This was a writing exercise I put together for the writers at Write Club and we had a lot of fun with it.
Pretend you’re writing the author bio for your first novel! You’ll find these in every book and it’s a little known fact that, although the bio is written in the 3rd person, the writer usually has to write it themselves. It can be serious or not so serious. Naturally, I like the funny ones best and I’ve included some of my favourite examples below. Terry Pratchett is the KING of this.
(If you do this, please send me it, I’d love to read them!)
- Write in the third person
- Be as brief as possible (70 words or less)
- Don’t be afraid to talk yourself up
- Explain what you do (eg what genre you write, what you’re currently working on)
- Any publications/prizes (anywhere you’ve been published, eg school newspaper, blog etc)
- Include where you live/come from, your age, who you live with
- Your hobbies/quirky facts about you
- What you’re studying/where you work (especially if it relates to your writing)
- Doug Naylor was born in Manchester and educated at Chetham’s Hospital School of Music, where he learnt to play ‘Three Blind Mice’ on the recorder without sheet music or a conductor. Thrown out of Liverpool University in the mid-seventies for drinking too slowly, he became a prawn-and-cockle salesman for twelve months until he could afford to get a dead-end job and concentrate on writing. His hobbies include reading, philosophy, shouting abuse at Merchant-Ivory films and not smelling of fish. He has never paid tax.
- John Scalzi writes books, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. He’s best known for writing science fiction, including the New York Times bestseller Redshirts, which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to astronomy to film, was the Creative Consultant for the Stargate: Universe television series. He enjoys pie, as should all right thinking people. You can get to his blog by typing the word “Whatever” into Google. No, seriously, try it.
- Michael Siemsen is the USA Today Bestselling author of 6 novels, including The Dig, A Warm Place to Call Home (a demon’s story), and Exigency. He lives in Northern California with “the wife,” “the kids,” “the dog,” “that cat,” and he occasionally wears pants. His latest release, RETURN, is the third book in his #1 bestselling Matt Turner series.
- Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He was a bookseller before shifting to children’s publishing where he worked at a literary development company, a creative writing website for teens, and as a book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. He lives in New York City and is tall for no reason. MORE HAPPY THAN NOT is his debut novel.
- New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox writes sweet, fun, action-packed mysteries. Her characters are clever and fearless, but in real life, Angie is afraid of basements, bees, and going up stairs when it is dark behind her. Let’s face it. Angie wouldn’t last five minutes in one of her books. Angie is best known for her Southern Ghost Hunter mysteries and for her Accidental Demon Slayer books. Visit her at angiefox.com
- Lemony Snicket was born in a small town where the inhabitants were suspicious and prone to riot. He now lives in the city. During his spare time he gathers evidence and is considered something of an expert by leading authorities.
- Dave Rudden enjoys cats, adventure and being cruel to fictional children. This is his first novel.
- Neil Gaiman is the author of over thirty acclaimed books and graphic novels. He has received many literary honours. Born and raised in England, he presently lives in New England and dreams of endless libraries.
- Terry Pratchett is, on average, a sort of youngish middle-aged. He lives in Somerset with his wife and daughter, and long ago chose journalism as a career because it was indoor work with no heavy lifting. Beyond that he positively refuses to be drawn. People never read these biographies anyway, do they? They want to get on with the book, not wade through masses of prose designed to suggest that the author is really a very interesting person.
- Terry Pratchett was born in 1948 and still is not dead. He started work as a journalist one day in 1965 and saw his first corpse three hours later, work experience meaningsomething in those days. After doing just about every job it’s possible to do in provincial journalism, except of course covering Saturday afternoon football, he joined the Central Electricity Generating Board and became press officer for four nuclear power stations. He’d write a book about his experiences if he thought anyone would believe it. All this came to an end in 1987 when it became obvious that the Discworld series was much more enjoyable than real work. Since then the books have reached double figures and have a regular place in the bestseller lists. He also writes books for younger readers. Occasionally he gets accused of literature. Terry Pratchett lives in Wiltshire with his wife Lyn and daughter Rhianna. He says writing is the most fun anyone can have by themselves.
- Terry Pratchett lives in the West Country, where he tries to write books in between answering his mail. He lives in constant dread that someone will discover how enjoyable he finds writing, and stop him doing it. He thinks the world could use more orang-utans. The carnivorous plants in the greenhouse are still doing well.
- Terry Pratchett is fifty and lives behind a keyboard in Wiltshire, where he answers letters in a desperate attempt to find the time to write. He used to grow carnivorous plants, but now they’ve taken over the greenhouse and he avoids going in. He feels it may be time to get a life, since apparently they’re terrible useful.
- Terry Pratchett is Britain’s bestselling living novelist. He lives behind a (very upmarket) keyboard in Wiltshire and says he doesn’t want to get a life because it feels like he’s already trying to lead three. He has had a new conservatory built for the carnivorous plants, because they deserved it.