First of all, many many thank yous to all of you who offered suggestions on which photo I should choose. I had a lot of you come out from lurking to post comments here, on Facebook, or directly by email. I really appreciate all the feedback. When it came down to it, there was a lot of support for five pictures. All of these had one good thing going for them right off the bat: they were relatively closeup (which mean the focus was on me, not the castle, which my agent very appropriately mentioned was kind of the point).
Of those five, Number 10 had the fewest votes:
Number 4 also had a fair bit of support (but not as much as others):
Again, I like it as a pic a ton, but unless you're wicked familiar with Trencin Castle, there's no way you'd see the reference.
Then we had a basic three way dead heat for the other three. Number Two:
and Number Eleven:
Number two is a shot that I didn't think I'd like when it was taken. It felt kind of goofy and pretentious, but once I saw the finished picture, it grew on me a lot. But my editor pointed out that Vodnik is a comedy. Not flat out comedy, but definitely light-hearted, and not in the Lemony Snicket sort of vein. So she suggested I actually be smiling in the photo. This made sense to me, so there went number two.
That left me with three or eleven, and they were more or less a toss up for me. In the end, I decided that (although both of them make my forearms take on Popeye-esque proportions), I preferred number three. Most of the picture was in focus--as opposed to eleven, where everything but my head was slightly blurry.
Okay--I admit it. I also asked my wife which one of those she'd go for. In the end, Denisa's opinion trumps all. (It also helped that number three was the only one both my agents and my editor agreed was a good choice.)
So there you have it. A decision made at last.