The other day Viking asked me if I wanted to use my same author photo from The Magicians.
Now, I like that photo. It looks like this:
I had a professional photographer take it, because, hey, professional photographer, right? If I told you how much it cost you would reach through your computer screen and punch me in the face. But it was the cheapest professional option I could find.
It’s actually an outtake from the regular posed photo session — this is me laughing from the incredible pain of undergoing a posed photo session. I think my teeth got a little over-brightened in Photoshop — I look kind of like Ross in that episode of Friends where he has his teeth whitened. But I like it.
[I also like the photo on the bio page of this site (it's from my "stubble" phase!). I didn't use it on the jacket because I can't afford the rights to it.]
But some media outlets and foreign publishers balked at that photo. They wanted color photos, or they wanted something more conventional, where I was actually “looking” at the “camera.” My German publishers, for example, went a whole nother way. That’s a shot from the real posed photo session.
So when Viking asked me if I wanted to try something different for The Magician King, I said, what do you think of this:
This is me in Rome last spring, for a last hurrah before this happened. It’s just a snapshot. I’m standing on a bridge over the Tiber. The light is nice because it’s like 6:00 in the morning, and Sophie and I were both awake from jet lag. Plus it’s Rome, where the light is always nice.
Obviously it’s not a professional photograph. My face is in shadow, and the trees are kind of distracting, and there’s probably other things wrong with it that my amateur eye isn’t detecting. But the Vikings liked it. So I think we’re using it.
I’m making eye contact, at any rate. And it’s in color. And you can’t see my teeth.