Biographies are NOT for me

 Do you enjoy reading about other writers, their bios and writing processes?

I have to be honest here, I really don’t read a lot author bios. Sometimes if I really loved a book and it was by an author that is new to me I will read the bio on on the book or on their author page. Hoping to find out how long they’ve been writing. I have read a few books and expected to find that the author grew up in a certain locale only to discover that they had never even been there. I do sometimes like to read about where they got the idea for that specific story or series. I find reading about how they were inspired interesting but I don’t necessarily go looking to find out about their childhood or anything like that.

That’s not just authors though. I am not a fan of biographies to begin with. I find myself picking them up then never reading them. I guess I just feel like it is a little bit like prying or it takes away from the mystery. It seems so much now that people are trying to change how someone views something. For example my family and I love I Love Lucy. Many people know that we enjoy the series a lot. We watch it through often. I’ve had people tell me “You know the people who played Fred and Ethel hated each other in real life.” or some other little tidbit like that. Honestly, I don’t want to know. It takes away from the charm of the series. I don’t want to know the grittiness behind anything. Let me enjoy the magic of it, the illusion that these actors and actresses worked so hard to give us. I just don’t care much for all the behind the scenes stuff.

I do like to hear about an author’s writing process. I enjoy seeing how they might spend their time researching. How their office might be set up. Do they write in the living room with the distractions of family and pets constantly interrupting? Do they go to the local coffee shop and people watch while they write? Is that where they get inspiration for their characters? Do they need to have complete silence in order to create their worlds? Do they plot everything out? Outline their entire story? Or do they write by the seat of their pants? How much research do they do for a project? How do they do their research?

I enjoy learning about these things from other authors. I feel like I can always learn more about this craft and who better to learn it from than from the authors I enjoy reading? How do you feel about biographies?

About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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9 Responses to Biographies are NOT for me

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I used to enjoy reading biographies, but those were books written about a prominent figure in a certain area, and I read them because I wanted to know about how that person became successful in that field. Bios attached to another piece of writing need to be a lot shorter, or I’m going to lose interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Salter says:

    I love biographies… and have loved them since my introduction to the rather fictionalized biographies in the series “Childhood of Famous Americans” published by Bobbs-Merrill a generation or two ago.
    That said, I also agree with this quote (of yours): “…I don’t want to know. It takes away from the charm of the series. I don’t want to know the grittiness behind anything. Let me enjoy the magic of it, the illusion that these actors and actresses worked so hard to give us.”
    So I guess I walk a fine line between wanting to know about the obstacles people overcame… but not really comfortable with learning some of their failings.
    For example: I’ve read many military biographies. I know a lot about Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and how he cobbled together a very successful coalition to invade western Europe and defeat the nazi war machine. However, I wish I’d never learned that during much of his time overseas, he had an affair with his female driver.

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    • It just seems that biographies of famous historical figures are filled with information that people don’t need. There’s no need to “air their dirty laundry” especially once they’re gone and no longer able to defend their actions. I’ve read articles that claim all sorts of affairs and drug use but why wait until that person is gone to write your book?
      I’ve also read autobiographies where all the person seems to do is blame their parents for their own shortcomings. Things along the lines of “My mom pushed me into acting at a young age and that’s why at 35 I was a drug addict.” I’m not a fan of that at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Grant at Tame Your Book! says:

    I’m not a reader of biographies, but I enjoy helping people write their legacies for the benefit of family and friends. It’s like a leafing through a shoebox full personal letters, often from the individual’s birth until the present. I enjoy so sorting through the stack of notes, often an eye-opener!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I wasn’t fond of biographies, but I found myself having to look into a few people and enjoying most of them…it all depends on the person’s ego!

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  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Not a fan I’m afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

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