, grounded and damn if he doesn’t look good soaking wet!
Looking at your pictures, it’s clear that you must’ve turned many heads. When did you first consider a career in modeling? How did you get in the industry?
That’s nice of you to say! To be honest, I’ve had people tell me that I should model, but I never gave it a second thought. It all started this past January. I began training for my first NPC physique competition. I was in the best shape of my life so I posted a couple of progress pictures online, as most competitors do. One day, I got a message from a local photographer asking me if I had any interest in being on the cover of a bestselling author’s next series. I’m usually skeptical when it comes to these kinds of things, but after she explained the details and that I’d be getting paid for my work I decided “why not?” I submitted some additional photos of myself for Author Kimberly Knight to review to make a final decision on who to pick. To my surprise, she chose me to be on the cover of her next series.
The six covers that I’m featured on for her series are the product from my first real photo shoot. I wasn’t convinced about a modeling career until I saw the results and how wonderful the images turned out. Liz Christensen is the photographer that took the incredible shots and managed to capture the moment perfectly. She told me that I was a natural. It got me thinking that I could make something out of this opportunity. My career has been “running” ever since and I’ve been extremely fortunate. I’m forever grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities that have come my way!
-Your handsome face and gorgeous body have graced many romance novels covers and I can see why. What covers have you done?
Oh god, I’m blushing from these amazing compliments. I work with the best photographers in the industry and we collaborate as a team to get our images seen by the wonderful author community.
My first job came from Amazon Best Selling Author Kimberly Knight’s B&S series. Additional covers came from New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author Aurora Rose Reynolds. I’m also featured on another cover by Aurora that will be released in the near future. Currently I have eight released covers and three more that’ll be coming out in the near future by Aurora Rose Reynolds, Emma Hart, and Sandi Lynn. I’m also discussing deals with a few other authors right now. Hopefully there will be even more to come, so please stay in touch with my page to see my new covers.
-What do you do in your free time?
I don’t have too much free time. I’m either at school, work, studying, exercising, networking online with authors and photographers, answering emails/messages, or cooking and preparing meals. When I do find some free time I like to spend it with my beautiful girlfriend and go out to a nice dinner or just relax at home and goof around with her. She insists that I’m secretly a dork at heart, but she loves it.
-What would a woman have to do to win your heart?
I have a wonderful and amazing girlfriend. She’s the beautiful female model Rachael Baltes, who’s featured on the covers with me. I’m picky when it comes to dating. I’ve had my fair share of liars, cheaters, drama lovers, fighters, and crazies. From all of my bad experiences I have learned to have a keen eye to even the slightest red flag that would tell me to avoid a female. The most important characteristic that a woman must possess to win my heart is the ability to make me genuinely laugh and not just once in a while, but all the time. Rachael has the best sense of humor and she always keeps things lively and fun with all of her positive and wild energy. I also need a woman who exercises regularly and knows and understands the challenges and the value of training hard, as it is a major part of my daily life. Besides, there is nothing sexier than seeing your woman dripping in sweat from a grueling work out! Aside from humor and exercise, my partner must be a genuine sweetheart. I’ve dated attractive woman who were just nasty and let me tell you, looks can only get you so far with me. Rachael is both beautiful and a total sweetheart. She has my back no matter what.
-Where are you from originally? Where do you call home now?
I’m from Buffalo, New York and I still reside here to this day. I plan on moving south this year to seek out employment after I graduate from my doctor of physical therapy program. I love New York, but I need to go where the opportunities are and to a warmer climate.
-What can we expect from you in the future?
Well it’s my hope that you should expect to see me on many more covers. I have seven photo shoots scheduled in the next few months with excellent photographers. There will be a ton of great new pics coming out. I’m also trying to break my way into the fashion industry. I’m hoping to get some exposure in fashion and fitness magazines in the future. I’m also looking to earn sponsorships through work out supplements and clothing companies. You can definitely expect me to continue competing in physique competitions. I will also continue to travel around the U.S. for author signing events, which is wonderful because it gives me a chance to meet and spend time with my author friends, as well as my fans. I love to meet the fans and enjoy getting a chance to talk and joke around with them!
-Who do you admire most? Why?
I would say that the person who I admire the most would have to be my best friend Ryan Boggs who’s a fellow classmate in my Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Balancing my modeling career, traveling, training, physique competitions, relationships, and everyday life while also enrolled in a professional doctoral program is nothing short of tough. Every day is a challenge and Ryan has been the man behind the scenes who keeps me on track when things get overwhelming. Ryan will also be my future business partner when we open up our own practice. He’s truly an inspiration and sets the bar for human character and morality.
-Are you ever shy or embarrassed to get such adulation from women for your looks?
I definitely still get shy and embarrassed when I get such adulation from women. I don’t know if that will ever go away. People make fun of me after I receive compliments because I turn red and can be at a loss for words. It still amazes me that people can have such nice things to say about me because I just view myself as a regular guy. Nevertheless, the compliments from my fans make me feel amazing inside when I see their appreciation.
-What's your favorite food?
Italian food! I love all things Italian and am an absolute sucker for good bread. I always tell people that when I am sick, down, or upset, just bring me a fresh loaf of good bread and I will be right as rain, when I am not strictly dieting of course.
-What do you do to have fun? Distress?
I go to the gym, of course. I also love bicycling outdoors in the summer and usually go about twenty miles at a time. I love watching the scenery and the beauty of nature as I ride. I also like people watching and seeing what others are up to as I cruise by their houses. Hiking in the woods is another favorite pastime of mine. I love to get engulfed in the beauty of nature. It frees me from the stresses of the world.
-What is the best part of your job? The worst?
I will start with the worst part first because there isn’t too much that’s bad. Staying in prime shape costs a lot of money, and requires a ton of healthy food as well as supplements. I wish that I had more time to chat with authors, photographers, friends, and fans.
The best part of my job is getting to travel around the U.S. and getting to meet so many amazing and hard working authors, photographers, and models. It’s crazy that I never even knew a book community like this existed until I became a part of it and I’m thankful for the opportunities that have come my way. I’ve met so many truly wonderful people, new friends, and amazing fans. Before I began modeling, I rarely traveled because I was so busy with school and money was tight. Traveling has to be one of favorite things to do in life. I love experiencing beautiful and exotic places and cultures. Staying in one place my whole life just made me feel like I was truly missing out on life. Modeling has allowed me to participate in what I’d been missing the most out of life and for that I couldn’t be more thankful.
Thank you, Dave you've been a doll and a pleasure to work with. You certainly make this job fun! Check out Dave on FB, Twitter and Instagram.
Shari Nichols is the author of WITCH HUNTER, a new erotic romance with Ellora’s Cave Publishing. Shari grew up in a small town in Connecticut where haunted houses, ghosts and Ouija boards were common place, spurring her fascination with all things paranormal. Ever since she read her first Barbara Cartland novel, her life-long dream has been to write sexy, romantic stories. She’s thrilled to spend her days in sweats, eating chocolate while pounding on her keyboard to create her next novel.