Re: The Magic of Author Photos

Inspired by this post by Pimp My Novel, I’ve decided to discuss some my favorite author photos.

I risk sounding like a broken record but I can’t get enough of  this Young Ernest Hemingway eye candy. The above photo evokes all the wanderlust and romanticism associated with Hemingway. Plus, he’s got an intense stare and matinee idol good looks. I assume this was taken before the invention of airbrushing and if so, I’d kill for this man’s complexion. Let this be a lesson to all authors: if you are blessed with a piercing stare and a face chiseled to a Romanesque perfection, do stare directly AT the camera. Your eyes will carve windows into your readers’ souls…

Mervyn Peake’s got several things going  for him in this photo: 1) He’s staring off into the distance. 2) He’s got a cool coat. 3) He’s in front of a crumbling building. See “Cool background.”
3) It looks like he’s writing, i.e. doing his job on location and appearing devil-may-care because he’s  4) smoking a cig and totally disregarding the hazards of lung cancer. 5) The angle of the photograph makes him look like a giant. “Epic” comes to mind, like “I’m standing in the middle of the Blitz and I’m not trembling in my britches because I’m writing Gormenghast bitches!”

I like authors who appear approachable. Like John Green. What an upstanding young man! I’d like to shake his hand. If I were a seventy year old woman, I’d invite him to my bake sale.

Margaret Mitchell has the flapper diva thing going on. And look! She’s also staring off into the distance, as is her cat. Ah, the old ‘staring off into the distance trick’! I’ve always wonder what they’re staring AT… like said author knows something you don’t know and in order to reach their level of wisdom you must read their novels to find out.

This is Mortimer Chambers, my professor from college.  Don’t worry, this isn’t shameless sycophancy: when I was in his Western Civilizations class, I was just a number without a name. In high school, I read the textbook he co-authored and when I discovered he was teaching at my university, I raced to register for his class. I sat in the front row of every lecture trying to work up the nerve to ask him about Ancient Rome or to autograph my textbook (now that would be shameless brown nosing). But I was shy. And he was a Clint Eastwood look-alike with Charleston Heston-like gestures… He could part that river behind him. Let this be a lesson to you: sailboats. Know how to use them. They will always make you look like a seasoned traveler. I wonder if Professor Chambers knows David McCullogh…

Your turn: what’s your favorite author photo?


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