[Image: Akasha, at a Kentucky Derby Party in Chicago when #HDRtheBook was just released.]
Well, we love our journey stories and this one has a happy ending. I found Hot Dudes Reading when I was creating my author platform and promoting some new releases in my genres. Enter James Patterson, Lord of the thriller genre of course. He was supporting First Book, who was partnering with Hot Dudes Reading to promote the cause as "Good Looks. Good Books."
And what a brilliant way to grab and hold attention! We looped in some of our travel friends and joined the fun. My first tweet about Hot Dudes Reading, March 2015:
Fab #traveltuesday pairing: @FirstBook + @hotdudesreading = #hotdudesreadingforacause! Cheers!
[Image: @hotdudesreading on the El, in Chicago.]
I was shifting from my author Twitter platform and getting to know Instagram...where the @hotdudesreading account is on fire! Last winter we all needed some images with back story to pass a mundane commute and warm up the cockles of our hearts.
Cue their backstory:
Hot Dudes Reading is a group of young professionals based in New York City who used GroupMe to share photos and funny captions of hot dudes reading on their daily commute.
Akasha: Thanks for sending me an advance copy of #HDRtheBook, and thrilled that we could connect!
HDR: As you know, there are quite a few of us that run HDR, so we got together for this chat and thanks!
Akasha: Can you talk about how you went after or were approached about a book deal?
HDR: We often say that Hot Dudes Reading started as a joke between our group of friends, but people responded to our posts right off the bat. Sure, we initially got people’s attention with all of that studly eye candy, but once it became clear that we were also promoting the old fashioned act of reading, publishing companies and authors started reaching out a few times a week to share their support and say “thanks” for spreading the word that reading is still sexy. We were contacted by a literary agent soon after, and it all snowballed from here.
Akasha: We would love to see you continue to feature hot dudes reading in 50 states or to expand overseas. Is the #HDRtheBook a stepping stone and are there any plans you can reveal? We'd certainly do a welcome feature, gourmet soiree & pairings in Chicago to stoke the flame for #HDRtheBook. Please keep it in mind. (I submitted photos earlier in the year from other states as part of their promo. Photos follow the interview.)
HDR: We love featuring pictures that our followers take from all around the world, and we’re going to keep doing that, because let’s be real — sometimes the only thing getting us through the brutal NYC winters is thumbing through pictures of hot dudes enjoying their summers in cities like Sydney…and Rio…and Cape Town...and Bogota…sorry, what were we saying? Oh yeah, we have plans for another calendar, and we’re working on a couple of other fun ideas that could bring HDR to life in different ways, but we’ve promised to act like adults and keep some of those things quiet for now.
Akasha: Do you have a fave photo taking device?
HDR: All of the pictures we’ve ever taken and posted on our IG were shot on our various iPhones. When it came time to plan what we were going to do with the book, we all agreed we wanted to keep the same look and feel as the account, so we used an iPhone 6 to shoot every picture in the book. It worked out well, and we’re still doing it today.
Akasha: What’s your superpower, or what’s your spirit animal?
HDR: If Team HDR had to pick one superpower, we’d go with X-ray vision, so we could see through whatever we wanted. Wait, no, we’d pick mind control, so we could make any dude we want fall in love with us. Scratch that, we’d pick invisibility so we could stop daydreaming about stalking dudes and actually do it (you know, without fear of being arrested and all). Do we have to pick just one?!
Why yes, @hotdudesreading, we do know. Wait, maybe being arrested for stalking to get that right #HotDudesReading shot would make an intriguing inciting incident for the NYC book/film in my Davanti thriller series...we'll follow up!
Check out #HDRthebook for the perfect stocking stuffer, and enjoy
a hot dudes reading every month with their Hot Dudes Reading wall calendar!
Thanks again @hotdudesreading! I suggest a toast in NYC in the new year to celebrate your book, success and superpowers. I'll have more Food Network show news with our Nando Milano friends, and am talking travel thrillers with NYC agents.
Confession: I do not quite have the same NYC commute situation, but we still added some hot dudes reading flavor! I'll keep my eyes open and adventure shall ensue...
[Photo shoot homage to Hot Dudes Reading when they called for other states. We went sailing in LA, and this happened. Luca, Director, The Director's Edge, played along. Image: Akasha. Sailboat: Cruise Invictus, Marina del Rey. ]
[Voila, the Italain dinner for my first book release, Secrets to Shine Through the Noise, with owners of Nando Milano, Dario Vullo and Executive Chef Alessio Vullo. #ShineThroughTheNoise #Chicago #Champaign. Image: Akasha.]
[Bob Kaliebe, actor from "The Dark Knight", "Public Enemies" and soon "Chicago Fire" we hear... Bob did my #ShineThroughTheNoise chapter reading and also helped pay homage to Hot Dudes Reading with an after hours shot.]
Read more about my book and film adventures
Cheers & fair winds,