Women of a Certain Age Don’t Do Selfies

On May 27th I’ll be joining several authors for an event at the Roxy Theater in Bremerton, Washington. On hand will be Brenda Novak, Debbie Macomber, Susan Wigg, Julia Quinn, and yours truly. This week the publicity folks asked me to send a photo of me working in my office.

For starters, I don’t have an office. I grew up in a family of seven kids where we all did our homework at the kitchen table while our mother was cooking dinner. That means I’m able to concentrate in the midst of a good deal of chaos. In fact, if there’s no chaos—if things are too quiet, I can’t function at all. As a result, I work on a laptop on my lap in the family room with a very junky table beside me which holds all my writing essentials—a cup of coffee, a box of tissues, and a collection of miscellaneous paper which I will eventually have to handle. The table is on my left side. Chances are, Jojo, one of our long-haired doxies, will be stretched out next to me, snoozing away just under my righthand elbow. Of course, a scene like this automatically calls for a selfie. The problem is, I don’t do selfies. At all! And for good reason.

Once I was old enough to read the newspaper on my own, I instantly became a fan of Dear Abby, the only advice column that appeared in the Bisbee Daily Review. I always wondered why her picture never changed over the years. Now I know, and I’m reminded of that classic poem:

As a beauty I’m not a great star.
There are others more handsome by far.
But my face? I don’t mind it
For I am behind it.
It’s the people up front that I jar.

The truth is, there comes a time in life when photography in general and selfies in particular are no longer your friend. Trust me, I’m there. So I took a selfie, all right—of one of my hands on the keyboard of my laptop with the bottom of the TV set barely visible at the top of the frame. That’s exactly how I work, with the television set droning away just over the top of my computer screen. I sent the photo to the publicity folks. They wrote back saying they would like a photo of me in my office to which I explained that IS my office, and a photo of my hands on the keyboard is as good as it’s going to get.

I’ve really missed doing live events over the past three years, and I’m glad to know they are coming back. I’m especially looking forward to my attendance at the Tucson Festival of Books and at Left Coast Crime where I’ll be awarded this year’s lifetime achievement award. (It’s only taken me forty years to become an overnight success.) Those two events will both occur in and around Tucson in March, and will coincide with the publication of my next Ali Reynolds book, Collateral Damage, due out on March 14.  As a result, I’ll be doing a mini-book tour in Arizona during snowbird season. That’s tantamount to doing an extensive book tour in the Upper Midwest in the dead of summer.

During these dark dreary days of January in Washington, the prospect of being in Arizona and doing live events in March is a real bright spot on my horizon, and I’m looking forward to all of it, selfies notwithstanding. You can click here for the 2023 Tucson Festival of Books Schedule. Once the Collateral Damage tour events are finalized, they’ll be posted on the schedule page of my website, so stay tuned.