Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Strike A Pose

By Julie Coulter Bellon

This weekend is my birthday.

It’s not a milestone, per se, except for the fact that I have to get my license renewed so I can keep driving. Of course, in order to renew, I had to go down to the happiest place on earth—the DMV. The man behind the info desk greeted me so kindly as if he felt sorry for me. He didn’t say much, just handed me a number. I looked up at the merrily flashing digital numbers on the board and saw that they were currently serving number sixteen. Of course my little number said 218. I sighed and smiled at the man behind the desk before I went to sit down. I had a long piece of paper to fill out with a billion questions on it, so I settled in to wait. However, I was shocked that before I had even written more than my address and phone number on the paper, they called my number. Apparently they have several stations and the stations on the right are on 16 and the stations on the left were in the 200's. In less than five minutes I was back sitting, waiting for my picture to be taken.

Which brings me to the point of my blog today. I’m going to tell you the worst thing about being a published author.

Are you ready?

The worst thing about being a published author is having your picture taken for the back of the book.

Just like the DMV, whenever my picture is taken it just never turns out. The lady behind the counter even took my picture three times to see if we could get a little better picture, but alas, we finally gave up. It’s pretty much the same with all the pictures in the back of my books. We take a million pictures, we go to photographers and then lay them all out and try to pick the one that I can bear to look at. I just don’t like looking at pictures of myself. If I had my druthers, I think I’d just post my engagement pictures when I was young, thin, and beautiful, but if I did that, then when I came for book signings I’m pretty sure no one would recognize me.

Thankfully my pictures in the back of my books look a teeny bit better than the one I got today at the DMV.

But I’m going to concentrate on the positive—it’s my birthday this weekend.

Okay, never mind. That just means I’m getting older. And someone will probably take more pictures.


I bet you know what my wish will be this year when I blow my candles . . .


At 11/15/2007 2:45 PM, Blogger A. Riley said...

Happy Birthday!

My last picture I got at the DMV was when I was 7 months pregnant. I was overweight in the first place and starting to bloat some in the face. My license expired though, and I had to get a picture taken.

It doesn't expire for a couple more years, but I may just go in a pay $20 or however much it is now to get a new one done. I weight 60 pounds less than that picture now, and hate showing it for ID.

At 11/15/2007 3:21 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Happy birthday, Julie!

Ah, book photos. If I had a dollar for every picture we took trying to get a decent shot ... sigh. So often when I see pictures of myself, I feel like "Is THAT how I look?"

At 11/15/2007 3:24 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Unless, of course, you get the trade paperback version, in which case you don't get a picture of the author. (As is the case with the book of yours I just picked up, Julie.)

Or how about those Clive Cussler / Harlan Coben books where the ENTIRE BACK COVER is one huge picture of the author? They must be pretty pleased with themselves.

P.S. You say it's your birthday? (guitar riff) Mine was last weekend. =) Lucky me, I got the latest Harlan Coben book. Now, I just have to finish off The Believer, your book AND Lisey's Story before Thanksgiving. (Not going to happen.) =(

At 11/15/2007 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is the same thing with me! well okay I'm not sixteen yet so I've never been to the DMV but we have this wall where all of are pictures are and my mom made all of our family get a new picture. so I can not stand to go by that wall and I try even harder not to think what other people think when they see my perfect thin brunette sisters and then they see blond not at all thin short me. Not to mention when we were taking the pictures my brothers would sit there and laugh at me so my face is bright red.
So I'm sure your picture is not as bad as mine. Happy Birthday!

At 11/15/2007 3:42 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

A DMV photographer once told me they try for that frazzled, scared look so UHP officers will be able to see a resemblance between us and our pictures when they stop us and ask for our licenses.
Happy birthday, Julie. I was a November birthday girl too back when I still admitted to having birthdays.

At 11/15/2007 4:03 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I always liked Mary Higgins Clark's author picture. Dripping with diamonds. That's the kind of author I want to be :)

At 11/16/2007 11:01 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

For my second book I submitted a picture of me stuffing my face with cookies, but my editor nixed it. Too bad.

At 11/17/2007 12:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, you sort of look like Ron Howard in that picture. And that's a compliment. :)

Heather, you would look beautiful dripping in diamonds.

Jennie, you made me laugh. I believe that's probably true! I should have guessed that one.

Anon, I feel that way sometimes too.

Jon, I can't believe there's no picture in the back! It must have been your lucky day. I love the guitar by the way. Thanks for playing!

Stephanie I totally think that when I look at pics of myself.

Riley, if I lost sixty pounds I'd totally get a new pic. Congrats on your success!

Thanks everyone for your birthday wishes. :)

Julie Bellon


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