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What does/would your bio say?


Somewhere on that near-endless list of things about which I are ignorant, is the one about the writer’s bio. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about short stories, poetry, novels, artwork or pretty much any work which can be published in some form or other, at some point you’re going to need one. 

Until last year, I’d always assumed they were written on your behalf – in my defense, most bios read like they’re telling you about a third party eg: “Actor, singer, astronaut and all-round legend in his own lunchtime, Hamish ‘Big-boy’ O’Flaherty, was born at an early age…” 

I used to think the bio writers were so lucky because they got to interview all these cool, creative types, but no, in most cases, it seems they were written by the writers/artists themselves. Now, you’d think having a license to write nice things about yourself would make coming up with a bio a simple task, but I really struggled to come up with mine.

I’d say it was almost as difficult as writing a synopsis. I was also a little worried that the formal wording made me come across as a bit pretentious, so I stuck this on the end:

‘Jon can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.’

 

I’m hoping it shows people I don’t take myself too seriously.

How about you?

What does/would your bio say?


ETA: If you comment, feel free to add links to your website/blog etc.  After all, that's what bios are for :)


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brni
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:03 am (UTC)

I've had a few bios to date, most of them at least a little bit 'normal.' But the one that graces The Evil Gazebo (and which has shown up in a few other places with minor modification) goes something like this:


Much to his embarrassment, Bernie Mojzes has outlived Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Janice Joplin and the Red Baron, without even once having been shot down over Morlancourt Ridge. Having failed to achieve a glorious martyrdom, he has instead turned his hand to the penning of paltry prose (a rather wretched example of which you currently hold in your hands), in the pathetic hope that he shall here find the notoriety that has thus far proven elusive.

Should Pity, or perhaps a Perverse Curiosity move you to seek him out, he can be found at http://www.kappamaki.com.


--

One market had me substitute "a rather wretched" with "an" before they'd accept it.
jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:05 am (UTC)
I like that one :)
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msstacy13
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:04 am (UTC)
As really short bios go,
yours is great.

This seems like a splendid opportunity to share my bio with your slice of the world.
So.
Stacy Stephens was born in Omaha's Near North Side, spending much of her early childhood in the same neighborhood where Malcolm X had spent his. However, she spent her adolescence in Gerald Ford's old neighborhood, her family having moved out of the aptly misnomered Pleasant View Housing Project.

Like Henry Fonda, she graduated from Omaha's Central High School, where she attained the rank of Cadet Corporal in Army JROTC, and got good grades in the classes she liked. During and after High School, she worked a number of food service and telemarketing jobs, finally settling into a retail position at a locally owned pharmacy, ultimately becoming manager of retail merchandise, beverage alcohol, and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products before marrying, having a child, and divorcing.

While raising that child, she attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she was elected to Student Senate three consecutive years, made Dean's List twice, and was selected for membership in Omicron Delta Kappa. She majored in Secondary Education Language Arts, graduating with a 3.08 GPA. Her formal writing classes included Journalism as well as Poetry and Fiction Studio.

Her story, "The Tin Scarab" appears in Volume 2, Issue #1 of The Medulla Review.


Anyone who would like to have their own copy of my bio can find it
on the back of any of my books.
http://www.amazon.com/Stacy-Danielle-Stephens/e/B003HMS0UK/
jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:07 am (UTC)
I never made the equivalent of the 'Dean's list' but I did get sent to the Headmaster's office quite a few times. That should count for something, right? :)
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hildebabble
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:13 am (UTC)
Your bio about the basement computer made me laugh out loud the first time I read it (I think on your Apex blog).

I only have one of the 100-word ones that gets put at the end of a story in an e-zine. It's just a simple thing (where I live; meager writing credits; etc) but does make mention of my love of dinosaurs.

msstacy13
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:22 am (UTC)
But this is show and tell day.
I, for one, want to see that little bio.
And if you have a longer bio you'd like to use,
but haven't yet, I'd like to see that one, too.
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blood_of_winter
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:26 am (UTC)
LOL..

...
This was the latest one I wrote when I did a guest blog piece on Procrastinating Writers:

Krista Magrowski started writing angst-ridden poetry and bad science fiction novels, which ripped off bad science fiction movies, as a teenager. Since then she has been published in “Dreams of Decadence” and has resumed writing for publication after a short break to start a family. She lives in New Jersey with her family, cats included, and can be found at http://kamagrowski.wordpress.com. She’s hoping to publish a few more stories and finish her current novel before the zombie apocalypse.

jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 12:38 pm (UTC)
A New Jersey girl who writes science fiction? Sounds like you'd fit right in with the rest of us genre writers in the GSHW (http://www.gshw.net).

Especially if you can work that zombie apocalypse into your next story :)
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asakiyume
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:26 am (UTC)
My facts-on-paper are dull as dishwater, so I try to present the me that lives in my imagination, who's more interesting. The me who'd be a character in a story, not the me who irons shirts and edits marketing papers. It's all true though--I never put down stuff that's not true.

