My first book cover

When you’ve been publishing content and sharing your life for an audience online as long as I have, you leave a pretty extensive trail of digital breadcrumbs. I started my first website in 1996, as a 16-year-old high school student, and have been posting personal writing and photography constantly since that time.

A few months ago, I received an email from a designer who expressed interest in using one of my ancient self-portraits on DeviantArt for an upcoming young adult fiction book from Penguin (Puffin/Speak). This is the original photo, circa 2002.

Self Portrait

I’ve struggled over the years with quite a bit of image theft, but, this particular picture has undoubtedly been my most popular (and most often stolen) image. While I’ve had requests for licensing before, this was the first project that I felt great about from the start. It’s so funny, that while I have images available for licensing on Getty Images, and have grown a decent following on this blog, that one of my old photos on a site I don’t even use anymore caught the eye of someone, somewhere.

Here is what the book looks like (front and back).


How cool is that? The book is called XVI, and was written by author Julia Karr (@juliaakarr on Twitter). Here is a little about the book:

Some girls can’t wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be okay.

Then, with one brutal strike, Nina’s normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed about her life is true. But there’s one boy who can help–and he just may hold the key to her past.

But with the line between attraction and danger as thin as a whisper, one thing is for sure…for Nina, turning sixteen promises to be anything but sweet.

Having not only one of my photos, but a self-portrait on the cover of a book is something that I am really proud of. I am super excited to purchase a copy of XVI in January, and if possible, I’m going to see if I can’t arrange a giveaway when the time comes. Until then, be sure to visit author Julia Karr’s website to learn more about the book

If the book sounds appealing to you, be sure to check your local bookstore after January 6th (yes, 1/6!), or you can preorder from Amazon, B&N, or Borders.


Follow me on Instagram and share your images inspired by this post by tagging #DearCrissy! I'd love to be friends!