You’re gonna need a bigger boatOcean Shores, WA

Shark selfie sketchbook illustration by Chandler O'Leary

Towards the end of the design process for my new book, the design team at Sasquatch Books and I were putting together all the odds and ends that make up the cover, both inside and out (you’ll find a behind-the-scenes look at the front cover on my studio blog). One of the last elements to fall into place was my author “photo.” Well, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I don’t really do photo selfies—so initially I offered them the standard illustrated self-portrait that I use everywhere, including on my about page.

And then I stopped in my tracks, because I remembered one other selfie I’d done in my sketchbook, and had never shown anyone. I drew it the same day I visited Sharky’s, out on the Pacific Coast. I emailed my editor, and said something to the effect of, “Actually, I do have one other image…but it’s weird. How do you feel about weird?”

Cover flap of "The Best Coast" book by Chandler O'Leary

Well, I’m happy to report that they thought weird was good, because it made the cut, and it’s pretty much exactly my personality, in a nutshell. So now every time I flip to the end of the book, I’ll have a good chuckle over this—who says author headshots have to be serious?

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