The writer Angela Ambroz had a great bio at the Strange Horizons reading that was in Boston a few weeks ago. Hers said, "Angel Ambroz has lived in [exotic country] and [American city]. When not [reference to today's story], she [boring anonymous job] and [funny, creative hobby] with her [loved one] and [#] [animal]. She has published in [magazine], [magazine], and Strange Horizons. Her [desperate self-plug] is [URL].

Not only was that highly amusing, but it showed pretty much what the pattern of a standard bio is.
hildebabble
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:40 am (UTC)
Bwa! That's awesome.
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(Anonymous)
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:39 am (UTC)
Groan - author bios. Pretty much up there with those Writing Resumes some agents request - I still don't know how to tackle those properly. I have a number of bios, none of which I'm particularly enamoured of, though for my blog, I stuck with the simple:

"I write fiction with a pinch of magic. My short stories have appeared in The New Writer and Scheherazade magazines, and have won some prizes along the way."

Yours makes me laugh way more though :o)
jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
I recognize this writing style. I bet you're that writer, Jenny Gordon ;)

Edited at 2010-10-04 04:40 pm (UTC)
jennygordon
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:41 am (UTC)
oops - forgot to sign - feel free to delete my previous comment and replace with this one. I'm off to find a braincell now ...

Groan - author bios. Pretty much up there with those Writing Resumes some agents request - I still don't know how to tackle those properly. I have a number of bios, none of which I'm particularly enamoured of, though for my blog, I stuck with the simple:

"I write fiction with a pinch of magic. My short stories have appeared in The New Writer and Scheherazade magazines, and have won some prizes along the way."

Yours makes me laugh way more though :o)
jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
Whadda-you know? I got it right, it was you :)
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jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)
Lol, good one, Irene :)
ex_naomi_ja
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC)
I felt ridiculous writing my own bio, and I think that is reflected in it:

Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. Her short fiction has appeared in ezines from Midnight Times to Dark Fire Fiction. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she's not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once.

http://www.naomiclark.net/biography.html
asakiyume
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:34 am (UTC)
Mmm, vodka!
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mongrelheart
Oct. 4th, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)
I love your last line about switching the computer on ;-D

My bio is boring, but here it is:

* * *

An avid reader since childhood, I was introduced to science fiction when my parents gave me Asimov’s The Caves of Steel and The Gods Themselves. Science fiction remains the genre that speaks to me most strongly. My writing has also been influenced by my “overseas” upbringing, and by my longtime participation in punk and underground music and culture.

I was born in Washington, DC, USA and spent my childhood in Korea, the Phillipines, and Taiwan. When my father retired from the U.S. Foreign Service, we returned to his home state of Hawaii, where I completed high school. Since then, I’ve lived in Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin. I now reside in Chicago with my spouse and two cats. When I’m not writing, I can be found playing drums with my band, 97-SHIKI.

http://www.kamoi-lee.com
jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC)
Playing drums in a band is never boring :P

Have you tried seeing how the bio looks when you make it read as if someone's talking about you?
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karen_w_newton
Oct. 4th, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC)
Ah, the author bio! The only task that can make writing a synopsis seem like fun.

Mine is here. I tried to keep it brief, but I did mention my agent. She has no website of her own, and I find I get occasional Google hits from folks looking for her name.
jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
Nice one, Karen. Why don't you cut & paste it here so folks don't have to click to find it? Afterwards, you might tell Susan Gleason to get her own website so folks don't pester you for informationabout her ;)
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bogwitch64
Oct. 4th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC)
Like you, I use levity to make sure no one can make the mistake of thinking I take myself too seriously:

Terri-Lynne DeFino (alias, Bogwitch64) lives quietly in rural New England with her cats, kids, and husband despite her delusions of being Empress of the Northern Hemisphere. In sane moments. she is a writer, mother, cat-wrangler, sparklequeen, and occasional laundress. Her debut novel, Finder, is scheduled for release on November 12, 2010 from Hadley Rille Books. You can find her here: http://bogwitch64.livejournal.com/

jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
Excellent! I especially like the sparklequeen part :)

Have you decided whether or not to make PhilCon yet? I wants my signed copy of Finder I does!
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celestialgldfsh
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
I also try to work some humor into my bio. So many biographies feel stiff and uncreative, which seems to miss the point of being a fiction writer. I recently wrote up a new, longer bio for the Mountain Magic anthology that can be found over here:

http://www.readmountainmagic.com/bios.html

Beth Cato is an associate member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Her stories can be found in The Pedestal Magazine, Crossed Genres, Every Day Fiction, and Niteblade, while her nonfiction appears in WOW! Women on Writing and several Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Beth is originally from Hanford, California, but now resides in Buckeye, Arizona, with her husband and son. Despite how often her husband's co-workers beg, she will not quit writing to bake cookies all day long. Information regarding current projects can always be found at http://www.bethcato.com. Sometimes those projects do include cookies.
jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
You can't go wrong with cookies - except the internet kind, of course :)
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jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'd feel a lot happier if it wasn't a true story :(
serge_lj
Oct. 4th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
"This socially inept man must have done something right, based on the quality and number of his female friends."

Edited at 2010-10-04 08:27 pm (UTC)
jongibbs
Oct. 4th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
Lol, good one :)
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Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

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