John Joseph Quinlan, nickname Stoneface, is a male model and actor from Boston, Massachusetts. Here he is on Debra’s cover for Montana Delta Rescue portraying former Delta Force K9 handler Ricky “Rock” Trumbull. His German Shepherd, K9 working dog Hercules “Herc” is reunited with him and they both join the Brotherhood Protectors, a security guard service out of Montana.
In 2013, John made his debut as a featured digital actor and producer in the Poughkeepsie Enhanced Collector’s Edition by romance author Debra Anastasia. John portrayed Beckett Taylor, a bad guy with a big heart in the video short included in the Edition
After spending over 20 years in the modeling industry as a fitness & physique competitor as well as being a romance cover model, John transitioned into acting.
Below is Debra’s second Cover Model Corner interview with John which originally appeared in the Nov/Dec 2019 issue of Affaire de Coeur magazine.
Debra – Today I’m excited to be chatting again with John J. Quinlan. It’s been a few years since he did a Cover Model Corner interview with me. John is a former bodybuilder (retired), professional wrestler (retired), fitness model, fashion model, and an art model and romance cover model. But, did you know he is an actor as well? I’m looking forward to hearing about his latest projects.
Welcome, John! Thanks for agreeing to another interview!
John- Thank you for having me. It’s always an honor to sit down with you, Debra, for an interview. You are such a talented writer and friend; so it’s my pleasure.
Debra – Thank you, John. That’s very sweet of you to say. Since this is Cover Model Corner, let’s start with the book covers you’ve been on. What was the first cover you appeared on and how did this come about?
John – The first book cover I appeared on was Captive Fantasy by Ann Mayburn. I was in an orange prison jumpsuit with handcuffs on.
Debra – What a way to break in! (Pun intended.) You’ve been called the most tattooed male romance cover model in the world. How many tattoos do you have? Can you tell me a little bit about them?
John – I was the most tattooed cover model in the world from 2013 to 2014. Today, there are many guys on book covers with more tattoos than I had.
It was special to me to help open the doors for others with tattoos to grace book covers who before might not have been given the opportunity to do so. I have thirty-six individual tattoos although some are very small and clustered together. They all have their own personal meaning to me. At the top of my list are three nautical stars, which I have inside each forearm and the back of my neck. Each star is a bit bigger than the one next to it, representing my three children: Troy 13, Cole 9, and Mia 7.
Debra – You did open doors for so many. With your children as the stars
in your heart and on your skin, they are beautiful images.
John, if you could do a photoshoot anywhere in the world for a cover, where would you most want to go? What sort of shoot would it be?
John – It would be a tropical island. Perfect weather with the sun shining and a beautiful ocean in the background. The true definition of peace and tranquility.
Debra That sounds lovely. It’s been a while since our last interview. How many book covers have you been on so far?
John – I would say around 50 book covers. It’s always an honor when an author selects me. See some book covers and art in the gallery here: https://www.johnjquinlan.com/bookcovers
Debra – You have a nickname, Stoneface. Can you tell us what it means and how you got it? Is there a story behind your nickname?
John – If I had a dollar over the years for every time someone told me that I never smile, I would be a millionaire right now. This continued for years, periodically, with random people that would see me in public places, on the street and in the gyms. Comments like: staying out of trouble, you look mean and you look like you want to fight somebody. So as I got a bit older and I matured physically, my face became a bit tighter, a bit dented in the cheekbones and I developed veins. Most notably, the vein over my left eyebrow, which is very pronounced.
Going back about 20 years, one day I walk into the gym and this guy says to me, Man, you never smile. I’m not saying you look mean. It’s really stone-like with absolutely no expression. Smile man, it ain’t that bad. So from that point forward whenever I would see him he would say, Hey Stoneface, how are you? His name was Manny Catalano who became one of my best friends. Unfortunately, Manny passed away in 2005, but I can still hear his laugh and the great memories will live on forever. I’m sure he’s up in Heaven now telling God a funny joke.
I really miss Manny. Over the course of time, the nickname just stuck. It is funny. Because the roles I’ve had in projects, film, or book covers most often are usually a villain. A bad guy type biker, hitman, thug character role, which required that I look the part in photos and promos, which some people didn’t understand and just thought I didn’t smile. There were so many instances of stuff like this; it makes me laugh when I look back on all of them.
One occasion I just thought of right now was at the RT Convention Dallas in 2015. I remember sitting next to Len Gunn, a great guy, by the way, eating breakfast. Len was talking with two girls sitting on the other side of him when one of the girls looks to me and says, You look so serious. Why don’t you smile? Before I could answer, Len responds saying, He never smiles. I was like, Thanks, Len! I mean, can Stoneface simply eat his cereal in peace? Classic memories. Good times.
Debra Thanks for sharing the story behind your nickname. I know you have many projects in the works beyond romance novel cover shots. You’re also an actor. How did you move from being a cover model to acting?
