Just For ‘Grins and Giggles’

I have been working on another post I may tack up here later today or tomorrow about self-publishing through Barns ‘N Noble’s Nook, or the Kindle. I’m really excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to hear some feedback from everyone. Look for that post in the very near future. Until then, I wanted to share something else with you.

Last week I attended a conference in which I picked up a book called “We Are Not Alone; The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” by Kristen Lamb and highly recommend it to everyone.  I even skipped the class “Writing Screenplays for TV” just so I could go to another session of hers the next day. This was basically a rehash of everything I heard on the first day, but it was still worth it. If she is going to be in a conference near you, check her out. Not literally, because that would probably just creep her out, but go to her session. Until then, you can follow her blog:

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/opportunity-comes-in-overalls/

I picked up the book on Sunday and by Tuesday I was blogging. I couldn’t help myself. I hadn’t even finished her book before I thought, “I want to do this!”  So, I set up my account and was asked by WordPress to write a bio. I hate writing bios, but I banged something out about the most interesting man in the world and fishing children out of a McDonald’s Playland because WordPress made me do it.

Then I got to Kristen’s second chapter that talked about bios. I thought, ‘Oops, I already did mine.’ I felt her slap my digital hand. Our bios can be branded with each page of our social media outlet, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. “Fiction authors always crack me up when it comes to writing their bios. It is so funny how fiction authors, who basically lie for 100,000 words, suddenly feel the need to confess the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…”  (p.74)

So, I rewrote my bio with a bit more flare, and some great key words to connect with an audience who loves fantasy as much as I do.

Here’s a little game I want to play for today: My new bio is 438 words long. Approximately how much of this do you think is true, and how much do you think has about as much truth as a little Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who didn’t like adventures because they made him late for dinner:

UPDATE #1:  Please use wisdom when writing your bio. I recommend having about 3 or 4 on hand to be used in different settings. To claim on the back flap of your upcoming novel that your previous book was #1 on the New York Times Best Selling list for 58 straight weeks and that you won a Nobel Peace Prize for solving world hunger is not recommended. This would probably destroy your credibility in most circles. I hope its obvious that I’m talking about bios for social media, and not the professional bio you work out with an editor.  

My new bio:

Aaron Graham needs about five lifetimes to accomplish everything on his “Bucket List” but since he only has about 40-50 years left on this one, (unless he is hit by a Mac Truck before then)  he has decided to settle on pursuing a career as a full-time writer. His other ambitions, such as stand up comedy and a professional poker player, he had to tell to sit in the corner of his life and keep quiet for the time being.  

The first short story he ever wrote was in a 9th grade fiction writing class and was about a coin of power that was created by an evil dark lord and had to be destroyed in the fires of Mount Chaos or the whole world would be plunged into a second darkness.

Since then, he has stopped plagiarizing classic works of fantasy and has developed his own unique style. This ability came to him while on a vision quest in which he went without food and water for 40 days and 40 nights until an old seer gave him an oracle of communication which he keeps tucked in the bottom of his sock drawer to this day.

Now, he is free to create fresh new worlds for an audience who enjoys novels of epic High Fantasy. He loves medieval history, ancient Rome and He-Man, but also loves sword fighting, ghost hunting and searching for the lost continent of Atlantis in his spare time. Since he has little spare time to speak of, Atlantis remains hidden to date, but there is still time.

He also loves to travel. At 16 he took his first trip to South America and graduated early from High School so he could stomp around in Asia for six months, along the way celebrating his 18th Birthday at the American Embassy in Dhaka Bangladesh, fleeing the scene of a religious riot, and turning down three propositions of marriage from fathers of beautiful Asian girls. Then, he went to college for a few years to see what professors knew and graduated with a degree in Cross Cultural Communication. Other adventures along the way included living in a Turkish Ghetto for a month, visiting a church of Gypsies, standing in the ancient forum of Rome while pretending to be stabbed to death by jealous senators, outsmarting a team of thieves on a bus in Prague, and turning down the sexual advances of a woman dressed like a cat during a carnival in Germany.

