Today seems to be my day for reblogging/posting my thoughts about things I’ve read on blogs I follow lately. Not just the blogs themselves, but also what other people have to say about them.
The other day, Jay Dee Archer at I Read Encyclopedias for Fun had a post titled “Marketing Myself.” He talked about how authors have to sell themselves along with their books. Then he talked about author photos and asked his readers if they thought such photos are important.
My comment on this:
I HOPE they’re not important, because I would rather not ever have my photo on a book’s dust jacket (or anywhere else). I have no problem with showing people my twin’s author photo and telling them, “I look like him, but with longer hair and no goatee,” but I don’t want them to see a photo of me. (Yes, I know that’s weird.)
I don’t know if such photos are important, though, or to what extent if they are. Maybe readers just want proof that their favorite author is human and not a cabbage or something.
Another person said that, for her as a reader, an author photo is important because otherwise she wonders what the author is hiding, and why. It’s about “transparency and relatability,” she said.
So… Yeah. What is Weaver hiding, and why?
(Much thanks, by the way — and no, I’m not being sarcastic, I really mean this — to the person who made that comment. It will help me later today when I’m working on “that novel.”)
I will attempt to explain this as bluntly as I am able to at this time: I have PTSD and a physical disability. I don’t go out in public much — as little as possible, in fact. The only human beings with whom I have regular face-to-face interaction are the two with whom I live. I am, quite honestly, uncomfortable — afraid, even — when I must interact with anyone else in person. It doesn’t make sense, and saying so makes me look like even more of a loser than I am, but it’s the truth. I am comfortable with people looking at the words I write — want them to look at those words — but I don’t want them looking at me. Ever. Several years ago, I had to make a choice: never be a published writer, or be a writer but never make public appearances or even share my own photo on the internet. I made my choice.
I know that my lack of an author photo makes me less relatable, but I’m not particularly relatable anyway. Maybe you guessed that from my occasional jokes about how much fun it is to be a statistical anomaly. *shakes head*
Look, kids, I’ve said before that it’s no secret what I look like, more or less. I have an identical twin, and his author photo is online. I’ve even posted a link to it. (I do think he needs a new author photo, perhaps a more candid one of him doing ‘archaeologist in action’ stuff. Maybe he can get a good photo while he’s working as crew chief at that one dig this summer.) Same face, longer hair (mine is finally growing back to its proper length), no goatee, no glasses. On the rare occasions when I’m out of the house, I may or may not be using a cane to walk. I don’t mind people knowing what I look like, but… please don’t assume that anyone who doesn’t post goddamn selfies all over the internet could be some kind of dangerous aberrant, okay?
(As you may have guessed, this isn’t really all about Jay Dee’s post, or even the comments made on it. Sometimes I read something and it sets off a train of thought that is only tangentially related to the original topic.)