A couple of months ago Leah and I were asked if we had some pictures of ourselves to go with an interview, or an article, or something. This is not uncommon – every now and again someone will want a photograph of us to accompany something just so, you know, people know what we look like. It makes perfect sense – if I’m reading an interview I suppose I want to know what the person answering the questions looks like – but it always feels a bit weird when you have to provide a picture of yourself.
Back in the olden days we used to use pictures we’d taken ourselves, which was okay but not all that professional. Then, in 2009, we had some photos taken for an interview in the Liverpool Echo which, somehow, managed to make us look like proper writers. Naturally then, we’ve been using those pictures for all our official press stuff ever since. However, emailing them off for umpteeth time, it dawned on me that we should probably, finally, stop using them. They’re fantastic pictures but, perhaps unsurprisingly, neither of us actually look very much like we did two years ago. This meant that we had to do a really weird thing – we had to try to get some new professional photographs taken.
I say weird because… well, because it’s weird. We’re pallid, stay at home writers – why would anyone want pictures of us? But, as I’ve explained, sometimes people do. They really do. So it makes sense. But it’s still weird.
So, anyway, we did what any self respecting electra-magnetically radiated, shut-in, keyboard-jockeys would do when faced with uncertainty about anything - we asked Twitter for help. One of the first replies came from our old e-chum author Mr Adam Christopher (lots more info about him at www.adamchristopher.co.uk) who suggested we get in touch with Stockport based photographic duo Diana Steinway and Chris Cawthorne AKA DC Sterne (see examples of their wonderful work at dcsterne.posterous.com) who had taken some great author shots for him. So, we did and they, very nicely, said they’d love to take some photos of us. That was it. That simple. That’s why it’s cool living in the 21st century. All we’d need to do was sort out a location.
When we were just beginning work on The Thrill Electric a little over a year ago Leah and I - along with Emma Vieceli, Kit, Fez, Nina and Alex from Windflower, and Andy and Jonathan from Hat Trick – were given a wonderful walking tour of some of Manchester’s extant Victorian sites by Manchester Metropolitan University’s senior lecturer in Social & Economic History Dr. Terry Wyke . One of the many places we visited was the Portico Library on Mosley Street (www.theportico.org.uk) and it left a lasting impression on us both.
The library, which opened in 1803, is housed in a Grade II neo-classical listed building with an impressive Georgian glass and plaster dome. It’s a truly beautiful building housing an amazing collection of books and is well worth a visit (open 10am-4pm on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September 2011 as part of the Heritage Open Days if you’re in Manchester this weekend). So, after a bit of googling, we got in touch with Librarian Emma Marigliano and asked if there was any way we might be allowed to have some photos taken in the Portico. And, because she’s lovely, she said yes. Easy peasy.
We had our shoot (I don’t like calling it that…) a couple of weeks ago and, as you can see from the few I’ve posted here, the pictures came out really, really well despite having us in all of them. We’re very pleased with them and amazingly grateful to Diana and Chris for all their hard work.
That’s not all though – when Ms Marigliano kindly agreed to let us use the library she also asked us if we could do her a “favor”. Throughout October and November The Portico will be home to Journey through Wonderland – Alice in Multimedia - an series of events and ongoing exhibitions based around Lewis Carroll’s Alice books and related works. Emma asked us if we’d be willing to give a talk on adapting Carroll’s books into our Dynamite Entertainment series The Complete Alice in Wonderland as part of the events and we, naturally, said yes.
So, please join us at the beautiful Portico Library on Wednesday the 12th of October 2011 for a talk, a Q&A session, and wine and nibbles. In a beautiful Georgian Library that also happens to have a really nice Real Ale pub below it. Come on !
I love it when things just work out.