The great thing about being a famous author (I’m guessing here) is you can be incredibly rich and phenomenally well-known and loved, without anyone being particularly sure what you look like. You don’t appear in ‘stars without makeup’ spreads in Who magazine where commentators deride your flaky t-zone. Fans are unlikely to stop you on the street and bother you with requests for selfies when you’re just trying to buy a box of fluted masonry nails. You can look like crap and people still buy your books: Stephen King, for example, moves a lot of merchandise. Writers get all the perks, none of the drawbacks.
And yet ever since my novel was published I feel like I’m undergoing some kind of physical transformation, trying to make the outer me look more like the inner me. Or at least, marking my change of state from unpublished to published in some exterior fashion. I got my first tattoo. And yesterday I got my hair dyed blue. I don’t really know what’s going on…
Some of this can be excused by the occasional public performance I have to do, like the odd panel or reading. Dressing up is a distraction from the terror of presenting some version of myself on stage (as the always gorgeously put-together and super-smart Angela Meyer discusses here). But I think there’s more to it.
So I’m interested to know: as you’ve come to think more of yourself as a writer, have you tried to display it in some outward change?