Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Photos

Happy Tuesday, BGs. Hope y’all had a great holiday weekend.

Thanks for all your comments from Friday’s post. The bruises and swelling are down. I’m stuck with Band-Aids (haha) on my nose for another week. Then it’s back to see the Doc for a check-up. The stitches are supposed to dissolve—I just don’t know how long that takes. Then we'll see how long I have that tight-corset look down my nose, and the lumpy nostril.

Okay. Tomorrow we resume our character empathy series. Today, as long promised--The Photos. If you’ve been reading this
blog for any length of time, you know the backstory, going all the way back to--what, February? How "a new look" was all Zondervan’s idea in the first place. (“You need a new photo. Your current one is too posed and too . . . nice. We want that mysterious Seatbelt Suspense author look.” Yada, yada.)

Then, as you know, came the first shoot at the lake in Coeur d’Alene. Which yielded not a single photo we wanted to use. So photo flunkee here had to undergo a second shoot—this time in studio in California. From this session, yielding over 200 shots, we were allowed to choose four different ones. Not as easy as it sounds. Like any self-respecting female, I hate all pictures of myself. (This is incurable, men; it’s in our DNA. Live with it.) So I figured finding four good photos would be nigh to impossible. But in the end, we managed. Sort of.

Photo 1. Here’s the main pick. This one will be on my books, this blog, the Web site, etc. Amazing--I actually like this one. I chose it right off. It's kind of a "Love-me-or-I'll-
kill-you-in-a-dozen-torturous-ways" look. Hey, what more could I ask for?

Enter: the Zondervan folks (names withheld to protect the guilty). The main Z Person and I were talking on the phone about the four final choices. I told ZP this was my main choice. She and the art director originally had another shot in mind. As for this shot? ZP laughed. “Yeah, I like it too. But it sure reminds me of _____ (actress) in _____ (TV show). You know, the big eyes and mischievous smile.”

Well. It’s a good thing ZP and I are total buddies. (All I same, I’m rethinking her next Christmas present.) Because I did not find the comparison to said actress particularly flattering. And then to hear that ZP, the Z art director, and my agent (who just happened to be at Z that day) all chuckled at the supposed similarity and went, "Yeah, yeah." Sheesh. Nothing like three of your so-called biggest supporters giggling over your mug.


And no, don't ask. I refuse to tell you who the actress is. Because, doggone it all, ever since ZP spouted her spiel, I look at that photo and think of that TV show. I’ll never see the picture again in the same way. "Drat," I pouted to ZP, "what a pal you are. Once in a lifetime I like a photo of myself, and now you've ruined it forever.”

Nevertheless, this shall remain my #1 photo out of sheer stubbornness on my part.

Photo 2. This is the shot the Z folks originally chose as the main photo. Sort of a sassy "I-know-something-you-don't-know" expression. Or maybe it's an “I’ve-been-up-to-no-good, step-into-my-world-if-you-dare” look. Whichever. I like it pretty much. But I think I look kinda smart-alecky. Said as much to my assistant, who therewith replied, "Yeah, so what's new?"

Man, what is it about this photo-choosing thing? Brings out the worst in your friends, tell you what. A sure way to find out how they really feel about you.




Photo 3. ZP wanted this one in case we ever want a longer shot, and I said, “OK fine, whatever; it’s not bad.” It's not all that good either, but that's just my opinion, and what do I know? At least ZP and her cohorts didn't attach some actress's name to it.

Actually, photo #2 is a longer body shot also (I just cropped it a lot), so we could use that one instead of this. I think I prefer the smart-alecky look to this semi-vacant stare. No attitude here. Bo-ring.




Photo 4. Totally different just-for-the-heck-of-it look. ZP was happy with the first three shots, but since we got four in the package, she told me to choose any one I wanted for myself. "I really don’t know what I’ll do with this one," I told ZP. "I’m not even sure I look all that good. But it's just bizarre enough, you know?"

Would you guess that ZP had oodles of fun with this one?

First off, she insisted on referring to my fur hood as a “bunny hat.” Then she told me how she and her two giggle-buds decided I look like Joan Collins in Dynasty. Terrific. Such flattery. Last time I checked Joan Collins was just a tad older than I am. Alas, another photo for me now ruined. I will forever think of this as my “Joan Collins in a bunny hat” shot.

My mother absolutely hates this one, by the way. “What on earth did they do to you?” she cried. The picture hides my red hair, which is downright heresy in Mom's book.

