Let’s talk about bios, shall we?

I’m excited to announce that another collaborative anthology is coming out. Yay! It is called “The Puzzlebox” and it’s being published by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing in August 2013.

However, we’re putting together the website for the book, and I’m having a hard time deciding what should be included in my bio.

I always have a hard time with my bio, to be honest.  Since it’s for my writing, I know to include writing stuff. But what about the rest? Do I talk about my kids? What else I do? The life I lead? The causes I support?

I did a little research, just to see how writers I respect have handled this.

Chuck Palahniuk

Robert J Sawyer

Christopher Moore

Janet Evanovich

Huh. As many different bios as people. Robert J. Sawyer’s is chock-a-block full of information about his professional life. Christopher Moore’s is seriously short and to the point–but directs you to an FAQ section that gives you more. Janet Evanovich’s is quite personal. She lets us into her life, and through her life, we learn about her writing career. Chuck Palahniuk’s bio was written by someone else–but it follows a simliar pattern to Evanovitch’s.

So, which is the “right way” to do this? Or is there a right way?

More research was needed. I googled “How to write a biography” and picked the top hit. (Yep. THAT’S the way I research.)

This is it. Written by Pete Kistler, on the Brand Yourself Blog.  He suggests writing a small medium and large bio to use in different situations, making certain that you are clear about who you are, what you do, and how people can contact you. All right, makes some sense, but it didn’t look like any of the authors I researched used this method. (except Moore, who then threw in the FAQ section.)

Also,  it feels a bit–should I say it out loud?–dull. If I write a 250 word bio that just gives my name, job, high points in my career and contact info, doesn’t that cut out a chance to introduce people to my writing style as well?

I dug a bit deeper, and found this.  Same blog, written by  Meg Guiseppi. She suggests using narrative to make your bio pop. She also says “Everyone loves a good story.”

Ah. Telling a good story. That feels “righter” to me.

So, I’m going to use the suggestions in Meg’s blog to write my biography. I think I’ll do a longer one, and put it on my “About Me” section of this blog–and I’ll do a short version for the “Puzzlebox” website. (I’m not the only writer in the anthology, so I better leave some space for the others!)

I’ll post it next week. If you want to give me some feedback, please feel free. And if you have suggestions on what should go into a biography, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.