Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Dreaded Bio

Here I am, bashing my brains out over what to say in my latest author's bio, delaying beyond all measure of sense or practicality. After all, it's just a bio. Who reads those things, anyway?

Well, this one just happens to be special. I've been published at a lot of great websites like Aphelion, Allegory, Moon Drenched Fables, Golden Visions Magazine, and others. I've been published in a lot of great print editions too, like War of the Worlds: Frontline, Realms Magazine, DemonMinds, and others. But this publication is different. This is my first professional publication.

What dictates semi-pro from professional? The biggest difference seems to be the pay-rate. Semi-pro pays a token amount like $10 a story or something, regardless of length. Sometimes they'll pay something like one cent per word or so. But this time, I'm being paid a whopping .05 cents per word.

That might not seem like a lot to those who aren't writers. To me, it's all the money in the world. It's the most money I'll have ever received for my writing, beating out the poetry contest I won at my college which garnered me $100 bucks. With all seriousness, I'm ecstatic about making that much money for my brain child.

So that's why it's important for me to take another look at my author bio, something I'd previously spent almost no time thinking about. That's what agents are for, right? Only my part-time agent and full-time girlfriend is cleaning the apartment right now and can't be bothered. This is all I've got so far.

Kris is a 23 year old English major currently attending the University of North Florida. Though balancing grades and writing is sometimes difficult, his award-winning fiction and poetry has appeared at dozens of websites, books and journals.

Rather pathetic, don't you think? I thought maybe I could look at the back flap of some books for inspiration. It just so happened the first one I picked off my shelf was Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Here's his bio.

Stieg Larsson, who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscript for this and two subsequent novels.

How the hell am I supposed to compete with that? How can anyone compete with that? Maybe if my bio went something like this.

Kris Knapp battled Nazi forces across the Western front while simultaneously writing his badass fiction. Rumor has it the Indiana Jones films were based entirely on his exploits.

Even that seems drab and inadequate compared to Larsson's.

Ach, well.

If anyone actually reads this, I'll be trying to post more frequently about my exploits.


  1. I hate writing author bios too. I just try to stick with the quirkiest details about myself, without outright lying. I was sort of amazed to realize that most writers out there probably write their own third-person bios, and all these years I thought there was this shadowy bio-writing service.

  2. Maybe the bigger name authors have agents to write the bio. Isn't it awkward though? Gosh. A bio-writing service would be handy. But if one existed, then I'd just be fretting over what the service would say about me.

    "Kris is a student deluding himself into thinking he has a modicum of talent. His writing sucks, he's unattractive, and has no friends."