Basically, Orion needed some decent pictures of me for general publicity, the website, and of course the little thumbnail author pic on the back cover of the book. I always tell people I look bad in photos and they say everyone thinks that. Then they look at some examples of pictures of me, and are forced to agree that, yeah, I don't photograph particularly well. Something about the pained, tortured expression.
I took the train down, because door-to-door, it takes the same time as flying and you get to relax the whole time instead of wandering around airports praying your flight isn't delayed. The other great thing about the train is it gives you time to work. As my date for the photoshoot happened to coincide with the submission deadline for the second Carter Blake book, I was able to use the trip to make some last minute tweaks to the manuscript before emailing it off to Jemima, my editor at Orion.
The new one is called The Samaritan, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Jemima thinks. This one had to be turned around fairly quickly, in about six months, so I'm looking forward to a short break before I get the notes back and start editing again.
Anyway, back to the shoot. As someone who hates having his photograph taken, I was mildly apprehensive (okay, mildly terrified) about my first photo call, but the experience was surprisingly painless. Fun, even. It felt a little like I'd won a competition to be a famous person for a morning. Hair and makeup and somebody bringing me coffee and everything. The venue was a gorgeous loft studio in Shoreditch. Paul and his assistant Bradley did an excellent job of making me feel comfortable, and it looks like they accomplished the impossible and got some pretty good pictures of me.
|I want to live here|
After the shoot, I got the tube back into central London and met my old and new agents for lunch. It was a combination of introduction and goodbye, because my previous agent Thomas is moving on to a new career. I'm sorry to see Thomas go, because we had a fantastic working relationship and his input to the first two books has been immense. On the positive side, I don't have to look for a new agent because Luigi Bonomi (also of LBA) has taken me on. I've known Luigi for some time, and he was the first person to get in touch with me from LBA, but this was the first time we'd met in person.
Great food (I had the crab spaghettini), great wine and even better conversation. We talked about the books so far, what happens next, and generally had a great time discussing the movies and television shows and books we love. I think all three of us walked away with a list of things to read / watch.
After that, it was back on the train to head back to real life. Only 185 days to go until publication day...