How "Twilight" made hand model Kimbra Hickey a star

Want publicity? Get yourself linked to Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series.

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    Kimbra Hickey's hands grace the cover of the first novel of Stephenie Meyer's wildly popular "Twilight" series.
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Not even the pasta served in the fictional "Twilight" books escaped fame, so it’s no surprise to see the hand model used for the book cover giving a public wave.

Turns out that “parts model” Kimbra Hickey is the face behind the now-famous image of ghostly hands cupping a red apple. At the time, Hickey wrote on her “Hands of Twilight” website, it was just a shot for a teenage romance novel. She knew nothing about the book. Now, she’s on the “Twi-Tour” convention circuit, traveling the country and using her hands to sign autographs. In the works, her site said, are sales of a “Hands of Twilight” body lotion (apple-scented, of course), and an apple charm necklace. (Her 1,200-plus followers on Twitter include “MrsEddieCullen” and “Newborn_Bella.”)

But now Hickey's bite of the apple is drawing some blowback. New York magazine describes Hickey this way: “She doesn't understand why she isn't more famous. It's cute at first, and then you realize she's not kidding about this.” Other headlines joke about her seeking “hands-on glory.”

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"It was too big of a deal just to let it be," Hickey told the New York Post of her quest for recognition, even as she admitted that she has become "a little goofy" about the whole thing. ("Goofy" may indeed be the best description for her habit of carrying a Gala apple in her purse at times so she can recreate the famous pose for anyone interested. Hickey told the Post that she also sometimes "hangs out near the cash register" at the Barnes & Noble near her apartment to help attract attention.)

I must admit that her site took me aback when it said that Hickey “will always be the only living icon of the books – other than (author) Stephenie Meyer herself.” Otherwise, though, it’s sweet in a way that any formerly crazed "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" fan can appreciate, with the backstory and tidbits about the modeling shoot and the book’s subsequent fame. (Diehard "Twilight" fans will drink in this link to rejected shots for "Twilight" covers).

Now, I think, there’s just one question left: Was it really a Gala apple used for that cover shot and, if so, when will the Fruit Growers Marketing Association start spreading the word?

Rebekah Denn blogs at eatallaboutit.com.

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