John – Director/producer Jillian Bullock discovered me in the fitness world. She thought I had a good look for the main character in the movie she was working on back in 2014, A Sense of Purpose: Fighting for Our Lives (2019). I auditioned for the role of United States Army Captain Jake Nixon and landed the lead male actor role.
Debra – Do you still do covers, or is acting your primary focus today?
John – My primary focus is acting, although I am still open to doing covers from time to time upon request.
Debra – What’s one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
John – Whom would John J. Quinlan like to see as the next President of the United States? My answer, Dwayne “The Rock Johnson.
Debra – He seems like a great guy. If you wrote a book, what would it be about?
John – My autobiography, similar to the character Rocky Balboa by Sylvester Stallone. About how this guy without any real God-given talent who just kept fighting, hustling, and working to overcome extreme adversity and ultimately achieved his dream.
Debra Sounds like a good one. I would read it!
Now, I like to ask these next questions in every interview because I think we should do all we can to be healthy. Your fitness level is beyond the average person’s. What is your exercise routine and what sort of nutrition plan do you follow to achieve and maintain your level of fitness?
John – I’ve had relatively the same workout routine for many years with an exercise regimen more like a boxer these days. I train now more for stamina and burning calories to keep in top shape. There will be a day or two during the week when I will work out with weights that are bit heavier than normal to switch it up a bit, but boxer training is my thing right now.
My nutrition was always pretty basic. When it comes to my diet there was never anything scientific about it. I stick to the basics, and the key is consistency.
To have an effective diet that works, one has to stick with it, as results don’t happen overnight. I keep my protein level up to maintain my muscle mass during intense bouts of training through chicken, fish, and some red meat here and there. I also use some quality whey protein as well. My carbohydrates are usually through oatmeal, potatoes, and rice. My favorite vegetable is spinach, which is full of iron so this does the job just fine. Good enough for Popeye is good enough for me! I was never a big dairy guy and I love berries, especially blueberries.
Debra Yummy! Blueberries, I could eat them by the handful. If you could share three simple fitness tips the average romance reader could do every day to stay healthy, what would they be?
John – 1. Read labels; 2. Be consistent, practice good habits consistently; 3. Forget about everyone else around you, do an exercise regimen at your own pace. You know what feels good for you; it’s your body.
Debra Great advice. Now, it’s your birthday dinner and the calories don’t count. What’s on the menu, and what are you drinking?
John – Authentic Italian food, the greatest food on the planet. I don’t drink. I might have a social drink here and there but because of the special day, it would have to be a drink with a little something in it so I’d say a Long Island Iced Tea. That drink packs a powerful punch and will do the job! Dessert would be a chocolate fudge cake which I would probably eat the entire thing. Amen! It’s my birthday, which only comes once a year so live it up. It’s all good.
Debra – Describe the perfect romantic evening.
John – Atmosphere is key. A nice restaurant on the ocean with a great view and candles. The rest of the night will take care of itself.
Debra So romantic.
Please share one unusual fact about you or your life:
John – My very first book cover I was on was me, but it wasn’t me. Back in 2000, as an art model, illustrator Brian Dow used my physiques likeness in a digital painting and colored pencil illustration as the body of an evil troll for a self-promotion piece inspired by Harry Potter and author J.K. Rowling. The image went on to be used on the cover of the paperback book, The War of Trolls (Scream Shop Series #8 ) by Tracey West.
Debra Wow, that is fascinating.
Eight Quickie questions:
1.) Watching the sunrise, or watching the sunset and the stars? Sunset
2.) The beach, or the mountains? Beach
3.) Primitive camping, or luxury hotel? Luxury hotel
4.) Snow skiing, or water skiing? Water skiing
5.) Favorite movie: Wedding Crashers
6.) Best book you ever read: The Bible
7.) Fav. Sport to play: Basketball
8.) Fav. Sport to watch: Football
Debra Where can we see you in the movies?
John A Sense of Purpose: Fighting for Our Lives (2019) is currently in the process of securing a distribution deal by the director and producer Jillian Bullock who is eyeing a deal with Netflix.
Debra How exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing it.
John–Thank you for visiting with me again.
Debra – It’s been fun getting caught up with you. Before we say goodbye, how can fans stay up to date on your latest news? Do you have any news or special announcements to share?
John – It is always special to me when an author as talented as you, Debra, sits down with me for an interview. I really enjoyed talking with you this afternoon. Keep doing what you are doing; you are a true credit to the world of literature.
Debra – You’re very kind, John, thank you, and it has been my pleasure. Readers, you can learn more about John by visiting:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ johnjosephquinlan
Debra Parmley is a hybrid multi-genre romance author who believes “Every day we are alive is a beautiful day.” She likes to give her readers and her story people a story with a happy ending. A world traveler, she has often brought home folk tales and music from countries she has visited.
Debra’s Cover Model Corner interviews can be found in back issues of Affaire de Coeur magazine and on https://covermodelcorner.wordpress.com/
Visit debraparmley.com for more about Debra Parmley
and to read more about Montana Delta Rescue visit this link.