Not every one of my friends and acquaintances knows that I actually have an engineering degree, and at one point in my life, planned to make engineering my career. Much has happened since my university days, but I still wear my iron ring with pride. A month or so ago, I spoke to a group of engineers about how I felt my engineering education prepared me for life as a political advisor, public affairs/public relations professional, and a novelist. Those of you who have read my first two novels will understand that even though I’ve never worked as an engineer, engineering is still a part of me. So when the editor of The Voice, the magazine of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, invited me to write a piece about my engineering education, I was very pleased to accept. You can read the article by clicking here, or on the graphic below, and scrolling down to page 14:
Archive for the ‘Tim Fallis’ Category
My identical twin brother Tim, an accomplished photographer in off-hours, took the author photo for TBLP and, we thought, took the shot that was originally to have graced the back of The High Road. I quite liked the new photo but some have said that I look a little too serious for the writer of novels that are supposed to amuse the reader. I appear a little serious because I usually look like a raving idiot when I smile for the camera. You think I doth protest too much? You haven’t seen the reams of smiling photos still lying on the cutting room floor. They could scare little children. Enter Clarence Johnson. Clarence is a photographer with an interest in eyewear. He snaps photos of people and their glasses and posts them on his interesting blog, picpu. Clarence happened to be in the audience when I read at Word on the Street in Toronto in September, 2008, shortly after the McClelland & Stewart edition of TBLP was published. I noticed the shot on the picpu blog months later when it popped up in a Google search. Because I didn’t know the photo was being taken, it doesn’t have that posed look that I deplore. Seems a few folks saw the shot on my blog and a consensus emerged that it might in fact be a good author photo as it seems to capture the spirit of humour, laughter, Leacock, etc. So it looks like we’re going with Clarence’s shot as the official author photo. Thankfully, he kindly granted permission. I’ve broken the news to my brother. He lay on the floor kicking his feet and flailing his arms a bit, but eventually accepted the decision. Just kidding. Tim’s been great about it and given what he had to work with, I think his shots are still the best non-candid photos ever taken of me. So my thanks to Clarence and to Tim for their support and understanding. Here’s the photo:
Yes, I know it’s closely cropped at the top, but that’s not a bad thing for a guy with an ever-expanding forehead!
There seems to be no end of little details to address as the new novel makes its way to publication in September. Today, after procrastinating for weeks, I was finally forced to undergo that often humiliating experience, at least for me, of having my photo taken. I need a new shot for the back of The High Road. Just to put it out there, I take terrible pictures. When I see myself in photographs, the words “Do I actually look like this?” often spring to my lips, in the faint hope that I’ll be told “No, no, no, this doesn’t look like you at all.” Yeah right. Anyway, my twin brother Tim is a great photographer, even when I am the subject. He took the photo that adorns the back of The Best Laid Plans and came over recently with his Canon camera to do the deed. After snapping about 2,300 shots in our backyard (okay, I’m kidding– sort of) and then working his magic in photoshop, we’ve finally decided on the author photo for The High Road. For what it’s worth, here’s the head shot that will appear on the back cover. Don’t ask me if I actually look like this. I really have no idea.
Photo by Tim Fallis