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Thursday, January 22, 2004

Getting Ettlingered 

As mentioned previously here, SJ Rozan has been keeping people abreast of the long, involved process necessary for getting a book--in her case, her standalone novel ABSENT FRIENDS, due out this fall--ready for publication. In response to a previous post on her "progress" blog, I had asked if Marion Ettlinger would be the photographer in question. Actually, the wording I used was "Will you be Ettlingered?" because of the photographer's distinct, almost hyper-real of presenting her subjects. She makes the authors she photographs look distinctive (although not always their best, but that's my own nitpick.)

Anyway, I guessed right, and SJ goes on to describe what a good time she had at the photo shoot:

Before you go for your appointment you send her the photos you've used previously, and the book she's photographing for. She actually reads your book to get a sense of who you are -- I've had publicists who haven't read my books! (Nor has my brother.) Then when you get there she's got a board set up with images on it -- photos, paintings, drawings -- of people who project the image she wants to give you. On my board she had Katherine Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Eleanora Duse, Isadora Duncan, and Calamity Jane, among others. The Calamity Jane one made me wish I'd brought a gun.

. . .I spent 5 hours in her studio posing on a wide variety of furniture under natural light. I had such a good time! We nibbled on fruit and nuts, drank tea, talked and talked. She's very focused and I love to watch experts do what they do.


On that last phrase, I certainly agree--nothing beats watching professionals do what they do best, and doing it right. And I know I won't be the only one who can't wait to see the final photo that will grace the back jacket flap of ABSENT FRIENDS.

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