Our Friday Fox asked, “Do you enjoy reading about other writers, their bios and writing processes?”
My answer is yes, to an extent. I don’t enjoy reading long bios — three paragraphs is about all I’ll read before I lose interest and scroll down to read about the featured book. I don’t read long interviews about the writer’s life, either. Normally I’ll read the first few questions and then skip down to the last few. I’m not sure if this is due to ADD or if I simply lack empathy. (Caveat: I’ve noticed that this disinterest in bios does NOT apply when the author in question is someone I know and have met in person.)
The same applies to articles/posts about someone’s writing process. I do attend several workshops each year dealing with various writing software tools, writing strategies, and time management, but for those I expect to learn something and will generally pay attention. However, in that situation, I’m listening to a speaker, taking notes, and hopefully following along with the handout. When I’m reading something, I expect to be entertained – unless I’m researching, of course. So again, I’ll read a paragraph or two before I start skimming.
So why do I continue to feature an author here at this blog every month? There are a few reasons:
- When I first started publishing, I was very grateful for the opportunity to share my books on someone else’s platform. Now, it gives me pleasure to give that opportunity to others.
- Finding and featuring a guest each month requires networking, and I’ve met many fascinating people and their books.
- This occasionally forces me to step out of my comfort zone and read other genres.
- I already post my book reviews during my free week, so I figured I might as well use my guest author/review week to feature someone else.
If you’ve read my guest author posts, however, you might notice that they rarely talk about their writing process. That’s because when I ask a guest to join us here, I ask them to tell us about what inspired either the story itself or to expand on an issue that their book deals with. I ask that these posts be no more than 500 words – about my reading limit. Most of the time, this results in an interesting snapshot of the author’s life, because often a writer’s story springs from something he or she has experienced personally.
To me, that’s much more interesting than learning about the minutiae of the person’s life.
Do you like to read author bios? Do you prefer them long and detailed, or shorter with one or two interesting tidbits about their lives? Are you curious about the writing process for someone else?