Cover Model

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Photo of Mike Tattersall by Fernando Farfan

Voted Mr. Cellblock in 2008 and Mr. Leather Ottawa, 2010, Michael Tattersall is a well-known and respected member of Ottawa’s Leather and Kink community. In fact, when I asked Mike about his history he explained in more detail:

“I won Mr. Cellblock 2008 on October 19, 2007, the day after my birthday. A couple of weeks later I won Mr. Cellblock/Cruisline Best Chest. Next year I was 1st Runner-Up at MLO, and the next Summer I won Mr. Central Canada Olympus Leather 2009, after which I competed for MLO 2010 and won.

“A week before IML 2011 I was asked to be a Contestant Handler for them, and at the end of the weekend they asked me to be a permanent member of the Team.

“National Capital Leather Pride was started because I saw Atlanta’s, when I went down to enjoy the Mr.Atlanta Eagle competition… and said I can do that, so I started it. This year NCLP will be 5.”

I first encountered Mike during Capital Pride, 2011. He didn’t notice me, of course, but he did come over and speak to the very handsome gay male couple I was with. In his leather shirt, leather kilt and Docs, he definitely had my attention. I’m sure when anyone meets Mike for the first time they are enthralled by his mature charisma, charming manner and piercing, intelligent gaze. I immediately knew I wanted to get to know this man.

Afterward, my friends and I attended the post-parade party and wandered the grounds handing out postcards promoting my first ebook, Exposure, published earlier that year. I seemed intrinsically drawn to the leather-clad gay kinksters in the crowd, much to the amusement of my more conservative gay friend and helper. Most of the men were curious and polite about being given a postcard, but not quite sure what to make of the plump, smiling, short-haired, middle-aged woman who approached them. I still remember Mike, stepping back to observe me, smiling that lovely smile and taking a postcard with enthusiasm.

I was smitten.

Later, when we became friends on Facebook, I was as impressed by his intelligence, political savvy, and wit, as I had been by his physical presence. When a mutual friend took some amazing photos of him, I immediately pictured one as the cover for my to-be-published novel, Beyond the Edge. I conferred with the MLR Press cover artist, who told me if I could get rights to the photo, she would use it on the cover of the book. Then I met with Fernando Farfan, the photographer, and arranged to purchase the photo.

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Winterheart Design did a wonderful job with the cover of my first novel and I was so very proud to have a local, proudly gay kinkster on the cover.

While writing the sequel to Beyond the Edge, I had in mind a different kind of cover. I asked a friend of Mike’s who is a professional photographer, if she would take some photos of him for use on the next cover. Luckily, Mike was willing to travel to Montreal, where Stéphanie Amesse is located, for a photo shoot which produced some of the best images of Mike that I have ever seen. The one we selected for the cover of The Cross and the Trinity conveyed the realism and charisma that I was after:

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Photo by Stéphanie Amesse

For the third and final installment of The James Lucas Trilogy, A Numinous Light, I wanted a cover that tied into the spiritual element of BDSM and the triad relationship between James, Sebastian and Tate. I have always loved the juxtaposition of the sacred and profane. Local photographer and friend Paul Thompson did an excellent job representing that in a photo shoot with Mike. I immediately loved the contrast of the sexy leatherman wearing angel wings, and we left the straps visible on purpose in order to maintain the irony.

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Photo by Paul Thompson

I am so pleased to have Mike on the cover of my books. He has always been unrestrained in his enthusiasm for my writing, and welcoming when I have attended kink events in the Ottawa community.

Mike, you rock, and I am so glad we are friends.

~ Liz

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