This question came up recently in one of the writing groups I’m honored to be a part of. One of the members asked: If I haven’t published anything yet, what do I write in my author biography? My response was: Make something up.
Don’t worry about whether or not you have any bragging rights to mention. Until you’re published, you are the product you’re marketing. If people like you, they’ll be more inclined to read your books/short stories/poems. And when you’re trying to gain an audience on your blog, an entertaining and engaging author biography could be just the ticket to get people to stick around and read what you have written.
Always remember, creating an author biography should be fun – so have fun with it. Start out with something long and then take your favorite highlights from it and shorten it. Remember – a lot of social media sites limit how many characters you can have in the “About Me” section.
Here’s an example of one of the longer author biographies I wrote:
A. Marie Silver was kidnapped by the Griswold family when she was five years old. Forced to join their disastrous quest to find an elusive theme park, she spent the better part of her childhood and early teens learning how to hide from Cousin Eddie, chase squirrels out of Christmas trees and navigate her way through European traffic circles.
After living in the backseat of the Griswold Family Truckster for 13 years and seeing the sights; such as Big Ben and Parliament, her captor’s finally figured out how to exit the traffic circle. It was then she made her escape.
Fleeing back to the United States she attended college in the Land of Enchantment where she majored in the art of eating enchiladas and burritos. Her final exam before graduation consisted of one question: Red or Green? Her answer: Either as long as they’re both flaming hot. She graduated with honors.
When asked to describe herself, A. Marie will tell you she’s a klutz, suffers from very public and extremely embarrassing brain farts, and she gets lost walking out to her mail box – a true talent on her part considering her mail box is located at the end of her driveway.
Frustrated with life’s mysteries, A. Marie spends her days avoiding reality by plunging into a world where psychics are well respected, Santa Claus exists, and poltergeists are neutered. Learn more about her and her misadventures at amariesilver.com or pilcrowdagger.com
I took my favorite parts of this biography and shortened it to this:
A. Marie Silver was kidnapped by the Griswold family when she was five years old and was forced to join their disastrous quest to find an elusive theme park. She spends her days avoiding reality by creating worlds where psychics are well respected, Santa Claus exists, and poltergeists are neutered. Learn more about her and her misadventures at amariesilver.com or pilcrowdagger.com.
I used this condensed version for a while but eventually switched it out with something different. That’s another fun part about author biographies – they shouldn’t stay the same forever. Keep things fresh and every so often, come up with something new.
Here’s an example of a more recent author biography I wrote:
A. Marie Silver has a three-year-old who growls for no particular reason, and a two-year-old who chews on the furniture. She spends her days wondering when her kids will figure out they’re human, writing letters to Ellen DeGeneres, and working on her novel. Learn more about her at amariesilver.com or pilcrowdagger.com.
The current author biography that I’m in the process of spreading around my social media accounts is this:
A. Marie Silver is a wife and mother of 2.5 kids (or three, depending on when you read this.) She spends her days writing letters to Ellen DeGeneres, conversing with her toaster, and editing Pilcrow & Dagger Literary Magazine. She can be cyberstalked at amariesilver.com and pilcrowdagger.com.
For more information on how to craft an author biography visit Kristen Lamb’s Blog. I also highly recommend her books: We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media , Rise of the Machines: Human Author’s in a Digital World, and Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer.
Pilcrow & Dagger is now accepting submissions for its April issue. Theme theme is “Dirty Little Secrets.” Have you ever killed someone? Had problems hiding the body? Had an affair? Cheated on your taxes? Robbed a bank? Tell us all about it! We want to know about the skeletons in your closet. The deadline for this issue is March 1, 2017.