Monday, February 28, 2011

Author Pics, or Straight Eye for the Queer Gal

All photos by Christy Mayo McMillen
The time has come for the all-important author portrait. You know, the one that goes in the back of the book with the author's bio. I wrote the bio, but I called in professionals for the photo.

Straight women.

First was Nancy, my hairdresser. I scheduled my haircut on the same day as the photo shoot, which was by accident - but a fortunate one. Nancy did her usual great job, but suspected that her good intentions might go awry before that evening. My hair isn't known for its good behavior. She made me cover my eyes and hold my breath while she sprayed the hell out of it. It worked; the 'do set up and stayed put, even through the clothing changes.

That evening, the tag team arrived. One was Gwen's daughter, a fantastic photographer with a huge honking camera that she normally reserves for the grandsons' sports events. She took Gwen's author photos and graciously agreed to take mine. On Saturday, she came to Lexington with her friend, a former Miss West Virginia. High-powered help, indeed!

I showed them the wardrobe and jewelry options. Once they'd decided how to dress me, they draped a towel around my neck and began their work.

Strange substances, some very expensive, were sponged and brushed over every square inch of my face. The smell of cosmetics, a scent I am normally unfamiliar with, filled the air. I sat there clutching my seat, trying not to act nervous. When they reached the eyes, though, I let out a high-pitched whine and they got tickled. Gwen's mother said I sounded like a puppy whimpering.

Naturally, I was not allowed to wear my glasses until after I was through having pictures taken. Gwen sat in the front of her daughter's car to give directions. First stop: the cemetery. No, I am not kidding. My novel has vampires, doesn't it?

The vampire novelist requires night photography.
Christy had great fun telling me to turn this way and that. It was like being a model, but dressed much more sensibly. We moved to indoor locations when we got cold. The shot at the top of this post was taken in front of a fountain at Lexington Green. I was much happier there because we visited Joseph-Beth's. Lack of glasses didn't stop me from peering at books! They had to tell me to move along, we weren't there to shop.

Christy knew which book I should hold.
The only confusion came when she asked me to do the 'cheerleader' pose. I'm afraid I had no notion of what that was. They had to move me into the proper position, which is a bit like an iliotibial band stretch without the pain. I am not posting a pic here because I have suboptimal talents in the cheerleader department. I should have paid more attention at those football games when I was in band.

Once the ladies were tired of posing me, we went home. I was happy to get my glasses back and, with the magic of cold cream, return to my secret identity as a woman in comfortable shoes! If the book sells well, though, I may have to become more familiar with feminine skills.



Renee said...

You look lovely and at ease in the photos! Great job!

I always look tense and borderline frantic in every photo taken of me. Perhaps I should also try taking off my glasses so I can't see anything.

Sarah Glenn said...

Well, if you can't SEE your audience, I guess it could help.
Thank you very much! As you can tell, I had a lot of help.