Bio Shock

While perusing various sites, looking for people interested in reviewing Bravado/Dramatique, I happened upon a reviewer who offered tips on creating an author bio.  I read through the advice and saw she had the option of emailing her a bio for review.  Having come up with one I was fairly happy with, I submitted mine.  It was as follows:

All throughout his life, Steve Madden was asked if he was related to John Madden.  As a budding writer striving to make a name for himself, he would respond, “No, but someday people will ask John if he’s related to me.”

Later in life, people pointed out he shared his name with a shoe company.  He found this more acceptable, because while he doesn’t follow football, he often wears shoes.

He has since decided to make a name for himself by not actually using his name.

I came up with that bio after my earlier attempts to craft a serious one were met with total failure.  I had read somewhere that if you don’t have a lot of credentials in your favor, that going with humor, something that will stand out to potential readers, is the way to go.  That bio was my attempt at doing so, but when I received my return email, she was not so impressed.  She told me it wasn’t really funny and it came across more as name dropping than anything else, something her guide recommends against.  I was bummed, but I had to admit, she was right.  The bio said nothing of me as a writer, or even a person.  In fact, all it did was detail my disdain at sharing a last name with John Madden.

While moaning and groaning to my mom my need to write a new bio now that I knew for a fact my old one was junk, I joked we should each write one for another writer in our critique group.  She didn’t go for that, but we did decide to each write a bio for next Thursday and have the other writers help us with it.  Sounds good to me, except for the having to write it bit.  I hear it’s a valuable resource, something readers look to, but I don’t particularly see the value.  Case in point, I read the series A Song of Ice and Fire three times* before I realized George R.R. Martin isn’t British, and I didn’t get that information from his bio.  But if it’s something I must do, I shall get it done, even if I’d rather be writing about the people in my head than myself.

I’ll try to post some drafts leading up to Thursday if I come up with anything.  If any of you are willing to judge them accordingly, I’d be greatly obliged.  Then, when it’s finally all said and done, I can move on and look for a suitable author photo.


S.L. Madden

*Okay, I confess, I only read the first three books three times.  Book four and five, while good, never compelled me to go back and reread them.


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