So there you have 'em--the Final Four. Two photos compared to has-been actresses. The third looking smart-alecky. The fourth with a glazed "are-we-ever-gonna-be finished-with-this-shoot-yet?" look.

So have at it, BGs. Go ahead and supply all the snarky “That one looks like So&So in Such&Such comments you want. Remark on the long nose, the uneven eyebrows, the big eyes and whatever else you care to highlight. After my conversation with ZP, I can take anything. Get it out of your system, then we can get on with this here blog.

But the person who guesses ZP’s actress for photo #1 gets killed off in my next book, and that's a promise.


29 comments:

relevantgirl said...

I like #2. #1 scares me a bit, like you're hiding a dagger somewhere...

But all are lovely because you are.

Camy Tang said...

I like #3--you look like a suspense writer I wouldn't be afraid of meeting in a dark alley--and #4 looks like something out of BASIC INSTINCT.

Camy

Deborah Raney said...

Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched. : )

All are gorgeous, all confirm my decision: I can't/won't/shouldn't/wouldn't/will not go where your books want to take me.

But I sure will love the covers, ads, blog, Web site, etc. now. : )

Bless you, dear friend.

Robin Lee Hatcher said...

I'll die with Deb. Before I even read what you wrote, I thought it looked like Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched. But hey, she was a beauty.

Deb, you're still president of the club, right? As VP, I suppose it only right that we die together.

Robin

C.J. Darlington said...

I think #1 looks like the actress Kate Jackson.

#2 is my favorite, though #4 would be my pick if you wrote historicals set in the 1930's.

You're one brave lady to divulge your pictures (and comments!) to the world ... :-)

Margo Carmichael said...

#1's the right choice. I like them all, but #1 is still cute and approachable, but with a soupcon of sinister.

I wish I had a medical excuse for nose surgery. Mine was fine until I was 8 and the little boy next door bushwhacked me from his parents' car window as I walked home from school and hit me with a rubber tomahawk. A *hard* rubber tomahawk. Raised a permanent bump on the bridge. Of the nose.

We were transferred away not long after, (thank goodness) and the last time I saw him, years later, was on tv as he played Notre Dame football.

I wonder if he tackled with tomahawks.

I wonder if there's a statute of limitations on nose knobs. : /

Vasthi said...

#2 definitely.

Rachel Hauck said...

I like the first one, but you look a lot like Lindsay Wagner as the Bionic Woman. :) Which to be honest, I've always suspected your super powers. ;)

Rachel

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Now see how different we all are...the first person I thought of was Reba McIntyre from the WB.(I'm ducking here in case I'm right) =) I can honestly say I've never seen the show. LOL.

The pics are great, Brandilyn. I like them right in order. Now I agree with your mom on the last one...not my favorite. I had to look at it for a minute before I realized it wasn't your hair all slicked down. ;) I'd rather see your pretty red hair.

But I LOVE the first one. Kind of captures you.

Julie Dearyan said...

You look great in all of them, Brandilyn!The fourth one is a little interesting--definitely emphasizes your eyes. I think I'd be thrilled to look so good on a book cover! :)

Karen Wevick said...

I have to agree with the Samantha in Bewitched for #1, however that is not an insult since she was beautiful.
For #2 and #3, it's Shelly Long in Cheers.
#4 is a bit scary, almost like Elvira of Saturday afternoon horror flicks fame.

You are a brave lady to display both photos and comments to the world. I do like the first 3 though. #4 is, well, artsy?

I'm sure that you're relieved that it's over though. Somewhat like going to the dentist.

God Bless,

Chris Well said...

I actually think #4 is kinda fun. However, I guess it would be more appropriate if you were writing something ... cozier. (You know, like locked-room mysteries set in a mountaintop inn.)

Cathy West said...

Well...I guess they all have that slightly psychotic gleam in the eye..."I'll get you my pretties...!!!"
That WAS the look you were going for, right?
I actually like the last one the best, but I don't get a vote anyway, I write romance and women's fiction.

Thanks for the great counter arguments on my blog btw...you are too funny, but very wise and I am listening. I'm also planning on giving you all the space you want in the hall...maybe I'll see you in September, but you won't see me because I'll be the one cowering behind the couch somewhere, hoping nobody notices me...:0)

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Who is this strange person, and what have you done with my sweet friend?

Domino said...

I must say, I agree with your mom. Don't hide the red hair. You have beautiful hair. All the pictures show off your beautiful face; although, there is a smidge of scariness to them. And that's what you were going for, right?

