Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Author bios

So, about that bio section of your query.

Here's a bio I came across today after following a link on twitter:

I have this love/hate relationship with tiny-town Texas [the setting for the novel]. Obviously I love it -- I grew up there, my family is there, my heart is there. My daddy. Sisters. Nieces. My friends. I know that place like I know my own bed.


I don't live there. I can't. I'm a pink-haired, tattooed, opinionated lesbian that refuses to apologize for being who I am. It's impossible to go home without making the people that live there incredibly uncomfortable and, unfortunately, that can lead to violence. I'll never be able to go home again. I know that.

It's brutally honest without being self-pitying.  It's GREAT writing.  It's utterly compelling.

This is a bio that even without the description of the book would make me want to read pages.

Of course, come to find out the book isn't finished, or sold, or published so I'm going to have to do one thing I don't do well at ALL: wait.

I'm pretty sure this will be worth it.

(Trust Kari Dell to find a great way to torment her agent!)


Patty Blount said...

That is the bravest and saddest thing ever.

Katie New said...

Inspires me to rewrite my bio. It shows in an instant this writer has depths and her characters will have depth.

Katie New said...

depth not depths...darn keyboard ;-)

Deborah J. Ross said...

I'm with you in wanting to read more. That's a story in itself.

Brenda Buchanan said...

Wow. Such slear-eyed writing.

Her toughness and resilience is admirable, but what really impresses me is that she's obviously worked through the trauma (and it is trauma, when you aren't welcome at home because of who you are) visited upon her. Because of that undoubtedly hard work, her experience growing up in an intolerant place will fuel her writing career, not sidetrack it.

Brenda Buchanan said...

That would be "clear-eyed". I had something in my eye when I wrote that, obviously.

Brenda B.

Huntress said...

Not 'self-pitying'?

Maybe it's my subjective-self coming out of the woodwork, but this sounds a like a whiny, poor-little-me coward. Guess it's in the eye of the beholder. Right?

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Suddenly I wish I had pink hair.

Michael Seese said...

That IS great. Unfortunately, I don't think I can credibly play the tortured lesbian card.

If I may boast, though it's not on par with this one, I think the ending of my bio -- "Other than that, I spend my spare time rasslin' with three young'uns" -- is kind of catchy.

ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) said...

I definitely agree it is a compelling bio for a book jacket (or similar), but would that sort of thing go in a query letter if it had no direct tie-in to the novel (besides the setting)?

The main character in one of my novels is an educator, as am I, but I figure it doesn't really give any credentials, so I usually skip the whole bio thing in the first place.

I'm merely curious simply because of the "query" mention - which I may be giving undue attention in this particular post. :D

Nancy Lee Badger said...

And silly me thought you were going to say this was off-putting, and NOT something someone should include in a bio. Then I realized this is what she sent to an agent, not the bio (I hope) that will appear at the end of a guest post on a blog. Will it? Should she share this with the public?

K. L. Hallam said...

It is sad, and brave, and many people's story. I know them well.

Genevieve Graham said...

I love this. Especially if the author has no previous publishing bio to share. Someone on here worried that it had nothing to do with the book being queried, but I say that makes no difference.

Be creative, use your voice, catch the agent's attention. That's the name of the querying game.