Author Bios: What do you like to know?

Last night at conferences, Middle Son gave us a beautifully illustrated idea of how he sees his parents.

In his father, he sees a love for his family, his car and hunting.  In Middle’s mind, both his parents like blue skies.  Me, I like gum, my computer and my family, including one of our hunting labs.  (Notice which one is missing?)

Wonder what his teacher thinks of these parent quirks.  Bullets flying, fast cars and computer keys.  We sound a bit…odd.  Especially the gum part.  Which, incidentally, is one of the things I associate most strongly with my own mother.  Cinnamon Trident.

I’m currently working on my author bio for a short story anthology.  As yet, I’m not quite sure what to say.

How about you, dear readers?  What kinds of things do you like to know about the authors you read?  Do you love the professional deets only, or do you prefer a bit of personal quirk in your author blurb?  Have you ever tracked down an author’s blog, website or other published works because of their author bio?  Or, do you skip reading these altogether? 

Do you like knowing how a story came about or what the author is working on next? 

You tell me, because curious minds really need to know.

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18 responses to “Author Bios: What do you like to know?

  1. I like to know an author’s travels like; places you’ve been, places you want to go and places you just like to dream about. I guess I am weird like that.

    • Very interesting and not weird at all. I personally like personal bios where I get a peek at the person behind the writing. Travel experiences would definitely be one of those personal and telling things.

      Thanks so much for weighing in!

  2. Personal quirks, PLEASE! The things that Google searches wouldn’t turn up (because if I really cared where my favorite authors lived or went to school, I could surely find out)–I’d get a grin from knowing that Trident and hunting dogs are part of family life, and that Middle Son sees mom the way he does… You could skip the bio and just include Middle’s picture… 😉

    • LOL! It is quite charming, isn’t it? But it did get me thinking very seriously about this topic. I love reading author bios and, like you, the ones I enjoy the most are the ones that have a little piece of the writer in them beyond stark facts.

      Thanks for the great input.

  3. I do love to know the personal tidbits….a little about where the authors live, what their writing day looks like, etc.

    I do author interviews on some of my blogs, and I really enjoy delving into these kinds of details.

    • Great commentary. Little things help us connect in ways that stark facts can’t. Yet I know that some readers and some writers also want a distance between them.

      Thanks for the insight.

  4. Go with quirky, by all means. And yes, I’ve checked out blogs (and added them to my reader) based on their bio. Good luck with yours.

    • LOL, quirky is definitely something I’m drawn to. Maybe it’s why I love your characters so much. They have so much personality that literally pops off the page.

      Thanks for the vote.

  5. I’m rarely interested in personal details. They’re none of my business, in the first place, and they’re irrelevant to the book or books, in the second place. Same reason I hardly ever read author interviews. Unless I can learn something about writing from an interview, it has nothing of interest to say to me. Their stories of how long they’ve been writing, how they came to write *this* book, who their influences are, etc.–are no more interesting than reading a gossip magazine. Yes, that makes me pretty useless for someone about to write their author’s bio.

    • Love it, Catana. Everyone is so different, which is why I asked in the first place. I love hearing all the different perspectives and can fully understand and appreciate each one.

      PS. I don’t like gossip rags either!

  6. I always seem to look for where an author hails from or something that sets them apart from the majority. I guess in the end I consider an author bio something that reminds us they’re human and not just a conglomerate of words. (Hugs) Indigo

  7. I like reading some details from an author’s life. Personal experiences as found in ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. So many similarities in life events and personality can turn up in bio info and those actually are encouraging in a way. It brings the author down to earth and off those carefully constructed imaginary pedestals we place them on.

    • Like this: “It brings the author down to earth and off those carefully constructed imaginary pedestals we place them on.”

      So much truth in those words. And yet, the success they find–the ability to persevere through the tiresome journey–is something to be admired. I think that’s why we like to see them as people. So we know we, too, have a chance to reach our dreams.

      Thanks for the great commentary.

  8. I’m not interested in how many dogs or cats an author has or any of that personal stuff. I don’t know why so many feel compelled to tell us. If it’s a book I like, I’ll want to know if they’ve written others. I like to know where they’re from and if they’re agented. That’s pretty much it.

    • Great input, Yvonne. I think finding an author or an author’s works is pretty high on the priority list. Readers want to know where they can get their hands on more of the work if they like it.

      Thanks for weighing in on a very personal taste topic!

  9. I like to find out where authors/illustrators are from, maybe where they went to school (esp. if they’re illustrators), and if they have pets. Oh, and I think if there are any tidbits about how they grew up and how that affected their writing/illustrating career.

    If they have additional book titles I like to see that, as well.

    • I love that: if they have pets. What a fun fact to know and one that is fairly impersonal while creating a quick connection point for many readers. Smart idea…

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