A few weeks ago, I got an email from the PR department at Algonquin asking for–among other things–an author photo. I know how important the author photo is. It’s your intro. Your brand. My original photo was taken at a photo studio a few doors down from the place we rented my daughter’s violin. It’s of me in a white t-shirt, after running in with my then-toddler and only 15 minutes to spare. I remember sitting on the makeshift stool and then realizing I had totally forgotten to wear mascara. I think we took 3 shots and I chose the first. The end. I had some delusion that Simon & Schuster would have someone in the art department photoshop it. Ha!
After that first novel was released, I hired a real headshot photographer and spent some good money on nice headshots that I have been using for all my appearances. I hated all of the photos when I first saw them, but they’re actually fine.
Of the many shots, I chose a couple that looked “authorly,” and got promptly teased for the head-on-fist shot. Apparently there are clichés in author photos and I had committed #1. Then I stopped wearing my hair straight and a friend suggested I get new pictures with my curly hair. I never got around to it. Then came cancer. And baldness. And now Algonquin is waiting.
I decided to go with a photo studio again. It worked out for the first book. And this time I actually made an appointment. So it’s prep time. I’ll pick an outfit tonight that does not include my trusty navy sweater, wash and style my hair in the morning (as if my hair ever does what I want it to) and I even bought one of those teeth whiteners from the drug store–a plan that is sure to backfire. But on I go.