Today we’re really excited to share an exclusive Q&A with Shanna Grace, the lovely young woman who was the model for the cover of Poison by Bridget Zinn.
How did you get the job of portraying “Kyra” on the cover of POISON?
I got the job of portraying Kyra through my local agent Maximum Talent. My agent submitted headshots to the photographer. The ones he liked, he submitted to the client in New York. They chose me to do the “Poison” Book Cover photo shoot!!!! My first book cover!
Tell us about the day of the shoot. What was it like? What did your job entail?
My agent told me two weeks before the shoot they needed fair skin so I had to stay out of the sun for that time. The day of the shoot they told me they would do my hair and make-up, which was the first time I had it professionally done for a shoot. The photographer also said they were providing wardrobe but I needed to bring tall black boots. They took about 1 1/2 hours on my hair and makeup and getting into wardrobe. My hair had to be styled bit by bit and it took a while to put all of the pieces on. Then we did some action shots and the photographer sent the test shots on his computer to the editor in New York. She critique them and let us know the changes she wanted. At first my hair wasn’t right, they wanted it more wild so back into the hair chair. Since I have a lot of hair, after more shots and feedback from NY, it ended up being too big/wild. Back to the chair. 3rd time was a charm. It was great because they really knew exactly what they wanted. When we started shooting the photographer had the look he wanted in mind. Once we took those shots, he asked for my ideas and we worked together to think of several different poses, some of which entailed running and jumping with different facial expressions.
Did you know anything about the story or character beforehand?
When I got to the shoot the photographer gave me a summary of the book and what they wanted the cover to look like. We shot it on a plain background so I imagined what it would be like going through a forest with someone watching you. The shoot took several hours. Afterwards I was really intrigued by the costume and background art the photographer showed me. He had given me Bridget Zinn’s name so I came home and did research on her and the book. I was really really sad to hear about Bridget because I was so excited after the shoot. One of Bridget Zinn’s friends who is a NY Times best selling author contacted be about the cover. I asked her if I could contact Bridget’s husband to let him know it was an honor to be on her book and how amazing the experience was. I asked if he would keep me updated on the final stages and the release dates. It was from what he posted that I first saw the finished cover. He had just gotten the book proof in the mail.
I’ve heard the costume was hand-made — tell us more about the pieces?
The costume was incredible! I couldn’t believe it was hand made when I saw it. It was made by a local designer and was 12 pieces total. It was totally amazing! All of the hand stitching took weeks! It consisted of tights, then leather like pants, a wool under piece and then a gathered cream colored poet like shirt. On top of all that was a suede sheath cover that came down over everything down the the front and back. It laced up like a corset in the front. It had slotted sleeves that made it puff out at the top and unbelievable detailed crisscross stitching, black leather trim and metal decorative studs. It also had separate fabric sewn over top for more detail.Then it had separate amazingly detailed arm bands that laced all the way up and long suede leg covers that went over the boots I brought. There was a leather hair string and a belt. And finally, the dagger which was real :). It was an honor to be able to wear something that amazingly crafted!
Any other “secrets” you’d like to share from making the cover of POISON?
The amazing background of “Poison” was created on the computer before my shoot by fabulous photographer Mike Heath. He showed me the background before he started to photograph me so I had the image in my mind. When they chose the final photo of me (I was really curious to know which one they would use because we took so many all really different) he overlaid it into the background and it became the cover for “Poison”. Here’s a secret: can’t tell they were cowboy boots I was wearing can you? They were the only tall black ones I had but the covers went completely over top of them to the toe so it was all good! It was amazing to see and be a small part of this wonderful book. I hope Bridget would be proud of it. I really am :).
For even more behind-the-scenes goodies from the cover, tune in tomorrow – we’ve got some of Shanna’s exclusive photos from the shoot!
Wow, what a great interview! I love getting a look behind the scenes on book covers like this. I can’t believe how intricate that costume was (although it does *look* quite elaborate)! And all handmade? I wonder what they did with the costume after that.
That was fun – so nice of Shanna to share her excitement about her experience. Enjoyed the behind-the-scene-peed and the reminder of how labor intensive getting a book out is!
Uh, that was SUPPOSE to say ‘behind-the-scene-peek’ – it was not my intention to imply that someone actually peed behind the scene!
BAHAHA! Ahh, that cracks me up!