Where I write

Where I write

March 27, 2012

Strike a Pose

One of my favorite writers is Richard Russo. He wrote several books including Empire Falls and Nobody's Fool, both were turned into movies. Anyway, I've seen photos of him on his book covers, but had never seen him in person. (I wonder if he really writes by hand!)  I saw him in Tucson at the book festival and he looks just like his photo. He's a short, older guy with gray hair. It made sense to see him...he looked like his photo and he spoke like he wrote, smart with a wiry sense of humor.

Sometimes when you see authors in person you discover that the photo on their book was taken long ago...even before email or cell phones. I can't blame an author for wanting an attractive photo. Still, I can't help thinking it's silly for authors not to keep their photos updated especially these days when someone has a baby, or gets married, or visits China, and then posts the photos on Facebook seconds later.  We can't hide anymore. I once saw an author who looked so vastly different than her book jacket photo, I couldn't help wonder if she was just a stand in for the real, younger, slimmer author.

I took a writing class where Anne Lamott's wonderful book about writing and life, Bird by Bird, was the required text. Isn't this a lovely photo of Anne? Anyway, one of the  men in that class said he kept returning to her photo as he read. I was doing the same thing. It's as if you are becoming so close to the writer, you yearn to see them in person as well as hear them speak to you on the page.  I bet Anne looks just like her photo. She's so honest about her life.
This is Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote all the Little House books. Her books inspired me to be a writer. Nowadays with technology it isn't as easy to have an outdated photo as it was in Laura's day. She didn't have her photo taken every week or so like now. You can't go anywhere, or so it seems, without someone whipping out their phone and snapping a photo. Now that people download books and read them with electronic devices, will author photos even matter?  Probably because we all want to know, in this day of high tech everything, there truly still is a face, a human heart behind the words.
Here is the author that made me want to write fiction, Gail Godwin. I've read her books again and again and again. And I'd look at her photo, too, now and then as I read her books and feel as if I got to know her better and better. Isn't this such a smart photo?  She always kept her photos updated on her book jackets.

All this got me to thinking about what author's photo I will use someday for my novel. I looked and looked for a photo of me sitting in a sunny room, or looking upward as if having great thoughts like Gail's photo. Nothing. So in the meantime I'll use this one. At least it's current.


gloria said...

hahahahaha, thank you for giving me a real belly laugh--haven't had one of those in a while and I looooove the ending of this wonderful story. And I love you!

Rita A. said...

That photo is so you . . . and does fit your writing style. I remember meeting an author who had his photo from his early thirties when he worked with a baseball team and was in great shape and when I first met him he was in his seventies. I didn't believe him and still want to laugh. His ego is still in its thirties. lol

SunsetCindi said...

I love that picture of you, it says so much and when all of your adoring readers meet you they will know it is you and come flocking to get your autograph!

My pet peeve is pictures of people resting on their hand or fingers. It just looks so cliched and should be outlawed, grrrrrr!

C.B. Wentworth said...

That should definitely go on the dust jacket! :-)

I don''t have any pictures of my face anywhere on the internet. I'm a little too private and enjoy my anonymity! I like my name to tell most of the story. :-)

Stella said...