I count concocting a bio right up there with scrubbing floors and the sound of dentist drills, but I do realize the importance of those back-flap author blurbs. When I finish reading a great book, I want to know all about the person who wrote it. Where did she grow up? Is this his first book…his tenth? How did the author end up writing in this genre?
If you’ve written and published a book, magazine article, screenplay, or short story, you WILL be asked to provide a word snapshot of who you are and how you came to be an author. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when pouring–or dribbling–out your life story.
Depending on how much space you have, you should drop morsels of information that show your interest or qualifications in that genre. Do you dress up as Sleeping Beauty EVERY Halloween? Were you a trick roper child prodigy? Was your life changed when you shook hands with an astronaut? This is also a good opportunity to showcase your writing style, whether pithy or cerebral or colorfully descriptive. In other words, the picture you paint of yourself in your bio should match the writing style of your story.
|You want me to write about...ME?|
Find a way to describe your essence in creative terms. For example, my short bio reveals that I am “descended from horse traders and Southern belles.” It checks off several boxes: I grew up in the South, my family was into horses, and I might sell you a sway-backed short story if you don’t watch me closely.
If you’ve won an award that the readers will recognize, then give it a shout-out. If it isn’t a well-known honor, then you can always go with “award-winning author, <your name here>.” It’s all about the creds, baby.
So go ahead and shake your tail feathers a bit, pop your suspenders, toot your horn, and let the world of readers know what’s unique about you, and why they should be falling over themselves to devour every delicious word you write.
And remember, my darlings, you’re only as old as your bio says you are!
“Writing the Range”
2015 WWA Spur Finalist (Short Fiction)
2015 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Finalist (Short Fiction)
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