I've just had the local paper on the phone, who want to feature the book launch. This is excellent news. However they then finished by requesting an author photo. This isn't such good news.
It's not just that I use a pen name for privacy as well as many other reasons. I dislike photographs in general. My stance on author headshots is well-known. Apparently the use of a penname (see reasons) is not sufficient signal that I do not want my personal and professional life confused, and that an author photo would not be a good idea.
Fortunately work means I will be away when they wanted to arrange the photo shoot, but given everything, I am seriously beginning to wonder if I would be better off leaving this penname and the books and walking away.
I wasn't exactly planning on a book launch for "The Docks", far less a signing, and I was unpleasantly surprised and taken aback by the interest shown in my personal life (irrelevant) compared to my book (relevant). I am not a brand, I am not particularly interesting, and I do not want to be. I write. That's it.
The real surprise? The behaviour of people outside the press, where the word newspaper seems to result in tunnel vision: up to and including the suggestion I should blow an NDA and breach a contract to hand out details of my job to the press to get them interested in a book. Fortunately I have better sense, but it does reinforce why I keep my professional and writing careers seperate. It also means I will be keeping a careful eye on certain people and am even less likely to agree to a photograph.
If you want to judge my books, read them. Articles about my background will tell you nothing about my writing. If you want to ask questions, the blog is here for comments.
At least it's here for the moment because, after thinking about this for most of the day, I'm two steps off shutting up shop and walking away, possibly before the book launch. The chance of damage to my non-writing career is just too high, and while I enjoy writing it doesn't pay the bills yet.