I am preparing to query my novel and have a quick question for you about author bios.
A few agents go so far as to ask queriers to justify why they are qualified to write their novel. You've already answered this question in another post (in short, I'm qualified to write it because it's my novel!). I was both relieved and amused by your response and your usual down to earth common sense.
But even if agents are simply asking for a basic author bio, I wonder about what is helpful to include. In my case, the MC of my novel is a teenage girl who has been abandoned by her parents to live in a home for at-risk youth.
When I was thirteen I lived in a girls' shelter. While I did not experience the same degree of abuse and peril my MC is faced with, I certainly did glean a pretty personal understanding of what life in an institution is like for a teenager.
Because my book is set in this milieu, is it relevant to mention my own history (briefly and succinctly of course) in my bio? Is this information worth including? Would it mean anything to an agent?
It's certainly not out of place to mention you have some experience in the world your protagonist inhabits. For some agents that's a valuable thing. Me, I don't care. Make it all up, but just get the details right.
You've hit exactly the right spot knowing you need to be brief and succinct. What irks me is when someone starts their query with what they think is relevant info and go on and on and on.
You've got 250 words to entice me to read the story. Get that part done first. If you've got words to spare, mention your experiences that influenced the writing of the book. More than having lived in a girls home, I'm interested in what drew you to tell this story.