Someone told him to write what he knows. He has learned a lot, so he has a lot to write about. Look forward to upcoming novels of his unique imagination in various distributors soon!

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20 thoughts on “Just For ‘Grins and Giggles’

  1. BARBARA: I’m glad you liked it. Adding a bit of flare is easy. Start with the truth and then think of what would make it a bit more interesting to read (or in some people’s case a LOT more interesting to read) and then sprinkle on a bit of imagination.

    The important part is to remember that for ‘flare’ to come out right it needs to be shaken. Not stirred.

    🙂

  2. Wow. I don’t know what might be true or false, but I find myself hoping most of it’s true. Because that would be one heck of a story!

    So when is -this- book coming out?

    • CHARLOTTE: In a few days I’ll post in the comments a percentage of how much is true to false, so stay tuned. As far as ‘this’ book, if you are talking about my self published works, that might be coming out soon. I just have to finalize some details. Obviously, my blog will be the first to know.

  3. Maybe it is my general aversion to “How To” books, but I can’t help but think that telling lies in your bio isn’t exactly a genius move. Or maybe I have read too many bios in my career as a journalist (and written them myself) to not see through the BS.
    Sure, candy coat the truth a little. After all, it is a writer’s job to make things sound nice. But making things up in your bio because you are making things up in your writing, too? That’s false logic to me. Yes, you will be able to fool a regular reader with a few lies or over-the-top embellishments. But the important people who get to read a bio will see through the lies anyway and I am sure they appreciate truth over lame attempts of a writer to fool them.

    By the way, everyone in Germany has been exposed to the sexual advances of women dressed as cats (or worse) during carnival. That’s nothing special, whether it is true or false ; )

    • BLOGGITIVITY: Please understand, when I write a social blog, I’m trying to entertain my audience. When I publish a book and need a professional bio in the back flap, that will be different. I actually have 3 bios of myself for different settings. When people take time out of their day to spend 2-3 minutes browsing over my musings for the day, I want to make sure they come away with at least a smile or two.

      I have no intention of lying to any reader who pays $19.95 for a book.

      As to your comment on Germany, that is all the more reason for everyone to go there at least once in their life, wouldn’t you agree?

      • Of course, if you put it like that I have to partially agree. Making a distinction between who one bio or the other is aimed at is surely a good idea. And there is a time and place for fun, over-the-top bio.

        I guess I am just opposed to the notion (by K. Lamb, not by you) that an honest bio can be considered “lame”.

    • advances from a woman dressed as a cat…that would be a first for me I did get advances from a man dressed as a scarecrow, does that count as special

  4. I suppose it would be unfair of me to make a guess, but I can’t help but throw a hint out there . . . more of this is true than most of you think! I married a very interesting man! 🙂

    • HEATHER: Well thank you honey! I think you are quite interesting as well! (almost as interesting as that Japanese Geisha I rescued from her evil uncle while I was training to be a Samurai, but she couldn’t marry me for cultural differences. Oh well…)

  5. and now I have catched up on my weekend reading I know it was without doubt you I found on Facebook!

    I need a bio…I think you have put most of us to shame!

    • Ahhh, ELLIE, I don’t mean to put anyone to shame! But I’m glad we connected on Facebook and you can stop bugging that other “Aaron Graham” who lives in Utah. with his 6 wives, 15 children and a dog. I’d hate to see you get mixed up with that crew by mistake, thinking it was me!

  6. Alright, I promised everyone the percentage of truth to fiction in my bio. This is a little hard to calculate, but there are 15 sentences, and only 2 of them are outright lies, which is 86% truth.

    Or, I could count the number of statements I claimed: TOTAL 33, of which 27 were true, and 6 were lies. This comes out to about 82% accuracy

    I’ll leave it to your imagination to decide the 6 statments that were not true.

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