to see the author’s picture.
On every list of handy hints for writers, there is the one about having a wonderful, professional picture. This is so the readers can feel close to the author, I guess. I’m odd in that I really don’t care what authors look like. Any more than I care what the person in customer service, radio personalities, or the technician who reads the results for my blood work looks like. There are just some jobs where looks don’t matter. And, in fact, the author’s looks or lack of may just kill the mood.
50 Shades of Grey is all the rage. Still. I haven’t read it but I’ve said on this blog that I’ve read erotica and specifically bondage stories before. I get the drift. As 50 Shades began its literary life as Twilight fan fiction, a strong thread of wish fulfillment holds it together. As Laura Hile calls it, “teen girl squad fiction” with a lot of leather and rope on the side. Gotcha.
Deal is, talk shows have been making hay about the book and some have invited James to appear. They all blush and giggle–yeah, tell me again about how sex is just like a handshake–when E. L. James shows up. I spend the entire time wondering if this plain looking woman and her husband did any “product testing.” (Heaven help us if there is a 50 Shades line of bondage wear and play products in development.)
I looked quickly for pics and found this one posted of her, but found none with her husband. I assume, like most of us, they are a spectacularly ordinary looking couple. No super models them. I have noticed that she is almost always in black so her publicists keeps telling her “it’s slimming.” As I said, ordinary.
Erotic stories hold up only when set the scene as attractive people doing unspeakable things to one another. Romance is pretty much the same in my opinion. This being the case, I think the author’s looks really should remain a mystery. Why ruin the spell by putting up your picture? If you’re a stunner, go ahead, but then you have the problem of people putting YOU in the story and can that be good?
I think that the Science Fiction/Fantasy writer, Anne McCaffrey was the wisest of them all when she didn’t have her picture associated with her books. She said that her eyes were green and her hair white and that the rest changed without notice. My eyes are blue, the hair is rapidly going grey and the rest stays pretty much the same.
Do you really care what an author looks like?
Take care–Susan Kaye