Today's spotlight is a little different. Instead of having a writer or author stop by to answer some questions, I asked Charles Paz, 2009's Mr. Romance to be the spotlight for the month. He's dabbled in modeling and photography, and graced the cover of a few romance novels. (Side note: Charles and I grew up in the same hometown; even went to the same elementary school.) It's very cool that he took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions. Thanks again.
1-Congratulations on your 2009 Mr. Romance win! What have you been doing since earning the title?
Thank you very much. It’s been a very awesome accomplishment. I’m very grateful for it and all that has come with it. Seems like it’s been so long since I won that thing. Hahaha. Since then, I have been on a few book covers. Connie Mason’s Lord of the Devil’s Isle', I’m on the cover of that. I won that one from the contest. I’m also on a few e-books as well. I’m not only a paid MODEL, but also PHOTOGRAPHER for the covers as well. I multi-task very nicely.
2-Is modeling and gracing the cover of romance novels something you always wanted to do? How'd you get into it?
I never in my life would have thought I would have done what I have. I used to weigh almost 300lbs and decided to change my lifestyle. I did a body building show and lost 90lbs. I did some photoshoots after that, which lead to modeling, which lead to people in the industry noticing me, which lead to me competing and winning the competition, which lead to where I’m at now. Not an 'icon' in the industry, but definitely more than just an option and refuse to be forgotten.
3-I follow you on Facebook and noticed you're taking up photography as well. What's it like to go from in front of the camera to behind it?
I’ve always been the guy that takes pictures. Disposables in high school. Point and shoots at family events. I went to a shootout in Vegas and they handed me a camera and wanted to see what I could do with it. So, I took a shot, looked at it, adjusted the lighting and a few other things and took another shot. Showed the guy and he called everyone over to check it out. I guess that’s when “5th Element” was born. I’ve been shooting ever since. I have been doing a lot of shoots with models and stylists, but I do my best work with kids and families.
4-What has your experience been so far, working with people in the romance industry?
Hahahaha!…Oh, the industry…sigh. It’s had its moments. The good with the bad. The salty with the sweet. The authors, fans, writers. Most of them are pretty awesome people. I’m very glad to have met them. Now, the publishers on the other hand…very different story. Now, I’m not talking bad when I’m talking the truth. All I’m gonna say is that it’s a little sad when people see you as a “threat” to their company, and do a lot to tarnish your name and reputation. I’m more of “The People’s Covermodel” though. Hahaha! I love the fans and authors who want me on their covers. Always will. It does hurt a little to know that the publishers kinda got me “black listed”, but I’m not gonna let being Mr. Romance define who I am.
5-I've heard all kinds of stories from writers/authors who attend the RT Convention...what's it like from a models perspective?
OH MAN. The good ole RT Convention . I highly recommend anybody who writes books, read books, or loves books to go to one. This year it will be in Los Angeles. I’m pretty sure I will be there. It’s gonna be a BLAST. As a model, hee hee hee, it’s pretty fun. Like I said, I’ve been dubbed “The People’s Covermodel”. I’m not your normal I’m better than you, stuck up covermodel. I literally approach and talk to everyone there. In some ways, it has hurt my career because I get looked at as just another person by some people in charge of covers. I’d probably get more work/covers if I was quieter, kept to myself and kissed butt with the people in the higher ranks of the companies. I honestly could care less. I’ve never been one to kiss butt to get anywhere. I’d much rather meet the fans, sign autographs, take pics and make sure the people who attend this convention have fun, than to just do private parties with higher ranks, try to score cool points and get on covers. Before I’m Mr. Romance, I’m always gonna be Charles Paz and in a way, being who I am is what got me to where I am now.
6-Finally, where do you go from here? Any big plans? Goals for the future?
The best is still 'unwritten' I guess. I don’t think too far into the future. Life is day by day. Choice by choice. I have been training for the Sacramento NPC Body Building show that is the first weekend of November. It will be my 4th show and I’m hoping to do well. Afterwards, I’ll more than likely do a few photoshoots as well. In all honesty, 'Mr.Romance' wants to settle down with a 'Miss Romance'. Hahaha. Not gonna just go out there and get hooked up with the first girl that comes, but I’m thinkin’ it’s time to not be afraid of loving someone again and actually be happy. The photography business will be booming real soon. You can checkout my modeling and fashion photography on “Fifth Element”, which used to be my Mr. Romance page. Click here for more info.
And you can also see my family and children, along with other fun shoots on my Charles David Photography page. Click here to be redirected.
I would like to thank Kristin for this interview. I always take the chance to reach out to fans and this is the best way for them to learn a little bit more about me. I always appreciate and love the fans. And always remember..... RULE #37
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for Pararomance readers! I'm not sure what Rule #37 is, but I wish you luck with your modeling and photography career!