Friday, May 21, 2010

Author Photos Are Difficult

Last month Pimp My Novel did a post called The Magic of Author Photos. I am not the only writer who doesn't have a good relationship with cameras. We've all seen author photos that left us thinking, That was the best picture he had?

I've had untold numbers of photo shoots with family members trying to catch me at a good moment, three sets of pictures done by professionals, and a couple of cringe-worthy photos taken and published by photographers employed by newspapers. My most recent publicity shot makes me look as if I sell real estate or sit on a board of directors. Or maybe have an administrative position within a church hierarchy--someone who decides what mission projects all the local churches will be allowed to support, for instance.

One of my favorite author pictures for myself is the black and white one above, which appeared on my first book, My Life Among the Aliens. I call it my John Irving pose, because it reminds me of an early photograph of him wearing a sweatshirt and with his arms crossed over his chest. That was back when you used to hear a lot of talk of his wrestling background, so I always think of it as a wrestling photo.

If anyone looks at this picture of me and thinks, Is that the best picture she had?, the answer is yes.

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