Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It Came Naturally

It's one thing to ramble on your blog about yourself sharing the weird minutia flying around in your brain, and completely another to write a bio for your book.  So I'm realizing.

Suddenly a short two paragraphs describing myself feel like a bubble of gloom about to pop over my head.  How can I convey my need to write, my love of words, my sense of humor, a little capsule image of who I am?  How do I do that right?  I certainly don't want to bore people so that they go cross-eyed and begin to think eating a carton of rocky road ice-cream while screaming out the car window on an all-night drive to the insane asylum doesn't sound too bad.  I've been there.  (Not to the insane asylum, nor have I screamed out the car window all night.  Come to think of it, I've never eaten an entire carton of ice cream in one sitting either.  So I haven't been there.  Note the italics, that's a key clue.)  I've read that bio.  It basically goes like this:

Harry Author writes books of scary horror while working in an accounting firm by day.  He has awards for his last three novels The First Novel of Harry Author, The Second Novel of Harry Author and The Third Novel of Harry Author, which include The Super Awesome Writer's Award, The Novelist's Choice for Most Interestingly Boring Author Award...

and right about word 12 of that bio my finger twitches, one of my eyes starts wiggling and twenty hairs just behind my left ear tingle.  Then I turn the page and think, "Jeez, I hope the book isn't like that."

I know what I want to read when I read an author bio.  I want funny, I want personal, I want quirky.  I want to know who the person behind the text is and I'd like to be entertained by it.  Let's face it, for the most part, if I'm reading, I'm doing it for entertainment's sake.  I don't have a litmus test for authors in order to read their book.  I don't particularly care if they've won awards or written the definitive works on soil contamination under the paws of brindle boxers.  I don't think authors who have finished university degrees in English, literature, English literature, or any other degree are going to write something magnitudes better than someone who hasn't.  If you're a story-teller, you are what you are.

-----Please note:  I am not disparaging having a degree in English, literature or English literature or any other subject.  A degree of any kind impresses me, truly it does.  I am not disparaging having awards.  I hope to have some awards myself someday.  I mean, it'd be nice.  I'm just saying, give it to me with some fun.  Add some damn unicorns dancing on rainbow covered clouds.  Something other than a comma delimited list dryer than uncooked oatmeal.  It's not enough.--------

I'd like to make my bio what I would want to read, but I also want to look professional.  So as I sit here contemplating myself, the natural answer came to me.  Blog.


from board: Week of September 2, 2013

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