If you are a fan of the Indie romance book community, you undoubtedly know Mike Thurston. A personal trainer and fitness model based in the UK, Mike burst onto the scene earlier this year after appearing on the iconic cover of Taint by author S.L. Jennings.
With that sexy smirk, Mike totally personifies Justice Drake, and he’s become a favorite of romance readers the world over. In addition to being ridiculously photogenic, Mike Thurston also owns a health and fitness company, Aurora Athletic. I was so excited when he agreed to be featured in my new series, Uncovering the Cover Model. I polled some readers to see if they had any burning questions, and after weeding out marriage and other, more indecent, proposals, I was able to put together an interview with Mike. Read on to learn a little more about the man behind the abs, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
First, we’ve got to know…how does it feel to be the object of so much affection from legions of romance readers?
It’s all good. I never let things like that go to my head, so I try and remain as humble as possible and be thankful that I even managed to get on the cover in the first place! (Dreamy AND humble! *swoon*)
As a model, was being on a book cover something that was ever a goal for you? Or has the whole thing just been happenstance?
It was a complete fluke! I always thought my first cover would be on a fitness magazine, but from out of nowhere S.L. Jennings contacted me and asked about a photograph she had seen floating around social media sites. She said she wanted that on the front cover of her book. It was a bit of work dealing with the photographer and agent, but we got there in the end.
Your work on the TAINT cover has quickly reached iconic status. What kind of reaction/feedback have you gotten so far? I’m dying to know what your friends and family think!
The reaction has been great. I’ve had nothing but complements from friends, family and outsiders. My male friends found it hilarious, my female friends found it rather sexual, and my family were proud. I don’t think my grandparents were aware at first what the book was actually about, but I got a copy for my Grandma as she was dying to read it hahaha. My dad was concerned at first, as he thought me being associated with a ‘raunchy book’ could have a negative effect on my reputation. But has it? No.
Have you gotten to read TAINT yet? If so, what did you think of it?
Yes I got round to reading it. It’s not my kind of genre but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Have you been recognized yet as the face of Justice Drake? (It IS a best-seller, so it’s only a matter of time!)
I’ve had a few funny looks and double takes when I’ve been out and about, but I don’t know if that has anything to do with the book or not. It’ll be in all bookstores very soon so i’m sure the exposure will increase.
Make the rest of us mere mortals feel better. You’ve got to have some flaw, right? Do you leave your socks on the floor? Put the toilet roll back the wrong way? Spill!
Haha nobody’s perfect. Different people will pick out different ‘imperfections’, but that’s for them to find out.
You’re stranded on a desert island. What three things do you HAVE to have? (I swear, if you say protein powder, I’m throwing you off the blog! )
1. Protein Powder…. Haha no. Three things would be my music, a book on how to survive on a desert island, and my soul mate. (Sweet, resourceful, AND a smartass? I think we just became best friends)
When you’re not busy smoldering at the camera, or lifting heavy objects, what do you like to do?
While I’ve got you here, how about sharing a health/fitness tip with my readers? Remember, we’re mostly women here, we don’t really go around flipping tractor tires for fun, so go easy on us!
Ignore everything you see on TV and in fitness magazines. Most of it is complete nonsense. Get off the treadmill and start involving yourself in some resistance training. If you keep doing what you have always done your body will have no reason to change. Everything happens outside of your comfort zone. Follow the Aurora Athletic facebook page for advice and get in touch with myself for online training if you want to take things to the next level.
What’s next for you, Mike? Anything exciting coming up?
I’ll be at a book signing in New York in October for Taint, on Saturday the 18th. Apart form that I’ll be knuckling down with business until the end of this year. Who knows what next year has in store!