The dreaded author photo

by April Henry

Now that all my home computers offer me the ability to take photos of myself, I can see the way I really look any time I want.

But that's not me, I want to protest! I'm younger! And not so flushed! And where did that wrinkle come from?  And who took my eyes and replaced them with tiny raisins?

Then again I don't want to be like a famous mystery author I'm acquainted with. Her author photo is probably 20 years and 40 pounds ago.

Ten years ago, I was featured in Kipplinger magazine. They sent a photographer from San Francisco and a local makeup artist to my house. The makeup artist took about two hours to carefully apply layers and layers to my face. When she was done, I looked just like me, only an eighth of an inch closer to the camera. Still, I love this photo, which was taken with a Leica camera.  But to use it anyplace else would have cost a lot. So I didn't.

This is the author photo I've used for a couple of years. My husband took it. The blue background is actually a school. I'm thinking I want a new one.

I really like this snapshot someone took of me at an event in May. I just emailed her to see if she could send it to me - I snagged this off Facebook and it's a fairly small resolution.

If all else fails, I could use this photo from the FBI gun range. That was the first time I had ever shot a gun. I wouldn't recommend having your first time be with a submachine gun firing real ammo. However, maybe I could use the photo to intimidate anyone who is thinking of dissing my books.


  1. The machine gun photo would certainly be badass! :P I like the one you snagged off Facebook, you look very friendly in it.

  2. The only problem with the machine gun photo is that you don't really get much of an idea what YOU look like. :)

  3. I can see the caption on that last photo being, "April Henry is an author of many books. Don't mess with her."

    One author whose memoir I read said she liked to be "doing something" in her author photos, not just sitting there. The jacket on that particular book showed her mowing her lawn.

  4. That Kipplinger photo really is beautiful...

  5. You have a great smile, especially in the Facebook snapshot.

  6. Oooh, I want a shooting range photo, too!


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