So Hard to Do

This week we’re talking about a biography we’d use if we were a presenter at a conference.

In my opinion writing a good biography is lots harder than writing a book. I remember the first time I had to write a biography. It was a basic, no nonsense, to the point document. It went something like this:

Elaine Cantrell is a high school social studies teacher in South Carolina where she lives with her husband, son Scott and his family, which includes grandson Simon plus two dogs and a cat who rules the roost.

Not a lot of information, is it? Well, I wasn’t satisfied with it so I came up with another try which goes like this:

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina where she obtained a Master’s degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University. She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa an international honorary society for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest.  When she’s not writing or teaching, she enjoys movies, quilting, reading, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments.  

Okay, I like that a little better. It has a little bit more information in it, but I don’t think this one is any good either. I think the purpose of a biography is to sell yourself to the readers so that they’ll try your book, and I don’t think I did.

Here’s the third try. In this one I tried to make myself sound more exciting and energetic. It went like this:

Born and raised in South Carolina, I hold a Master’s degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and am a member of Romance Writers of American and Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators. I’ve been married for thirty five years to my college sweetheart. We have two sons-a physicist and a fraud investigator. They’ve given us three wonderful grandchildren-one girl and two boys.  We also have a sweet calico kitty, and a devoted little black and white dog. 

I’ve been writing since 2001 when my son asked me to proofread a book he’d written.  I figured if he could write a book, so could I.  My first published novel, A New Leaf, was the winner of the 2003 Timeless Love contest.  If I wasn’t sold on writing before, that did it.  I’ve been writing ever since and don’t have any plans to stop.  Frankly, I don’t think I could even if I wanted to.  Writing is a strange compulsion that drives me to spend long hours in front of a keyboard when I could be doing important things like napping or eating chocolate.  My house isn’t dusted as often, I rarely cook, and who cares if the laundry got done or not.  Yeah, no doubt about it, I’m addicted.

I don’t like that one either, but like I said writing a good biography is hard. Do you like one better than the others? If so, which one.

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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8 Responses to So Hard to Do

  1. kathleenbee says:

    I think your last two biographies are great.

    Like

  2. Jeff Salter says:

    The third is my favorite, because it shows a bit more “personality”.
    But the second one is also fairly complete.

    Like

  3. It’s hard, isn’t it? I’d go into it more, but I am press for my own post for Friday! I am glad that you put yourself into it more and that is what people are looking for. The old, dry dustcover bios don’t do it with today’s reader.

    Like

  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    The third tells us a lot more about you. If you’re given a word count limit, you could always go with the second one! And yes, they’re difficult to write.

    Like

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