Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wonky Web

Oh, what a strange thing this Multiple Personality thing is…

See… I know most of you find it hard to believe, but by day I am a respectable statistician, doing research about people’s quality of life. There are few who would suspect the statuesque number geek of running a Naked World Domination Plan.

[Hey, look what happens when you look for Naked World Domination Tour on Google Images! Cake Wrecks is a fun blog… and this world tour DOES appear to feature a naked carrot rider… can hardly argue with that…]

There are equally few who would suspect the Naked Chick really grooves on something called Covariance Structure Modeling and gets excited by something called MODERATING (though to be perfectly honest, I really prefer mediation).

And then there is this precarious line of the aspiring author, drawing on expertise wherever she can find it. That is the one who is feeling a strange melding of worlds today and wondering if she can survive the dual force of gravity.

Let me e’splain.

As regular readers know… I’ve been polishing away, and CONFLUENCE is looking hot. I’m very happy, other than the brain blip I apparently had in chapter 30 where my chronology got messed up with that last shortening spurt, but it will be fixed by the end of the week… no worries.

And you also know my plan to query early this month—if I got nibbles… all good, if not… Amazon…

Well here is the FANTASTIC news: in fewer than 18 hours I got an email saying ‘I’d be delighted to review, please send…” or thereabouts… I nearly soiled my armor I was so excited, though that would make the printing of pages and such messy, so I managed to calm down enough to POST A FACEBOOK STATUS… okay, so I’m easily sidetracked… but THEN, I started pulling things together… 75 pages—not a problem, heck, all but the last 30 are READY. Synopsis deserved a read through, but wasn’t as bad as I’d feared—at least the one-pager wasn’t, so I went with that… it said ‘short’… Author bio…

Holy crap! You mean “I publish scientifically but this is my first effort at commercial fiction’ isn’t a bio?

Do I send a resume? Seems overkill when most of my jobs aren’t relevant… but SAY… some of them make me INTERESTING! And I SHOULD include stuff that makes me better at story telling in some way, which ALL OF IT does… but most of it would require a paragraph explaining HOW, so that is probably overkill.

Anyway. I gave it a shot. One page. I included the three most recent scientific references with a note I’d send the full list if she wanted it. I put current job with a little info, and just the type for a few more. I included reference to the places I am on the internet, mostly because it is probably good or bad, depending on perspective, and people who see it as good will credit me, and people who would see it as bad would get mad later if not previously disclosed… I guess… Like I said… totally a shot in the dark as to what was appropriate.

When I went to print my labels to take the stack to the post office, I realized I was sending this to Portland, so I’m hoping THAT is a very good omen. (and it leans me a little toward being comfortable being both naked AND a geek—Portland has a lot of naked geeks and they are the BEST kind of people).

For future reference though, if anyone has a good reference for what should and should not go in the author bio... I'd love to know what I SHOULD have done...


Leanne said...

Personally, I love how the jacket-flap author bio has gotten much more fun in the past few years - "So-and-so lives in western Wyoming with her husband, 4 sons, and a lot of nervous sheep", or "When not writing, Whatshisface enjoys spending time with his children, his ice cream, and his anaconda". Stuff like that. :-)

Props for the Cake Wrecks pic! I went to one stop on that tour. :-)

Watery Tart said...

So my book cover can read, 'Hart plots naked in her bathtub when she isn't number crunching or coordinating in her World Domination Plans'?

Stacy Post said...

I've recently mulled over the author bio as well. From what I've gathered, here's a list of things the bio should include:

1. write about yourself in third person
2. write true facts about self
3. cite relevant experiences to the work you're submitting
4. List credits, if you have any

I've debated the funny, quirky bio versus the formal one and have found a happy medium after much tweaking.

All the sources I found said you should have three different bio lengths ready to go: 50 words, 100 words and a 300 words.

Best of luck writing your bio! I enjoy reading your blog!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I've suffered with my author bios! All the other writers have more interesting stuff to put down than I do.

When I was querying, my bio mentioned articles I'd published when I was a journalist, organizations I belonged to (Sisters in Crime, etc.), and...I think that was about it. Oh, I think I mentioned a writers' conference I'd attended. It was about 3 sentences long..one of the paragraphs on my query or cover letter. I did also mention other authors who'd influenced me.

Now my bio is still pretty short. I've written a humorous bio to make up for the fact and because I write humorous books. I'll have more stuff to add to it soon.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Jan Morrison said...

I'd go for short, light if not out and out funny and only what applies to the novel. Being a statatician might - not sure...being a geek if you can put it the right way is not a bad idea. I'm not sure about naked world domination but then hey!

Watery Tart said...

Thank you! All very helpful. Mine looks more resume-ish at the moment, but it is reassuring to know I can add some voice to how I put things and the various lengths to have ready--I've GOT the 50 (well, or more like 30)--that is what I use in my queries, but good to know a medium and a longer can be helpful!

Leanne said...

"So my book cover can read, 'Hart plots naked in her bathtub when she isn't number crunching or coordinating in her World Domination Plans'?"

Hell yeah! Take a look at the flaps of anything Sam's been reading lately... you'll see. ;-) Did he get Heck yet?