Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Bio. NOW what do I say?

Everyone who read last week's post will be glad to learn that I finished the edits in good time. Once I got into them, I remembered how much I liked the characters and it really wasn't that scary.

I'm almost ready to ship the edits back to Pill Hill Press, but I'm lacking something important: an author bio. I'm at a loss for words.

Now, let me make it clear that I've done bios for short stories. They're brief and often have pop culture references. I'd like to stick with brief, but I don't think I should make my usual confession that I wanted to grow up to be Kolchak, except smarter (the idiot hunted vampires alone at night). Wouldn't the Kolchak people try to sue me for that?

My bios are usually tailored to fit the story. For example, in my bio for Fish Tales, the SinC Guppies' first anthology, I mentioned that I had been born in Asheville, NC and had deep family roots there because my story was set in Asheville. I worked an NCIC terminal at my local police department for seven years, so I mention that in stories with central characters that work for the police.

My novel is about a lesbian vampire that moves into a gated community. What the hell do I do with that? I'm a lesbian who played Vampire: the Masquerade about ten years ago. Not quite the same thing. If I'd planned ahead for my writing career, I would have been born about ten years later with a higher metabolism. Then, I would have been young and thin enough to join one of the vampire cults. Instead, I was an old, boring nerd when that became the rage.

Sadly, I am more qualified to write about the New Ager the vampire dates for a while. I know quite a bit about astrology, crystals, and Tarot. When you meet my vampire, Cynthia, you will know why this is not a compliment. I am more qualified to write the science geeks she interacts with, after living in the engineering dorm at OSU and dating the people I gamed with. I'm also better equipped to write about the pettiness of bureaucrats, after years of working for the city, the University, and volunteering for my political party.

None of this boils down to the thumbnail sketch I'm hoping to create. I probably should mention the degree in journalism. It makes me sound like I've been trained in writing, at least. The rest is going to require more thought.

Any suggestions for useful things to include in a bio for someone who's written a vampire novel? And please, no 'blood bank employee' suggestions. I've studied dead languages... does that count?



Mark Souza said...

Sarah, I would keep it short and straightforward. Mention where you were born and raised, the region where you now live with your beautiful wife and Labradoodle (every author needs a Labradoodle), and where readers can find you and more of your work - your website.

It's getting more real everyday, isn't it.


Marian Allen said...

What Mark said. Seriously, it sounds like excellent advice.

Marian Allen

Sarah Glenn said...

No Labradoodle, but I amused my fellow Sisters in Crime once by mentioning a cat 'old enough to drive'.

Unfortunately, when he was old enough to VOTE, he passed away.

We'll see if Jessy thought my bio was too long.