Welcome Wednesday guests for July: Edith Maxwell 7/2, Kendel Lynn 7/9, Leslie Budewitz 7/16, Krista Davis 7/23, Janet Simpson 7/30.

Gloria Alden's latest publication is nonfiction. Boys Will Be Boys: The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys. Edited by Cher'ley Grogg was recently released and available on Amazon. Gloria wrote three essays and two poems in her chapter included in the book.

Congratulations to four of WWK’s bloggers whose books were released in the last two months. Look for Jim Jackson’s second Seamus McCree novel, Cabin Fever; Linda Rodriguez's new Skeet Bannion mystery, Every Hidden Fear; KM Rockwood's new Jesse Damon novel, Brothers in Crime; and Gloria Alden's third Catherine Jewell Mystery, Ladies of the Garden Club. All of the novels are available at bookstores in print and ebook.

Paula Gail Benson's short story "Confidence in the Family" is featured in the Mystery Times Ten 2013 anthology, which can be bought at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Times-2013-Linda-Browning/dp/0984203583/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1387240857&sr=8-2


Friday, July 25, 2014

Dear Ambitious

 Dear Ambitious,

Thanks for your questions about my blog on writing a 50-word bio.  It was first posted in 2012.  A link below will let anyone read the original blog.

I wrote it for people who had a story accepted for publication in an anthology and who wanted to know more about writing a short biography to accompany their story.  I’m happy to expand on what I wrote back then.

The first rule is there are no absolute rules.  As the author you can do anything you want to do.  On the other hand, some choices make it more likely you will get published and others make it less likely.

Generally, a request for a biography is a request for information about the author, not about the submission.  I’ve been an editor and a writing contest judge.  Nobody who sent information I did not want without information I asked for, got published or won a prize.  That was not from ignoring one of the directions.  In my experience, people who disregarded one guideline also ignored other instructions.  The combination eliminated their work from serious consideration.  As a judge and editor I always had more submissions than space to publish all of them.  Authors who eliminated themselves from consideration made my job easier. 

I don’t want to sound too negative.  As an editor, I was always excited to read well-written submissions from an author I had not worked with before. Editors are looking for work to include in their venues. 

As a writer, I understand your desire to give more information about your story.  I have often heard people at critique groups who wanted to talk about their work before handing out copies.  My response is always, “I don’t want to hear it.” We writers only have the words on the page to convey a story.  We don’t have music to prepare the mood.  We don’t have “freeze frames” to let the audience know who is important.  We don’t have actresses and actors who can say one thing while engaging in activities that contradict their words.  We only have words on the page.  The work stands alone.  By the way most attempts at non-standard language do not work. 

I think it’s great that you have more ideas about the setting and characters in your story.  If your story needs other information beyond what you have written, the information should be included in your story when you re-write it and your story, as is, is not yet ready to submit.  If your story is complete and you have additional information, you might be able to include the information in more stories with or without your main character.  Having a setting or character you know well is a tremendous asset for your career.

Ambitious, if you don’t have publications to refer to in a bio, you can give information about what you have done to prepare for a writing career.  Have you taken classes or attended workshops about writing?  Are you a member of a critique group or writing group like Sisters in Crime or Guppies?  Anything you’ve done with a school yearbook or newsletter would be worth mentioning.  If you haven’t done those things, you might consider starting one or more.  I like your ambition and determination. I believe a publisher would too.

I hope that’s helpful.