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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Preparing for Publicity Over There...

The first bit of publicity I was asked to do for the US launch of Wolfborn was a letter to my teenage self for a blog called "Dear Teen Me" (I spotted Tristan Bancks there, didn't know he started life as an actor!). Okay, I can do that easily enough. I'm working on it. Author bio? Check! Author photo? No problem!

Then they asked for a pic of the author as a teenager. Now, that was a problem. There are not as many photos of me as you might think, given what a camera ham I am. I love having my photo taken as long as I can pose, because unposed photos make me look awful. I always posed for the camera when newspapers or TV journalists were in sight. I have a tattered photo of me with some other students taken at Monash University when we were being political, but by then I was about twenty. There was one amazing picture taken of a long line of Monash students for the Age newspaper. Even tiny and one of a huge crowd, I was recognisable, and friends said, "Hey, Sue, is that you?" It was. I'm a ham, I tell you!

But family-wise I tend to be on the other side of the camera and forget to get my own picture taken. And there are very few informal family/friend photos of me over the age of ten or eleven.

The other night I happened to be at my mother's home, where all my childhood photos are kept. I was tempted to scan one of the photos of me in my early twenties, which I only know are in my twenties because they had the family dog, Bimbo, who only appeared in our lives when I was about twenty. Hey, no one would notice!

But I decided not to cheat unless I absolutely had to. And while all the photos of me as a teenager were taken by a professional photographer for a special occasion such as a wedding, there were one or two that might work for me. I had the beehive hairdo so popular when I was growing up and hated it then as I do now. In fact, when my sister had her engagement party, I got a haircut just so I wouldn't have to have my hair done up by the hairdresser.

And I found and scanned this photo, in which I have short hair and a pixie-ish grin. You get to see this before Dear Teen Me, though I will, of course, post a link when it appears much later this year.

Here it is.

It feels strange looking back over the years at that day, through this photo. We had the party at my Dad's cousin Helen's home, which was bigger than ours (we lived in a flat at the time - a decent-sized flat, but still too small for a party and the neighbours wouldn't like it). It was a fine day and I invited my friends Harvey and Denise. The three of us went for a walk when Denise was a little dizzy.

My brother-in-law-to-be asked my mother, "Do you mind if I call you Mum?" and he has done that ever since, and treated her as a mother.

And here I am in the garden, posing as usual! :-)

I would have liked to find the picture of me at seventeen in the school production of Bye, Bye Birdie, a photo taken backstage; I think I had just made a joke and those around me are looking at me and smiling. That was in the school magazine and who knows where THAT is?

So this will have to be it. Hope you like it!


Lan said...

Wow! I didn't know Wolfborn was being published overseas! Congrats. That's a lovely photo of you. Even better was the story you told to go with it :)

Sue Bursztynski said...

Thanks! I ony found out Wednesday morning. I got an email with no subject line from someone whose name I didn't recognise and thought it might be another review request. And instead it was from a lady who said she was handling the publicity for my book over there and could I please write something for this blog. my eyes bulged out of my head! But sure enough, there was a CC to the rights day at RHA. All aboveboard, nobody playing a joke on me. I really, really needed some good news about then.

Thanks for liking the photo - and every photo has a story, doesn't t? :-)

Sue Bursztynski said...

That was the rights LADY, not day.