I'm so happy to be here posting my very first blog for Across the Board! I'm Beth, and like all of us here, writing is my happy place.
I'm not necessarily the type of person who needs a happy place. I'm not overly stressed out. That being said, there are two surefire ways to freak me out.
The first thing is to take my blood pressure. I see that stupid cuff and instinctively go into fight or flight mode. My BP is technically fine, but I have horrendous White Coat Syndrome, and my doctor has to take it five or six times, and/or give me ten minute meditation time while he goes to his office to do some paperwork. It always goes down to normal after deep-breathing, but it's a process.
The other thing is being photographed. Unfortunately, this is something that's not so easily fixed. I really don't want to think about what would happen if someone ever tried to snap a picture of me having my blood pressure taken...
Anyway, I've had people tell me my issue with cameras can't be that bad. Well, I assure you, it is. In case you're wondering just how bad, this is me, having my picture taken:
And this is my reaction when the photographer tells me to "just relax" and "act natural.":
You get the idea.
I try not to let it consume me since being an author is so exciting, and each and every step along the journey should be celebrated. But I will admit that once the overall euphoria of signing with my agent died down a bit, my first thought was: "Holy mother of God, I'll have to take an author photo at some point."
So many things are involved in achieving The Perfect Author Photo. It has to capture me as an individual, but also needs to reflect my author brand, personal style, and my overall whimsy. It somehow needs to encompass so many sides of myself all in one teeny tiny click of a button.
Well, what if my whimsy is unavailable that day? What if the camera is too good, the lighting is WAY too good, and every insecurity emanates from my overly magnified pores?
(Side note: anyone remember when Dobie Gillis aired on Nick at Nite?! Such an underrated show.)
Anyway, nobody can deny that Dobie rocked that pose. I, however, know I could not.
Then there's the part I can control but presents me with too many options, therefore overwhelming me: Atmosphere. I write light, girly YA. Which means my surroundings must scream "I'M LIGHT AND GIRLY AND SUPER FUN."
So where do I take this all-important breezy pic? A bookstore? A field of sunflowers? Sephora?
I have discovered that when I'm taking selfies holding my kitten I'm happy, and my face does not express a great deal of emotional distress. So there's a good chance that when the incredible day comes and my book is sitting on a shelf, on the back cover there will be a selfie of me and my cat, and, really, I'm okay with it.
Now, tell me your author photo story! Is it something that ominously looms over your head, torturing your very soul on a daily basis too? Or have you had one taken already and do you have some tips for me? Please share!