As an actor and author, I have to write a lot of bios.
Some, like for kid’s shows, are super easy.
Megan is thrilled to be on stage again. Her favorite animal is the narwhal, and her favorite food is ice cream.
Then there’s normal show bios where you have like two-hundred words to sound impressive so you go for:
Megan is thrilled to be a part of shmanky schmoo production. Previous credits include: Blah, blah, blah, blah. Am I impressive yet? Blah, blah. Love to my husband.
But the real kicker is the author bio. Sometimes you have about one-hundred words, so all you can do is list your books and say who your agent is and you’re done.
But sometimes they want you to fill a whole page so the reader can really get to know you. This, my friends, is dangerous. It’s all about balancing honesty with interest.
I’m going to list my books, that’s a given. I’ll put in a tagline about my work as a playwright and lyricist. I’ll probably toss in a bit about being a professional performer because, for some reason, people think that’s super cool and glamorous. (I agree with the cool, but the glamorous is a lie performers like to keep up. Really we’re just sweaty messes wondering when our costumes can be washed and where the nearest ice pack is, but whatever. It’s nice to believe that fake eyelashes and sequins really do make us fancy.)
The problem is the outside interest portion. Some authors talk about their pets, but I don’t have any. I want a cat and really feel my life would be complete with a cat, but I travel for shows… so I can’t have one. My hobbies involve hiking (scrambling through the mud while in pain and hoping I can find my way to a hot shower before I freeze to death), and traveling (giving in to wanderlust and dragging my husband to foreign countries as often as my bank account allows).
But you can’t say the bracketed portion because it’s your author bio and you’re supposed to look professional and super cool so people might want to line up for your autograph at some point in the future.
So you moderate the insanity down to loving the outdoors and travel and hope you sound interesting without sounding weird and have it put in a book where it can’t be edited again but will be read by lots of people if they bother to turn past the last page of the story portion of the book, which they might not do anyway.
Megan is a blogger who loves ice cream, wine, and narwhals. She’s written a ton of books, and putting them all in a paragraph with even the briefest description will make your eyes glaze over. She can currently be found tap dancing on a dime and sweating in a penguin costume.
Megan has terrible wanderlust and a low self-preservation instinct. If she invites you to do anything, participate at your own risk.