Monday, September 27, 2010

If you stalk a writer...

I have to sit still long enough for someone to take an author photo and I'm practically gibbering, "distilled almost to jelly in the act of fear." (Shout-out to Horatio)

How can I simultaneously make myself look interesting and yet not so weird that I scare the bejesus out of potential readers? Try to come up with an image of yourself being "conservatively interesting" and you'll see what I mean. It's nearly impossible. It's why authors give up and stand in front of bookcases. It's why they bow their heads and stare at pads of paper with pen in hand. It's why they do the infamous chin cradle (see my profile picture, which I did on purpose and it cracks me up) or skulk around trees.

I will not go gently into that good night: I shall not cross my arms in front of a bookcase and pretend that this is what I normally do. If one of those wildlife photographers were to stalk me, to capture my life candidly in my natural habitat, then they'd probably catch me reading comic books on the couch, far away from the bookcase. Or I'd be writing at the kitchen table, which is what I'm doing right now and where I write most of the time. There might (or might not) be a beer next to the computer. But I can't do any of that: see, if I'm reading a comic, some people are going to sneer at me because I'm reading comics, some will sneer because of the particular titles I read, and heck, I probably couldn't get permission to publish a copy of the comic cover in any case. And if I have a beer in the picture, I'm going to offend all kinds of people—first, people who don't drink, second, people who drink wine or "harrrrrd likker," and third, beer snobs who will criticize my unrefined palate no matter what's in my glass.

I paint miniature dwarfs, but someone will recommend me for therapy if they see a picture of that. On the other hand, I might be enshrined into the Nerd Hall of Fame for a picture like that.

Sigh. I'm probably going to hover around some plant life and hope it camouflages the fact that I'm almost forty. But it'll be kind of cool to have a "39" picture out there. I might wind up using it for a long time. :)


  1. I think you should stick with the "chin cradle" thing you've got going's super hilarious! Maybe you could be wear a Hawaiian shirt to give the picture some edge.

  2. I think you should take a picture of Julie and use it as your cover photo...that'll get the readers talking!

  3. "Whoa," they'll say, "that Kevin Hearne is kinda hot. And he rocks that Hawaiian shirt." ;)

  4. Alan, I suppose I could donate my yearbook picture for a good cause...and I stand by my Hawaiian shirt idea! lol. Oooh, you could borrow Dan's puka shell necklace.