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View Full Version : My author's bio is either boring or insane.



Richard W. Fairbairn
08-13-2017, 02:38 PM
So far, my bio reads something like this:

Richard lives in a small coastal village in southeast Scotland. His writing is influenced by Tom Clancy, Robert Kirkman, Ray Bradbury and Ian Fleming. Richardís writing is characterized by uncompromisingly bold descriptions, edgy dialogue, and gritty action.


Richard started writing when he was ten years old. He served as a technical author for a major electronics corporation, publishing millions of user manuals for popular consumer products. At the moment Richard is employed as an I.T. specialist and consultant, serving small businesses in his local community.

It's kind of boring, so I thought I'd embellish it a little with some of the events from my life. But it is really difficult to decide what to keep and what to leave out. I decided to write all the exciting things that had happened to me down. Not many, but a few. One I liked was the time I accidentally pulled out in front of Sir Paul McCartney whilst driving home from the Sick Kids hospital with my son. I was considering including it as below:

Richard has befriended many celebrities, including the late Ronnie Corbett, who was particularly interested in his offbeat style of comedy, and the legendary Paul McCartney, who assisted Richard in a high speed errand of mercy during a dash to Edinburgh's Sick Children's hospital.

I should add that I also met the late Sir Ronnie Corbett whilst visiting a local chemist. He was NOT as pleased to see me as I described.

Seriously, any thoughts on bios? My career has been wide and varied. Nuclear welder, Glaswegian barman, technical author, software developer (created first ever Talking Dictionary for the blind). Forklift Driver (highest recorded test result in Scotland). So I have lots of mini claims to fame, but unsure what to include and what to leave out.

weekendwarrior
08-13-2017, 03:21 PM
I think embellishing it with some personal details is good but I would focus on things that any potential reader would think could colour or enhance your writing, i.e. being a nuclear welder is interesting because that makes me think you know more than the average person about that world. Showing that you've had a idiosyncratic career likely says you have good experience to pull on. Before Ann Leckie made it big with Ancillary Sword hers read a bit like that. So calling out the most extreme, strange or dangerous ones is good. I'd keep the others and the celebrity stories out, as I don't think that tells me much about what you might be as an author.

Fruitbat
08-13-2017, 07:55 PM
I often switch the bio up for each piece. A humorous bio would fit well with a humorous story, for example. A bio listing education and experience works with something more serious. It's also good imo to tailor the bio to fit with a major issue in the story in some way, if possible.

A pet peeve of mine is the very common "has been writing since he/she was twelve/ten/three years old" thing. It really gives no information and, to me, isn't interesting, since of course we all wrote as children. They made you do it in school, for one thing, and it's not an uncommon play activity for children, either. So to me, it comes across like the author is either bragging that they were some kind of child prodigy who could actually write publishable adult level work while still in elementary school, or that they don't understand the difference between a young child's activities and professional level writing.

Also just imho, I'd leave it at one paragraph. The punchline thing in its own paragraph strikes me a little too much emphasis on it. We should get that it's mildly funny without that.

Richard W. Fairbairn
08-15-2017, 07:40 PM
I went for this:

Richard Fairbairn is the author of Blacker, a dark sci-fi thriller based in Scotland. He is currently working on a sci-fi adventure novel, Beyond the Starport Adventure, and a graphic novel project, Four Seasons of Summer.

Richard has worked as a nuclear welder, a bartender in a Glasgow hotspot, a technical author, and a software development analyst. He lives in the south east of Scotland.

Melanii
08-15-2017, 09:02 PM
I'd say your bio is much more interesting than mine*, so I wouldn't say it's boring. I think it's how you word it. I like the example in your last post.

*Stephanie Kay is a storyteller, artist, and geek. She deals with mental illness and chronic pain on a daily basis. Although from Michigan, she currently resides in South Carolina with her boyfriend and ginger cat.

(See? You have nothing to worry about!)

gmwhitley
08-16-2017, 06:43 AM
I'd say your bio is much more interesting than mine*, so I wouldn't say it's boring. I think it's how you word it. I like the example in your last post.

*Stephanie Kay is a storyteller, artist, and geek. She deals with mental illness and chronic pain on a daily basis. Although from Michigan, she currently resides in South Carolina with her boyfriend and ginger cat.

(See? You have nothing to worry about!)

I reside in South Carolina too! I went back and forth on bio - my initial one was about what authors I like and not about me, my next one was like a summary of my resume, and my current one basically states where I live and my kids' middle names (which are all sci-fi names of some of my fave authors) so I figure that covers it?

Richard - I like all the job listings! Such an interesting background!

Richard W. Fairbairn
08-16-2017, 07:59 PM
Another small amendment. Added a bit about my current work with software for visually impaired people.

Richard Fairbairn is the author of Blacker, a dark sci-fi thriller based in Scotland. Richard has worked as a nuclear welder, a bartender in Glasgow, a technical author, and a software development analyst. Richard writes software for blind and visually impaired computer users. He now lives in the south east of Scotland.

Richard W. Fairbairn
08-16-2017, 08:35 PM
I like your bio. Not boring at all! I prefer the one on the blog though.

best wishes

Richard




I'd say your bio is much more interesting than mine*, so I wouldn't say it's boring. I think it's how you word it. I like the example in your last post.

*Stephanie Kay is a storyteller, artist, and geek. She deals with mental illness and chronic pain on a daily basis. Although from Michigan, she currently resides in South Carolina with her boyfriend and ginger cat.

(See? You have nothing to worry about!)