Friday, March 20, 2009

About the Author WHAT?

Since we can't all be like Catherine J. Gardner, whose bio is simple and perfect and understated and contains ducks, I need help to write mine. I need to send in my bio for Jack of All Trades, and I thought I'd better make it more than the line or two I usually use for magazines.

What makes a good bio? When you finish a book you like and come to the About the Author page, assuming you're the kind of person who reads About the Author pages, what kind of information do you like to see? Personally, I am not the kind of person who reads About the Author pages. In fact, I really don't want to know that the author who just entertained me with a marvelous tale of derring-do and romance seems like the kind of guy whose claim to fame is "went to high school with George Clooney" or something. (That's not directed at anyone in particular, I swear; it was just the first thing I thought of.) Should I stick completely to writing-related stuff? Should I try and be funny? Should I mention my hobbies and pets or does that sound amateurish?

Here's what I'd put if I was writing a bio for a short story. It's a bit...brief for a novel, even a short novel:

K.C. Shaw's fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Please visit her website at http://kcshaw.net/.

9 comments:

Catherine J Gardner said...

I think you need more than a couple of lines for a book. I personally love reading peoples bio's and always think they are much better than mine (except the duck one of course).

I'd cheat. Pick up a few books/antho's and see which bio's stand out for you.

K.C. Shaw said...

Good idea! I hadn't even thought of that.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I think when I do mine will sound like a profession wrestler.

Jamie, hailing from parts unknown, weighing in at . . . you get the idea

K.C. Shaw said...

Ha! I like that! Lots of possibilities for pseudonyms with that approach, too. :)

BT said...

Jamie - funny, but I'd go with Cate's suggestion :c)

Jeremy D Brooks said...

One of the best ones I can remember was Douglas Adams, and had something to do with him being employed as, at various times, a bodyguard, a writer for Dr. Who, and a chicken coop cleaner.

K.C. Shaw said...

BT--I'm considering just copying someone else's bio from another book. Think anyone would notice? I mean, besides everyone I know?

Jeremy--I seem to remember that one too. I've held some weirdish jobs in my life--and you know, that would absolutely tie in with the book! Damn, thanks for the idea!

Lertulo said...

The one thing I like to see in an author's bio is, "X is currently working on the next 4 sequels to this book." But then, I like loooong series; not sure it really applies to novellas.

The Margin Wight said...

I think you should work in something about having been in a Turkish prison for an undetermined number of years. I've always thought that kind of thing made the author of anything more credible. To have truly suffered....