In Million Dollar Professionalism for the Writer, Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson advise authors to settle on a distinctive look: something presentable, recognizable, and comfortable that you can wear (with small variations) to all public appearances. This helps build your brand. People learn to recognize you by it. (The first time I saw Kevin in a T-shirt instead of his traditional blazer, I almost didn’t recognize him!)
I settled on something simple: black shoes, black pants, solid-color shirt. It was comfortable, but not distinctive. Something was missing.
And then I discovered Cyberoptix Tie Labs: Ties for people who hate ties. And I was hooked.
Since then, my habit has been to buy a new tie for each original (not reprint) story that I sell. Most are from Cyberoptix, though not all. Each has a theme that ties (ahem) in to the story or event that inspired it. As time permits, I’ll add pictures and notes for each tie below.
P.S. And it works. Rebecca and Kevin were right. People recognize me by my ties. Friends look to see which tie I’m wearing that day, and they ask “Why that tie?” I’m always ready with an answer (and there’s always an answer). The ties are a great ice-breaker!
This is Laser Kitty, a.k.a. Angry Raving Laser Kitten from Cyberoptix. This is always the first tie I wear at any event. Nobody misses Laser Kitty. I get lots of compliments for her; and once people have seen Laser Kitty, they remember me as the guy with the cool ties!
This is the Brain tie, a.k.a. Brain Dot Necktie from Cyberoptix. I got this tie in honor of my Brainmates and two great writers, Tina Gower and Kary English. We share a brain. Really. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.
Saturn V Rocket Necktie, NASA Tie was the first Cyberoptix tie that caught my eye. I can’t remember who posted it on Facebook, but I couldn’t forget it. Yet when the time came to shop for ties, I didn’t buy this one. I like to buy ties in person, for whatever reason, and I never found this one in stock. When I finally did, though, I scored a bonus! I had a chance to visit Well Done Goods, the Cyberoptix retail store. Not only did they have the Saturn V tie, but it was on fire! See, every Cyberoptix tie is hand screen-printed by their talented artists; and sometimes the artists add a little something extra. On this one, the artist added day-glo flames coming from the F1 engines! I don’t just have a Saturn V tie, I have a one-of-a-kind Saturn V tie!
That’s Michigan-born astronaut Al Worden, Command Module Pilot on the Apollo 15 mission, wearing the Command Module tie (a.k.a. the Apollo Cockpit Necktie from Cyberoptix). This was my very first Cyberoptix tie, in red just like in this picture. Later I had to replace it, when I learned that one must read the care instructions very carefully. (I now dry clean them. You can wash them at home, but it takes more laundry skill than I have.) After my red tie fell apart in the wash, I replaced it with a white version.