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When Mercer University Press informed me last year that they would publish my novel in 2014, they told me that I would need to provide a photo of myself for the book jacket. Since the most recent pictures of me exist in the photo stream of my wife’s iPhone, I decided it was time to set up my first individual photo shoot since I donned a cheap tuxedo for Olan Mills as a high school senior.

After months of procrastination, I got in touch with Danielle Mousley, a designer and photographer at Hallmark Cards who also does free-lance photography on the side (you can visit her wonderful blog here). One overcast, breezy afternoon in May, she and I walked through Kansas City’s rustic River Market district, taking shots of me in front of old brick buildings, cast-iron stairways, and the Missouri River. We then visited The Colonnade, an amazing, turn-of-the-century structure overlooking the river in the city’s Northeast neighborhood. The Colonnade was Danielle’s idea, and I have to admit that the Greek-inspired columns and archways seemed to evoke a Southern Gothic feel (which is a good thing, since my novel can best be characterized as Southern fiction).

Danielle took a lot of pictures, and did a great job of putting me at ease. Below are some of my favorites — either because of the setting or my expression. What do y’all think? Which one should I use for the book jacket?