05/18/2010 07:08 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Author Goes To Romance Novel Convention, Ends Up Mr. Romance Contestant (PHOTOS)

What happens when an out-of-shape author enters himself in a male modeling contest to be on the cover of a romance novel?

As the proud owner of a Y chromosome, I expected to be in the minority amongst the mostly female crowd of 1,200 at the 2010 Romantic Times Booklover's Convention in Columbus, Ohio April 28-May 2. I was attending the convention as an aspiring romance writer; HarperCollins will release my non-fiction debut, the romantically themed Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love, next year.

When convention organizers needed extra studs for the "Mr. Romance" male modeling competition, I came (somewhat unwillingly) to the rescue. The contest, put on every year by RT Book Reviews magazine and Dorchester Publishing and featuring a bevy of professional and amateur male models, is a fan favorite at the annual romance novel convention. It's a small dream of mine to see my name on the cover of a romance novel -- I never expected that my face could end up there as well!

When I agreed to enter the competition, I had no idea that, after four days of photo shoots, rehearsals, and meet-and-greets, I would literally be ripping my shirt off onstage in front of hundreds of fans and fellow authors! Did I win? Check out the slideshow to see...