CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Marnie Riddell never planned to be a pinup model. It wasn't something she really ever thought about.
"If you'd have asked me when I was 20 if I'd be a model, especially this kind of model, I'd have laughed at you," the 45-year-old Charleston resident said.
But life sometimes has a way of finding its own path. Today, more than two decades after she graduated from high school, Riddell has found an unexpected calling, posing for vintage glamour photographs.
"I only do the stuff that's very tasteful," she's quick to point out. "I'd never do anything that was all in your face."
Besides, she said with a smile, pinup art is all about the tease.
Born Marnie Kerby in Dublin, Ireland, her parents moved to America when she was 7 years old. There's just a wisp of her Irish accent left.
"I grew up in Cleveland," she said.
As a little girl, Riddell said she always dreamed of being in the movies and wanted to grow up to be an actress.
"I studied theater at Ohio State," she said. "But then I got married and had a daughter."
Regular life and responsibilities took over, though Riddell said she was involved with local theater in Ohio and worked in a children's theater.
"That was the best," she said. "I got to play at work every day. One day, I was one of the three little pigs, the next I got to be an alien. It was simply the best job I'd ever had."
She also had minor roles in two independent films: "Riding with James Dean" and "Vampire Girls Are Easy."
"It was kind of a play on 'Earth Girls Are Easy,'" she said and laughed. "My one scene was a dream sequence where I fed a guy an apple."
The film was shot in the mid 1990s, but has since vanished into memory. There's not even a reference for it on the Internet Movie Database.
"Riding with James Dean" had a little better luck. Riddell played Loretta in the 1998 film -- the best friend to the lead actress's character.
"That one sounded pretty interesting," she said. "It was about a guy who inherits the mailbox of James Dean and starts getting letters from a girl who thinks he's James Dean."
The film, she said, sort of plodded.
"It would have done better if it had been more of a quirky comedy," Riddell added.
Riddell's first marriage lasted for about three years. The pair divorced in 1998 then reconciled five years later.
"But then he died before we could get married again," she said.
Riddell met her second husband, Tom, in 2009.
"We met through mutual friends," she said. "We just clicked."
She said they were both kind of nerds and shared a passion for geek culture: science fiction and fantasy books, movies and television and comic books.
"I've been doing cosplay before I even knew what the term was," Riddell said.