Not a Fan I’m Afraid

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

In short, no, I don’t. I’ve read biographies before, but most of them bored me to a certain degree. The ones I have read I did so because I thought it might help my own writing process. I actually even tried to copy one author whom I admired, but her writing process was so different from my own that I ended up struggling to even get started. At that point I decided that I was myself with my own way of doing things. Why should I copy someone else? I’ve picked up a few tips along the way that I did adopt, but they fitted into my own way of doing things. As I read over this I think it makes me sound a little arrogant, as if nobody could teach me anything because I know it all. That really isn’t what I’m trying to convey. I guess I’m trying to say that I can’t be someone else. I’m me, and while I can pick up some tips and tricks from other authors, I can’t copy anyone’s writing process.

If an author wants me to read a biography, it has to be a short one. If I see a huge amount of text under an author’s picture, I don’t usually read it. Give me two, maybe three, nice paragraphs and let that be it. If I like what I read and want to know more, with the Internet I’m sure I can find out what I’m curious about.

A few years ago I read Mary O’Hara’s autobiography. Why? Because she wrote some books that I loved, and I wanted to find out more about her. She turned out being a big surprise to me. I had a preconceived idea about who she was, and I was partly right, but l also found out some things that I never would have guessed.

I’ve also liked learning about an author named Gladys Taber. She had a column in a national magazine for many years, but truthfully I’ve never read the magazine articles. I picked up one of her books at a library sale, and I liked it so much I ordered everything I could that she wrote. She wrote a series of books about her country home in Connecticut, and later books told about her life at Cape Cod. It wasn’t really a biography, but I learned a lot about her through her writing.

My son wants me to read a biography of John Adams, but even though I love history I don’t want to read it. I couldn’t get through a biography of George Washington either. I did read one of Thomas Jefferson, but I was like in the sixth grade, and the book was age appropriate. It had lots of nice pictures too!

I guess I’ve rambled enough. What about you? How do you feel about biographies and other author’s writing processes?

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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6 Responses to Not a Fan I’m Afraid

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    There are a few authors for whom I wouldn’t mind reading biographies, but they’re rather few and far between. Like you, these would be authors whose books I’ve loved. Debbie Macomber is one, and Jana DeLeon is another because I’d love to know how she’s managed to write SO MANY excellent mysteries.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Salter says:

    I also read lots of those “age-appropriate” juvenile biographies. I was saddened to learn year later — though I supposed I’d already assumed it — that most of the dialog was fabricated by the authors in that Bobbs-Merrill stable. Sure — they based it on what they knew from their research… but there was a LOT of educated guesswork!


  3. I better get to my post!


  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I look forward to reading it.


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