On Middle-Aged Authors Leaping in Bookshops

Sadly it doesn’t appear to be available online, but those of you out of range of the paper version of today’s Courier-Mail have missed a pic of me I’m unlikely to repeat. It’s a full page, and it appears to have me leaping in front of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with all the glee and patchy judgment Tom Cruise showed that time on Oprah when wanting to turn his strong feelings for Katie Holmes into mime.

Here’s what happened.

A couple of weeks ago, while doing some kind of tour with Welcome to Normal and while my brain was simultaneously deep in draft 1 of book 3 of my forthcoming kids’ trilogy, I heard that The Fix was about to be shortlisted in a new category of the Qld Literary Awards: the Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year (to give it its full title). An attempt was being made to round up shortlistees for a group photo. Could six authors manage to make their diaries converge and end up in the same place at the same time? Of course not. So then it was to be done bit by bit.

Three authors turned up on day one and were shot with a red brick wall behind them (okay, not actually shot – the government’s no longer involved, remember – I mean photographed). I turned up solo on day two, by which time a decision had been made to reshoot the day one stuff anyway. The journo wanted action, but the day one photographer had been concerned about the liability risk of having authors leaping from a railing and onto concrete. Fair enough. We’re not known to fly well or land well. The day two photographer had no such qualms.

So, I was won over to the idea that, over the following days, leaping author shots would be taken, put in the paper and on posters, and distributed far and wide in the appropriate spirit of joy and whimsy. Fine by me. I’ve done far too many of the ‘author reading own book’ or ‘author stopping head lolling by holding index finger to temple’ shots in my time. My general rule is I’ll do pretty much anything that doesn’t involve blood loss or nudity, so I was up for a leap, or several.

Did anyone else leap? I have no idea. Maybe we’ll be barraged by leaping shots in the weeks to come, but not so far. So far, we’ve got three authors peeping out from behind their books in one shot. No doubt feeling slightly dicky at the time, but now feeling totally fine and thinking ‘at least I’m not the goose leaping on the cover’.

I’d heard yesterday that the awards would get two pages inside today’s Life section and the front cover. It didn’t occur to me that I’d be the front cover, with my ‘leaping in a loading dock’ pic photoshopped to have a bookshop backdrop. But, I can only say that’s totally fair game. If you say yes to leaping, they get to use it as they see fit. And I am both pleased and appreciative to be shortlisted for the award, so don’t go thinking otherwise just because my feet have mostly remained earthbound.

There are several things you could take away from it if you saw the pic. One might be to think ‘you sad needy bastard. You’ll do anything to get in the paper.’ Well, sure, but you might also think, ‘hey, look at that – that book’s so great he’s airborne,’ or ‘I now feel so embarrassed for Nick Earls I have to vote for him.’ I’ll take either of those two. And if they aren’t enough to entice you to vote, 20 people who do win a full set of the shortlist.

You realise what you have to do next. You have to go to the voting site and do your bit for The Fix. Thank you.


LATER – By popular demand, here it is … c-m pic 28:7:12 Since it’s not online I’ve scanned it. Can’t say why it’s B&W, but I don’t think it costs it much of its magic. The Courier-Mail said they were open to me using it in future with the right attribution. I think that sentence covers it. And perhaps I should add a thanks. I suspect this is a one-time-only reuse of this material …

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to On Middle-Aged Authors Leaping in Bookshops

  1. Kate says:

    Hah!! I actually had a sentence about your thoughts on author pics in the post I’ve just written about WTN. I took it out. If I’d only known about the new heights they’ve pushed you to…off to vote. I have a funny the fix-related story for you one day. I probably shouldn’t write about it on the internet.

    • nickearls says:

      I’ve been meaning to thank you for your WTN post, but occasionally my attempt at the near impossible (writing one book while promoting another while gearing up for the publication of a third in a month) gets the better of me. Of course I’m intrigued about the story now, particularly if it’s not web-appropriate. Maybe face-to-face in a couple of months, if your diary allows?

  2. I’ve done my bit for you, Nick. How about you do us a favour and put that leaping photo up here for us to gawk at – or at least a link to it?
    PS Susan Geason sends her regards.

    • nickearls says:

      Done. You’ve encouraged me to stretch myself technologically and scan and post the pic. The link’s above.

      Please say hello to Susan for me. We shared one of the oddest writers’ festivals in New Caledonia in 2001 …

  3. louiseforster says:

    I can only imagine … and I too would like to see a photo. Thanks 🙂

  4. louiseforster says:

    Okay done my bit as well. Good luck Nick!

  5. Dimity Powell says:

    Crafty middle-aged fox that you are…it was a no brainer in the end. The Leaping just clinched it for me. Good Luck Nick.

  6. Kate says:

    Voted and viewed pic. That is some jump! Good luck in the awards!!

  7. Wow, a leap of Toyota-esque proportions! Best of luck for the award. I really enjoyed The Fix. Will go and vote.

  8. Jenny says:

    Voting was fine apart from the almost indecipherable robot-blocker – that was a challenge, finally giving up something that sounded like “Oh ar-s-ho” which seemed decidedly dodgy when read aloud 😉
    Nice leap! Very cheery. Maybe ‘keep passing the open windows’ could become, ‘leap past the open windows’

  9. Cally Jackson says:

    Hilarious! Wish I’d seen the photo. Off to vote…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s