I remember the first time I saw a picture of Terry Gross. I was shocked. She didn’t look anything like I imagined. I can’t remember what I thought she might look like, but it wasn’t a woman 5 feet tall with short red hair and glasses.
Blogging is similar to radio in that regard. People’s personalities come out on the page and you create mental images of them. I remember when I first met Scott Esposito, who writes Conversational Reading. Scott has one of the strongest voices in the blogosphere. He’s opinionated and he often takes extreme positions. He’s got personality to spare.
We met at a coffee shop on College Avenue in Berkeley. I had no idea how old Scott was or what he looked like, so I imagined someone over-sized, like his writing voice. So I was surprised when this courteous, soft-spoken brown haired man in his late 20s came up to my table. He couldn't have been more charming.
Scott may have been just as surprised to see me (He’s in Spain, so I can’t ask him) I haven’t posted a picture of myself on my blog, in part, because I can’t figure out how to do so without making it enormous. So readers have to pick up clues as to what I look like. I’ve dropped many of them – I’m in my mid-40s, have 2 kids, am sort of a suburban mom type (with cooler clothes) but I’m sure their mental images are much different than my physical reality.
All of this is a long way of saying I am happy I stumbled upon a post by Bud Parr of Chekhov’s Mistress. Bud was at the BEA convention in New York and he HAS POSTED PICTURES OF MANY OF OUR FAVORITE BLOGGERS. I got a chance to see what fellow-Bay Area blogger Ed Champion of the Return of the Reluctant looks like (sort of what I pictured) as well as the well-known Mark Sarvas of The Elegant Variation (much younger than I imagined.) (You have to scroll down to the June 8 post for the photos. )
Ed of the Return of the Reluctant has a picture on his blog of Jessa Crispin, who writes Bookslut. It’s a profile and you can see Ed’s face at the edge of the picture.
Of course, the blogger everyone is dying to know is Mad Max Perkins, who writes Book Angst 101. He’s in the publishing industry and when he appeared on a recent BEA panel, he came disguised as a wizard. His identity remains obscured for now. But like Deep Throat, it can’t be a secret forever.