Please help: The dreaded author bio (and blurb)

I have to write an author bio.  A real, grown-up, professional author bio.  I am approaching this with as much enthusiasm as tweaking my resume.  I should have written this when I was brand-new and not thinking about making myself sound appealing to an audience.  Now, I labor over every word wondering if it sounds silly.

My standard bio for Twitter, FB, and the blog is simple and silly:

Forever student, writer of F/F DD fiction, and troublemaker extraordinaire. I didn’t mean to do it. Honestly. It just happened.

For The Way Home, though, Kat and Natalie deserve better.  I wrote and re-wrote several versions for over an hour until I finally came up with:

Anastasia Vitsky holds an MA and BA in English and is conducting doctoral research on narrative structure and its implications.  She is the author of The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus.  She blogs at https://governingana.wordpress.com/.

I know.  Terrible, right?  It bores *me*.  I jokingly said to Celeste I’d clean her house for her if she wrote my bio, and this is what she sent me:

Anastasia Vitsky is a naughty girl with a wicked sense of humor. She writes F/F spanking stories because that’s what she likes. She’s an equal opportunity spanker. When she’s not writing about Kat and Natalie and their penchant for wooden spoons, she spends her time on Twitter and other intellectual pursuits.

Ha!  I love it!  Only…do I need professional-ish information, especially for a serious book?  Should I mention my love of Star Trek?  Should I mention that I love cooking, just like Kat?  Or…

What do you think?  Should I be serious or go with something funny?

Oh, and here is my prototype for the blurb.  Let me know what you think, please?

The Way Home

Natalie always wanted a little sister.  Kat didn’t know she was allowed to want anything…or anyone.

Kat, a shy farmgirl, arrives at her freshman dorm with a backpack, two suitcases, and her mother’s dying wish for Kat to attend college “at least until you get married”.  Her roommate Natalie, a confident and fun-loving social butterfly, has decided sight unseen that Kat will become her best friend for life.  Natalie teaches Kat about college life, academics, and friendship by taking Kat under her wing…and over her knee.

Then one night their lives fall apart, and for the rest of the decade Kat and Natalie struggle to find their way back to each other.  Their way home.

Warning: This book contains scenes of spanking in a domestic discipline relationship.

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37 thoughts on “Please help: The dreaded author bio (and blurb)

  1. Sunny Girl says:

    I like the blurb about Kat and Natalie.

    Your bio sounds so serious. Can you lighten it up a little. Maybe “she hails from wherever” and has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. She currently has several manuscripts awating publication. Mrs. Claus is her first published book”.

    Just my thoughts.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Hm…I like a bit of silliness, but I don’t want to come across as unprofessional. Maybe I don’t have to run to the other end of the spectrum, eh? 🙂 Thanks!

      Like

  2. Rollin says:

    You have hit on the two things that are, IMHO, the hardest to write. The stories are easy compared to the “blurb” and the author bio. I just rewrote my author bio and I still don’t like it. It’s much too stiff. It’s informational, but it’s not fun. Gotta lighten it up somehow. As the blurb—wow! How do you write something pithy that grabs a reader without giving away the story? Your blurb above is pretty good, but I try to avoid direct mention of spanking. I hint at it. Maybe after “under her wing” you say. “But Kat needs some self discipline to achieve her goals and Natalie discovers that perhaps some very traditional methods may have to be employed to help her achieve them.” It’s probably just me, but I like to keep the “reveal” hidden as long as possible.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Generally I find the blurbs fun to write. For this one I waited too long, and now I’m thinking of publication rather than just having fun writing it. Best of luck writing your blurbs and bio.

      Like

  3. Joan Defers (nsfw) says:

    Seems like you could do both, if you wanted.

    Anastasia Vitsky is a naughty girl with a wicked sense of humor. She’s an equal opportunity spanker who writes F/F spanking stories. When she’s not writing about Kat and Natalie and their penchant for wooden spoons, she spends her time doctoral research in (English Literature?) You can find her on Twitter or at https://governingana.wordpress.com.

    Like

  4. reneeroseauthor says:

    Yeah… I’ve been thinking about this too – the bio thing. I opted for the serious, but I think I’m the only spanking fiction writer who did. I definitely preferred Celeste’s version. Maybe she’ll write me one…

    Love the blurb. and I think I disagree with Rollin – the worst thing is for someone to buy the book who objects to spanking. It will also help with search engine stuff – if someone’s looking for a spanking book, they’ll find it.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Your bio is actually one that made me think I should do serious. It’s good to know that you like the fun one, too. I LOVE Celeste’s…I’m just afraid how much I’ll have to pay for it. 😀

      And yep, in this kind of writing a blurb should ALWAYS mention spanking. It’s asking for trouble and horrible reviews otherwise.

      Like

    • Rollin says:

      Hmmm…I like to make it suggestive enough that it’s obviously a spanking story, but I see what you mean about search engines. So maybe you do have to use certain words or they won’t pick it up. Now you’ve got me wondering about all my other blurbs. To what extent do the tags help with search engines?

      Like

  5. Cara Bristol says:

    Go with fun. What you write is fun, your blog is fun, that’s your tone. I like what Celeste wrote (and from an attorney too! LOL). The best way I’ve found to write a bio is to list all the key words that someone might use to search for you and your books and make sure you use those words in your bio.

    I like your blurb, but I would take out the part that says please don’t buy the book. Just state what the content is.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Maybe I should add a mention of water jugs…

      All great suggestions. Thank you!! I didn’t know if it was unprofessional to put this up here, but I am *very* appreciative of all the help and advice.

      I took out the sentence about not buying the book. Good point!

      Like

  6. Bas says:

    Ana, you absolutely need fun. But fun needs a firm serious base, otherwise it is not funny. Your old bio is great, build on that.
    The doctoral research is fine in your bio but it should be embedded in fun, don’t overdo the seriousness by bringing in redundant information about all other degrees you hold. Make a mix.
    The blurb is almost good. A little fine tuning and you are there.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      I shall put in that I don’t like dogs. 😀

      Now why do I detect something else in your statement that fun needs a serious base?

      I can’t believe I’ve spent this much time on a couple of paragraphs…writing an academic abstract is SO much easier.

      Like

  7. Bad Penny says:

    Hello, I’m Bad Penny… I’m always to blame. LOL

    I’ll play nice, but I want to stand in the corner and hope for a spanking afterwards!

    I like Celeste’s blub…and all the fun everyone else has added. Just my two cents, but I’d buy a book from a playful person’s bio before a boring one.

    Like

  8. Roz says:

    Hi Ana, like the blur for Kat and Natalie. I agree with the others, the bio should be fun with a little of the serious embedded into it. A combination of the two.

    Like

  9. Sue says:

    yep blurb and author bio very hard to do. Take a look at writers you admire and what they’ve said on bio.I’m not one to talk about blurbs I still don’t have one for my current wip

    Like

  10. kiwigirliegirl says:

    i think the blub is brilliant, it hooked me completely as soon as i read it and made me want to read the whole thing. As for the authori bio – something witty perhaps, i like the suggestion made by celeste 🙂

    Like

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