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Thursday, 1 October 2009

What does a writer look like?


Answer? Stuffed if I know. That’s Aussie speak for "Gee golly, I'm unsure of the answer."

Why do I ask? Well, I was chatting to hot erotic romance writer
Anny Cook about an upcoming convention that she is attending and the amount of work needed to look a certain way...to look like a writer. Hmm....this confused me somewhat because I assumed other then being clean and neat - having your hair combed and your shoes on the right feet - was all that was required. You know, the whole be yourself thing. Anny brought up something that I had not thought of - some people expect writers to look ‘like a writer’. Now this had me thinking...what does a writer look like?

I went to a convention in Melbourne at the start of the year. We're a casual, relaxed, take-us-as-you-find-us lot in Australia. I don't recall anyone getting all glammed up at the Melbourne gig so I'm thinking it's a cultural perception rather than a law that a writer must look a certain way.

So, are we talking tiaras and feather boas? Spangly, sparkling outfits to catch a readers eye so they remember you were the one who blinded them in your gold sequins? Do you have to look like your genre? How does one look like romance? Horror? Sci-fi? How do you know what will appeal to a wide range of readers with vast tastes and opinions or even if or what their preconceived notion of a writer is? Most exhausting…I say just concentrate on getting your shoes on the correct feet and the rest will follow.

It would be sad to think it's about how expensive or tailored or glamorous your clothes are because your clothes don’t write the books. I also think readers are smarter than that. They would want to meet the author of a book not the author’s clothes. And let's face it, especially in this economic climate, are we so superficial that we measure someone on how they look? I understand the interest to put a face to a name, to see if the person speaks as he or she writes. I get that. I doubt people really care what label you’re wearing or if you hair is the latest style...again maybe that’s just an Aussie thing? To thine own self be fair dinkum. (true)

So, if anyone can advise what a writer looks like I would appreciate it. Yeah, I get the whole smoke and mirrors thing. I do. But wouldn’t you rather someone true and realistic who will speak to you about writing and books then a tarted up kewpie doll who is after your money and will do whatever they have to in order to beat another writer to your book dollars? Not that that happens of course…


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4 comments:

Anny Cook said...

I shall be there with my spangly hair piks and assorted bling.

Sandra Cox said...

I blush to admit, I have no problems with cutoffs and tennies:)

Ashley Ladd said...

Good subject. I used to wonder about this, too, like Anny. I didn't know if we should do the glamour shots boa feather, coiffed hair look, or dress up like one of our heroines, or wear a business suit and look like we walked out of the office, or if my favorite blue jeans and cat t-shirt (the most real me) would do.

I found out what Ellora's Cave considers the correct dress for a book signing when I joined them for a signing at a Border's in Tampa a few years ago. EC prefers we wear professional dress - business suits or at least a professional office type look. There went my pink sequined short skirt and high spiky heels that year. But at least now I know and I got to wear the skirt to the EC private party later where it did fit in.

Amarinda Jones said...

Like the song says..."blame it on on my roots I'd turn up in boots"...and enjoy every second of the looks I got