So – this is the new me.
My official brand spanking new author photo which is to appear on the jacket of the German hardback edition of my debut. ( Recipes for Melissa is to be called “Fur alle tage die noch kommen” over there….which means “For all the days to come”.)
Oh Gawd! Can’t tell you how much I agonised/panicked over this. As soon as the email popped into my inbox via my agent, I was in meltdown. A new author photo? For a book jacket? Seriously?
Now - for someone who worked for twenty years in television, I must confess that I am surprisingly uneasy when it comes to having my photograph taken. Especially as the years roll sneakily by!
The truth is I always worked in live news as a reporter and presenter and the beauty of live television is you don’t actually have to watch yourself.
Not that I’m ungrateful – mind. It is, of course, hugely exciting to me to think of any publisher wanting to put my mug on a book jacket …but, all the same, the pressure of my very first “author photo”? What does an author headshot even look like? What pose? What outfit?
I decided to boost my chances of success by booking a slot quickly with a lovely and very talented local photographer in Devon called Claire Tregaskis. I gave her the brief. “I just need to look like someone who might write”…
I booked a haircut. I tried on a zillion outfits. I posed and smiled and Claire, to her credit, displayed the patience of a saint – especially as I was worried that smiling too widely would make me look too piggy eyed. “Bigger smile, Teresa” she kept saying. “I’ll have no eyes,” I moaned.
In the end, we did just fine. Smiling and yet eyes not too piggy for an old bird. A medal to Claire. Whether or not I look like an author, I have no idea. But the German publisher seems happy.
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.