For those of you not be-Twittered or a-Facebooked, these are the new author photos I got recently, since my old one was a whopping 7 years old. (Time flies when you’re having fun.) And while that old photo was awesome — taken by fellow pro author and amateur photographer E. C. Myers, with a little touching-up by fellow pro author and graphic designer Kris Dikeman — it was time to retire it. Haven’t worn my hair that way in years, and also I’ve earned my “older and wiser”, and I wanted that to show.
So this time around I went full professional. On a recommendation from Orbit’s art director, Lauren Panepinto — who better to know awesome author photographers? — I contacted Laura Hanifin, who’s done some amazing work already. I wanted someone who knew how to photograph regular people, not just models and actors whose job it is to look good. I needed someone who could advise me on what to wear and what kind of lighting would be best, because dammit Jim I’m a writer not a visual person. And I wanted someone who could capture my “author face”.
See, as anyone who’s met me in person will know, I’m geeky and have a twelve-year-old’s sense of humor, and can be shy. But — like most authors, I think — I put on a different face when I’m writing. Then I’m focused, controlled, channeling the personae and worlds in my head. I used to think that I was “just” writing science fiction and fantasy, “just” fiction. Yet I’ve come to understand over the years of my pro career that there’s no “just” about it. Because of who I am, because of how small others want the world to be, even something so simple as having an imagination is a revolutionary act. My writing is an act of defiance; my very existence, a challenge. I didn’t ask for this. I just wanted to write good books… but after the first death threat, it was on.
So be it; I can handle it. And this is who I am, too:
I cannot stress how absolutely delighted I am with this pic. It was an intentional choice not to smile, if you’re wondering. Smiles have meaning for women who are authors, and that gets more complicated for women of color. So although I got a few other, “smilier” photos made, too, which I’ll toss into blog posts and give to interviewers and such… this is the one that will be going in my books from here forth. Given production schedules and so on, it’s too late for this to go into The Fifth Season, but you’ll see it after that.
And apropos of which, just found out TFS got a starred review from Library Journal!
Multiaward winner Jemisin breaks uncharted ground with this long-awaited title that introduces a fresh world and trilogy, creating a completely realized society inhabited by three varieties of humans and a nonhuman species that lives inside the earth. With Jemisin’s record of prestigious literary honors, plus her strong following, this is a must-buy for all speculative fiction collections and an excellent recommendation for fans of Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn” trilogy.