#2 and #3 are definitely Shelly Long.

#1 is my fave pic. It's the face of a suspense author, without a doubt. And I refuse to add the name of an actress due to my fear that my guess will get me killed off before your next book.

We can't have that, now can we?

...still there's something about those eyes that reminds me of...

Kelly Klepfer said...

It's all in the spin.

I think it's great that you have four personalities to choose from.

#4 gives you the chance to write historical thrillers set in Siberia.
#2 and #3 are when you are incognito - no one's going to mess with your research gathering.
#1 - well, sometimes Girls Just Want to Have Fun. eh?

Becky said...

Wow! Everyone from Elizabeth Montgomery to Shelly Long. And the thing is, with each new actress's name, I'm thinking, Oh, good one. That just might be who they were talking about.

Here's my take—and I know FOR SURE, since this is the ONE picture of you that you like, it will land me dead in your next book—the first one doesn't really look like you. So I like #2 the best. It is open to interpretation--very intriguing.

Nice outfit, BTW, and I love the green background. Perfect colors.

So where are your hands in #3? That's a little ... odd. Otherwise I like that one. I didn't thing "bored." More like "stern." But not killer stern. Which is OK, in my opinion. I mean, it's not like you're the perp in this books. (Right??!?) Hahah.

Bunny hat? Hahah. That one can go in your office! ;-)

Becky

Becky said...

Wow! Everyone from Elizabeth Montgomery to Shelly Long. And the thing is, with each new actress's name, I'm thinking, Oh, good one. That just might be who they were talking about.

Here's my take—and I know FOR SURE, since this is the ONE picture of you that you like, it will land me dead in your next book—the first one doesn't really look like you. So I like #2 the best. It is open to interpretation--very intriguing.

Nice outfit, BTW, and I love the green background. Perfect colors.

So where are your hands in #3? That's a little ... odd. Otherwise I like that one. I didn't thing "bored." More like "stern." But not killer stern. Which is OK, in my opinion. I mean, it's not like you're the perp in this books. (Right??!?) Hahah.

Bunny hat? Hahah. That one can go in your office! ;-)

Becky

C.J. Darlington said...

Ha ha, Kelly. Thrillers set in Siberia. I think you missed your calling, Brandilyn.

And I love the green background too. That's gonna look great on Coral Moon's back cover.

But yeah, I'm thinking I sure wouldn't want to meet the woman in #1 in a dark alley at night ...

rose mccauley said...

"I'm 'Bewitched' by all these photos, and the second one reminded me of Walker's girlfriend in Walker, Texas Ranger, who played a lawyer or DA. fun discussion! rose

Vennessa said...

Photo #1 reminds me of the actress who plays Peg Bundy in Married with Children. :-0

Dineen A. Miller said...

Oh yeah, Elizabeth Montgomery. I always loved her!

You are one loverly lady, Brandilyn. I like 1, 2, and 3. And what big eyes you have, my dear! LOL!

Btw, that isn't a typo up there. Guess what movie that comes from? ;-)

D. Gudger said...

I like the green background. Can I ask a super dumb question???

Are you eyes naturally that green? Never, ever have I seen such a green. It adds to the intrigue!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

LOL...I did have an instant recollection of who the #1 picture looks like....but I want to live!!!

I like #3 the best.

And #4 is scarey...LOL...the eyes....they follow you. Try moving from left to right....they follow...now that's spooky...LOL!

Lynette Sowell said...

#1. Great. Who cares what name they attached to it? I see several guesses above, so no worries.
#2. Pretty good.
#3. Not bad, but #1 and #2 are better.
#4. Oh NO. What was that--um--that--um--on your head. I agree with Mama Ruth. Gotta see those red locks. :) I won't venture a guess on the actress, since I'm late anyhooo. It's kicking cabinets time around my house.

Gina Holmes said...

Number one: cute, (nice hair!) is it that strawberry blonde chickey from CSI?

Number two: also cute. It makes me want you to say, "You are the missing link, goodbye." (You don't look like that woman but something about the look on your face and your stance. Hah.

T. Forkner said...

#1 is tops. :) You look like a crime writer in that one!

Victoria Gaines said...

Hey, ALL these shots are great, Brandilyn! You look like a beautiful Hollywood actress, or one of those famouse suspense novelists, for sure:-)

Gina Holmes said...

I'm a dork. WEAKEST link not MISSING link. Hah. I am the weakest link...goodbye!