Posts Tagged ‘photography’

My first two books were published by a small press, and as such, I was given some input into the decision about whether or not to have my photograph on the back cover. My answer was very firmly NO.

Like many folks, I am not fond of having my picture taken, but I believe I am exceptionally not photogenic, even among that crowd. I don’t mean that I’m hideous. I’m just very difficult to take a decent picture of, as several of my photographer friends can vouch for. “These photos don’t even look like you!” is a frequent refrain. Accompanied by such plaints as, “Why can’t you keep both your eyes open?” and “If you could just keep your face still,” and the always amusing, “Uh, can you, uh, do … something with your hair.” (Answer: No. I’m not the boss of my hair.)

So when I was first asked for my official author photo by the lovely people at St. Martin’s Press, I delayed. I wasn’t lying when I said, “I don’t have anything appropriate.” Boy, did I not have anything appropriate. The closest thing I had to an author photo was fifteen years old. The most recent photos of me all featured various angles of my dogs and cats (frequently their butts), and me giving the camera a googly-eye, or half a snaggle-tooth, or the Flehmen response. As you do.

Have you smelled my book?

Have you smelled my book?

Now, I could have set out the very next day in pursuit of a contemporary author photo, but I didn’t. Instead, like the worst chess player in the world, I engaged in the Fat Girl’s Gambit. There’s something about being obese that works like a pause button on certain portions of your life. You find yourself thinking, I’ll do that after I lose this weight. You hate to buy new clothes, because you’re going to lose that weight! You are. You have a plan. Or plans. Or notebooks full of plans and inspirational quotes.

So back in September, when I was asked for an author photo, I said to myself, “Self, you are going to lose this weight before you have your picture taken.” And I did lose a lot of the weight, but then I regained most of it, because that’s the danger of the Fat Girl’s Gambit. It’s too often an open-ended game with a long view, and you’re stuck in the present.

This is where I found myself on Monday, when St. Martin’s emailed me again to say, “So, about that author photo.” Oof. Chickens coming home to roost on this fat girl.

I did the only thing I could do. I disassembled my dining room and my office to create a suitably literary backdrop, and then I called the skinniest, craziest friend I have. Because that’s how the world works. If you’re feeling fat and you’re forcing yourself to take pictures, you will invariably need the help of that friend who is always trying to gain weight.

As proof of how little the camera loves me, out of 400+ photos, we found four that we thought were acceptable. Of those four, this is the one that reached the middle ground between “menacing” and “dreamy.” This is the official author photo coming to a bookstore near you.

Bryn Greenwood

Look! Over my shoulder, it’s Anthony Trollope.


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Oy. It’s been one of those months. Finishing edits on Lie Lay Lain. Having my job at work changed. Dog knee surgery. An endless series of bad hair days. (You would be amazed how much time I waste trying to get a comb through my hair.)

Today, I finally stole five minutes at work (shh) to pull my randomly selected winners for my book giveaway. Signed copies of Last Will are going to J.E., who inherited a match safe, which may or may not have sunk on a banana boat in 1914, and to Steph, who inherited her babushka’s babushka. I’ve sent off emails to the winners, and the books will be in the mail as soon as I hear back.

In other news, the cover for Lie Lay Lain has been finalized! It has been a process, not least of which because the book isn’t easy to sum up in words, let alone imagery. And that’s allowing for the conversion rate of 1,000 word/picture. After trying and discarding a number of ideas from the very patient people at Stairway Press, I started trolling the internet for the perfect image. Deviantart.com is a treasure trove. I found a photograph there, and the photographer (Jimmy Fashner) was willing to license his picture for the book cover. A whole lot of back-and-forthing with Stairway Press later, and we have a cover we all like.


About the book…

Jennifer has a great job and a go-getter fiancé. She’s on track for success, until she witnesses a fatal hit-and-run. Mistaking Jennifer for someone else, the dying victim extracts an impossible promise. Jennifer’s fiancé wants her to forget the whole incident, but when she closes her eyes, she can still see the bloody face of the woman who asked for her help.

Olivia is in a rut. Burdened with caring for her brain-damaged brother and already feeling like a spinster at 27, she’s desperate to escape. In a moment of weakness, she tells a lie that draws an unsuspecting paramedic into her life. As she struggles to expiate the lie, a horrible act of violence will test her resolve to be honest.

Where Jennifer’s promise and Olivia’s lie intersect, their lives begin to unravel.

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