Authors who look like their writing: #1 Richard Ford


Bear with me on this one. I’m currently halfway though reading the (already) brilliant Canada by Richard Ford and I was thinking how, at it’s best, Ford’s writing is a sublime combination of elegant, languid and wise. Then I flicked to the inside back cover and saw his photo – and the first thing I noticed was that he looks just like his writing. And that made me happy.

And now, excuse me, but I have to go and crack open a couple of beers with him on the front porch at the end of a long, hard day on the ranch*…

Photo © Laura Wilson
*N.B. I do not actually own or work on a ranch. To my knowledge, neither does Richard Ford. I also enjoy drinks other than beer although I have no idea about Richard’s taste in alcoholic beverage or if he drinks at all. Although I bet he does.


27 thoughts on “Authors who look like their writing: #1 Richard Ford

    1. beautifulorange Post author

      I know! I did think about that after I posted this. I guess I’m not saying that all authors look like their work but it’s cool when they do.

      (Does that get me out of jail with the horror writers?!)

  1. alicelucie

    This is awesome! Reminds me of the opening of 101 Dalmatians when the owners look just like their dogs. It would be interesting to keep this theme up… I wonder if it could work the other way round? Seeing the author first and them reading their writing, a slightly different take on ‘judging a book by its cover’…!

    1. beautifulorange Post author

      Thanks! And yes, I thought it was similar to the thing about owners looking like the their dogs!

      It was Richard Ford who got me thinking about the whole look-a-like theme so I’ve started with him – but I do already have a couple of others up my sleeve so I’ll have to post them soon too.

      Oh, and I love your reverse idea… I might have to try that.

  2. tracycembor

    I wonder if it helps or hurts your marketing if you don’t look anything like what you write. Or do so few people learn about the authors behind the books that most of the time it doesn’t make a difference?

    1. beautifulorange Post author

      I reckon that the only time most people see the author’s face is if it’s in the book itself. But it’s an interesting question – I wonder if it helps to look like your writing. Another commenter ( mentioned that it would be unfortunate if horror writers looked like their writing – but maybe it would actually help if they looked twisted! There’s also the fact that, as in most walks of life, being generally attractive probably helps too.

  3. Jessica

    I like this thought a lot. I think it’s somewhat true. It also reminds me of something my mom used to say when I was growing up: People often look like their pets.


  4. lyriquediscorde

    Now you have me wanting to sit cross-legged on the floor in front of my bookshelves, taking one off the shelf at a time, and do a compare/contrast. I wonder how many I would find? Does this work with music, too? I really enjoyed this post/thought…and now I must go pour some coffee (too early here for a beer) and sit in my non-ranch and peruse the inside back covers of some of my favorites to see what I find. Thanks 😉

    p.s. point taken about the horror authors, though I’m thinking a crime novel author (Andrew Vacchs) I once read that wrote rather grisly, dark, haunting stories looked a lot just like that, if I remember correctly…pretty sure that isn’t complimentary.

      1. The Hook

        I hope it does.
        By the way, kudos on racing along on your book. I’ve been blocked while writing my second book and it sucks!

      2. beautifulorange Post author

        Ha, well I don’t know if I’m racing along. There are good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks. This has actually been a bad week. Did your first book do well?

        Did you see my post about ‘how I write’? I try to take a hard line with myself about writer’s block. The quote I posted from Jennifer Egan helps too.

  5. Pingback: Book review: Canada by Richard Ford | beautifulorange

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