Hello. I have no idea who you are, and I’m not who you think I am. Have a nice day.
I spent much of today working on an extended bio. Because I need one. Because I’ve written everything else, the abbreviated synopsis, two page synopsis, query letter, and, oh yeah, the novel, but I haven’t written an extended bio. It’s hard. No joke.
I have no idea what to put in there. What best represents me? It’s like speed dating…with agents.
“Hi, I’m Mercedes, I love dark blue, moonlight, and I hate crudity. I’m frightened by clowns, ladders, the emotionally fragile and I’m allergic to…” DING!! “Okay, gotta go! Next!”
We’ve lightly hit on the subject of profile pics, and how they visually convey something about you. You’d think that, being writers, using words would be easy. It isn’t.
We’re too multi-faceted. Do I write strictly about being a writer? That isn’t all that I am. Do I write that if I could do anything in the world, I’d curl up on a sunny piece of carpet and snooze? I used to collect carousel horses. Then I collected gargoyles. Now I collect dust bunnies, but only inadvertently.
The thing about presenting yourself to somebody is that you’re most likely going to do it wrong. That’s not you. This isn’t what you think. Somebody interprets your work and they were so far from what you were going for that it isn’t even funny. As authors, we’re in the business of pimping ourselves out. If we’re lucky, we find somebody else to pimp us out. Some of us work hard at crafting “the image” and some of us don’t care. We take pains to not sound like complete idiots, or we scatter ourselves across the Internet willy-nilly, dignity be darned.
I don’t remember it being this way before. An author wrote a book, you wondered what that author was like, and if you were truly a fan, you’d write a letter, painstakingly print the address to their fanclub, and send it careening off into the universe. Now you just hop over to their blog and find out that their puppies have food poisoning.
In a way, I like it. (The blogs, not poisoned puppies. Focus, people!) I like the accessibility. I like that you can email people that you’ve secretly been admiring, and they’ll even answer back sometimes. But on the other hand, they’ve lost their mystery. It’s the proverbial two-edged sword, I suppose. I want to know you and I want you to be mysterious.
Yeah. Good luck with that.