Hey, it's Author Photo Smackdown!, our inaugural look at the semiotics of author photos in which we translate exactly what our favorite contemporary writers are trying to say in their book-jacket portraits.
"I sought no advance for my novel. Rather, its creation was subsidized by a series of middle-aged men who paid me to dictate chapters to them while grinding the heels of my knee-high lace-up leather boots into their naked backs.
Whenever I print out a draft the first thing I do is read it aloud. For big projects I'll call up Mom and read it to her over the phone, but for shorter pieces I like to pretend that I'm giving a reading and my three cats are the audience."