Friday, February 14, 2014

My Author Portrait: The Real Story, by Linda Mercury

Therese & Morgan Say: We reached out to our dear friend and writing buddy, Linda Mercury, for another perspective on why an author illustration is a great alternative to an author portrait. Linda, we don't think you look goofy or like an axe murderer - you look gorgeous!
Linda Says: First off, thank you to C. Morgan Kennedy and Therese Patrick for asking me to join you here today. I’m thrilled to be included!

Morgan asked me, why did I choose artwork instead of a traditional author photograph?

Unlike many other authors, I don’t write historical fiction or steampunk, both of which come with fabulous costuming. I write sexy vampires, but I don’t even own vampire fangs: I manage to bite my tongue and cheeks just fine with my own teeth, thankyouverymuch. I look good in black but downright silly in goth fashions (although I have tried over and over and over…)

I also change my hair color on a regular basis (currently purple, but previously green/blue), I didn’t want a picture that I had to update every few month when I wanted a change.

Therefore, lots of dissatisfaction with the pictures I used.

The art I use has a wonderful story behind it. A couple of years ago, The Charming Man surprised me with the pin up art for my birthday. I proudly framed it and placed it on the wall. The pin up art by Karina Dale, based off of this photograph by Michael Baxter, captures both my sexy side and my playful side.  Since my books are very sexy, I needed a sexy picture, but not a nude or anything too provocative.

Photo by Michael Baxter
My Author Portrait
artwork by Karina Dale
One day, the insightful Jessica Smith visited my house. Jessie took one look at my art and said, “This, THIS is your author picture.”

Thanks to Jessie, my problem was solved! I had an eyecatching, attractive, and versatile author picture already in my house and I didn’t need to do a damn thing!
This sounds very logical, doesn’t it? Like I approached my author picture with care and thought and cool reason.

Unfortunately, I’m one of the people whose reality is truly strange.You want to know the real reason I chose the pinup?I have three looks and only three looks in photographs.

I'm too sexy for this post.... :D

  1.  Incredibly goofy (because I used to be professional clown)
  2. Axe murderer
  3. Way too sexy

I tried to go with more traditional author photographs. None of them worked.

Thank heavens for Jessica and her excellent taste, or I’d still not have an author picture. Check it out here: Linda Mercury - White Hot Romance

If you are struggling to find a good representation, look at the images around you. Do you have any favorite art? Something that reveals who you are and what you write? Don’t neglect something (literally) off the wall. 

Use props. I’ve had cookbook authors at my store bring along cookies or other treats. When signing Who Pooped in the Park? books, I often bring along sample of animal scat cast in clear epoxy blocks. Anything you have that grabs attention is good. I attended an Author Marketing 101 seminar where Therese and Morgan had us design book signing tables for different authors and genres, and props were a big part of that design.


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me!! :)

  2. What? It's so nice to see the mention... you had the talent (and image) with you the whole time :-)

    I saw Kennedy's post on Facebook announcing this blog post about Linda's author portrait and I thought... I know :-)

    The full image is on her blog and it's AMAZING

  3. Fun, creative, sexy... And you can Photoshop the hair to whatever it needs to be :) I see why it works!

  4. Linda,

    I think the illustration captures your personality perfectly. Fun, provocative, sexy. Go you!