An agent asked that I include a bio as part of the manuscript package I’m sending in. That’s right. Zippidy-doo-dah, I’m sending in something, something requested! But a bio?
More specifically, my bio?
Uh-huh. I thought it was pretty strange too. I mean, who am I to rate a bio? For about 90 seconds, there was part of me that wanted to hunt down respected biographer A. E. Hotchner (author of King of the Hill, one of my favourite books). He wrote the biographies of Hemingway, Sophia Loren, and Doris Day. I figured, since I’m built like Sophia, have the looks of Doris and write nothing like ol’ Ernest (although I have been to a bull fight in Spain and past his old place on North Dearborn in Chicago), maybe Mr Hotchner (Co-founder of Newman’s Own with Paul) wouldn’t mind penning my bio as well.
Then my brain started working again.
Writing a bio for yourself is tricky. Excuse me, I should say writing an autobio is tricky because it’s something you use to sell yourself.
Did you hear that?
Yeah, you did. I know you did. I’m humming it out loud. It’s Donna Summer singin’ about bad girls and me.
Yes. I’m back to the Private dancer, a dancer for money train of thought. I had to write this brief autobio to sell myself. And I’m not even going to get paid. Of course, financial gain is not the point. Publication is the payoff here, but I still can’t help feeling like a hooker on hanging out on the corner waiting to get picked up by a John. Only this lacks a seediness and precludes all possibility of picking up a nasty sexually transmitted disease. The only clap I want out of this job is applause.
So back to the bio. After the I was born in the deep south just after the war of Northern aggression bit, what do I include as writing experience? Do I say I was on an editor’s desk for a month short of a year before said Ed passed on my manuscript? Or does that make me a loser? Should I mention how I was the managing editor of my high school newspaper, or that I have a Masters in Creative writing, or how I pen this here Oldbitey over at LJ? Is it proper to mention how I sang with Glenn Tilbrook and that I plan to again?
All right. I know that last bit won’t interest anyone but me and Glenn–and I’m sure he’s not quite aware of my master plan for him. Yet.
But I digress.
Who’s going to see this bio? I like to know my audience. I like to have things all wrapped up in a nice little package and something tells me I may have to bring in a talent like Mr Hotchner to beef up my cred and write a me really sunny Doris Day-Sophia Loren style bio with a Hemingway simplicity.
Nod if you agree.