Monday, September 24, 2012

What do you want in a bio?

We're discussing bios on a Facebook group I'm in "Where Writers and Authors Meet."  It's been kind of interesting the variety of opinion. 

Some folks are of the "do it like the big wigs" camp:  Author writes x, y, and z, and lives in CITY with a cat.

Some sugest more background:  hobbies, family, inspirations, etc.

Others suggest something more professional:  awards, other books, professions, etc.

Personally, I'm somewhere between the first and last camp.  I don't think anyone cares about my family situation (unless it pertains to the book), and I don't think I'm especially interesting.  Anyway, I want you to love my characters, not me.  I'm the channel of communication between them an you.  However, I do default to "common wisdom" by tossing in a few things about myself.

Of course, writing a book bio is different, IMHO, than a general bio for a website.  In a way, they are easier.  I want to mostly focus on stuff that relates to the book, so in my Neeta Lyffe bios, I think funny and zombies. 

Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem) and a Global eBook Award for Best Horror (Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator), Karina Fabian’s writing takes quirky twists that keep her--and her fans--amused. Nuns working in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, zombie exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars online. 

For Why God Matters, I thought faith-filled and family.

Karina Lumbert Fabian was born into the Catholic faith, but truly grew to love it as an adult. As a busy mother of four, she finds some of her strongest encounters with God's love happen in the ordinary events of the day-to-day. Karina started her writing career with diocesan newspapers but has settled into writing fun-filled fantasy and science fiction that nonetheless incorporates the principles of faith-filled living.
For the website, however, I had to find a way to combine all my loves and quirks.

Karina Fabian breathes fire, battles zombies with chainsaws and window cleaner, travels to the edge of the solar system to recover alien artifacts, and has been driven insane by psychic abilities. It’s what makes being an author such fun. She won the 2010 INDIE Award for best fantasy for Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (her first DragonEye, PI novel) and the Global E-Book Award for best horror for Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator. She’s an active member of Broad Universe and the Catholic Writers’ Guild, and teaches writing and marketing online. When not writing, she enjoys her family and swings a sword around in haidong gumbdo.

But I have to tell you:  every time I have to write a new bio, I wonder "Does it really matter?"  So I ask you, do you read bios?  If so, what do you like to see?


Anonymous said...

I look at a bio to find out why someone wanted to write this particular book. Sometimes the most interesting books are written by people who don't necessarily have a background in that subject but who have thought about it and have something to contribute. Yes, I also look for credentials and sometimes a bit of the style they use to present themselves. It may say something about how they write.

Alexander Foxx said...

I don't use to read a BIO, if I don't know an author I prefere to found him/her in Facebook and ask for friendship, I think it is the better way to share emotions and knowledge with an author.
This is why I like Fabian world, for the stories (I prefere SF ones, and you know it) and for the personal issues; this is where a reader find there is something in common with an author which is automatically converted in his favourite - or one of them.