The following conversation is, while true, highly fictionalized.
Me: I need a better author photo.
Sister: Yes. Yes you do. You really, really do.
Me: What? Do you know what I had to do to get the one I’ve been using?
Sister: No. But it’s terrible.
Me: There was a microphone stand. And a pile of books, and an unhappy cat…
Sister: Really, really terrible.
Me: It’s pretty good for a selfie.
Sister: Made of the suck.
Me: While I’m in town, wanna help me get a better one?
Sister: I’d consider it a good service to the world.
There were many photos taken, in many locations, and more than a little bit of me whining over how utterly obscene it was that I was outside in the afternoon in October, and not only was it not properly chilly, I was damn near ready to die of heat stroke. Richmond, you suck at autumn as hard as I suck at selfie author photos.
My sister did the initial culling of the jillion shots. Then I stared at what she sent me for a long, long time. There were a few that were striking and very me, but which didn’t really work as the professional-ish type photo I’d want for the job. There was one where it looks like I’m smiling and appropriate, but once you crop it you can see that I’m clearly plotting to murder you, and enjoy it. There were a few shots where you can see that I am not enjoying the weather.
And then there were the last four shots, which were all phenomenal. Except they were from after we were finished, when my heat-stroked brains switched into zombie mode and I may or may not have made threats against my younger sibling’s cerebral integrity. They’re good shots. Really good. And totally unusable, because I’m wearing my sunglasses, and one does not wear sunglasses in professional portraits.
Then I stared at the photos some more.
You know what? There is no conceivable way you are ever going to catch me outside, in daylight, without sunglasses on, unless I’m trying to pose for a photo. It’s inconceivable. You know why all those last shots are better? Because I’m not squinting against a burning death star, or otherwise violating the fundamental understanding of the Anaea-Lay-centric-universe-world-building, i.e. that the sun and I do not interact without polarized lenses coming between us. To imply otherwise is to lie, viciously, to my readers.
And so I give you my new official author photo. Because hey, it’s mega-better than the one taken with the microphone stand.