My publisher recently asked for a publicity photo of me. Now, I'm not one of those people who keep on using the same old photo. The last thing I want is for someone to say, "Oh, you look so much older than in the photo." Nor do I tell the photographer to rub petroleum jelly on the lens to make me look young and ethereal - although I think that sort of trickery only makes the sitter look as if s/he's underwater. Again, I don't want readers to look at me and say, "How come you don't have bad skin in the publicity photo?!" or "Why is there a photo of a drowning woman on the back cover of your book?"
So I asked my husband to take out his camera, whilst I chose a rather becoming navy blue, short sleeved, blouse/tee shirt, grabbed my newly acquired hen puppet (it relates to the book) and posed becomingly. But I'd forgotten something. My sense of balance (related, I'm sure, to my klutz gene, about which more soon). Having yet again bumped into one of the door frames of my house, there was a bruise on my upper right arm. (Can't recall if I've mentioned this already, but when young I used to ride a bike. After ending up in a ditch one too many times I chucked the bike).
So there are two things I can always be relied upon to do. One is rush around the house and not quite centre myself in the doorways (hence endless bruising) and the other thing is that whenever I cook something in my oven I will almost always hit my arm against the hot metal rack inside. Yes, dear friends, I do use oven mitts, which for normal people probably work like a charm. I need oven mitts that work like evening gloves and reach to my shoulder. Anyway, I didn't burn my forearm until a few weeks after the photo session. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Of course my husband was not happy. "People will think I gave you a whack on the arm," he said. "Not people who know you," I replied.
"And how many of your readers actually know me?" he asked. Ahh ... good point. So let me assure you all that my husband is a gentle soul.
The photos all look lovely except for the bruise. My publisher assures me they can air brush.
Next time I'm due to be photographed I'll try to spend a week or two prior to the session walking very slowly around my house, and/or wear long sleeves for the camera.
You'll be relieved to know that the hen looks her very best and needs no airbrushing.