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Kelly B



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Author bios Reply with quote

I recently got a book by a new-to-me author and, per usual, checked out the bio on the back because I'm nosy. It kind of made me dislike her--in addition to a ridiculous Glamorshots-style photo (complete with props!), it just struck me as quite braggy. (Not helped by the dedication/acknowledgments seeming like an excuse for name-dropping.) Because I am a bad person, it kind of colored my approach to the book. I know, I know, separate the art from the artist, but I think I was more inclined to let myself be bothered by faults in the book that I might otherwise have shrugged off. Does anyone else have strong reactions to something innocuous like the bio? Or have favorites in terms of the... I don't know what to call it--dicta? Anyway, the non-story parts of a book?

There are some that make me like an author more--Julia Quinn's early bios were fun (now that she's more well-known, there is less information), and her dedications are still great. Eloisa James also manages to share her very real accomplishments with a dose of self-deprecating humor.
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been turned off by an author bio yet, but that's interesting.

I do like it when authors add some factual info at the end of historical fiction. Or, if a main character is a chef (or fantastic cook), I really like it when some of the recipes mentioned in the book are included at the end (seems to happen more in mysteries than romances).
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been turned off by a bio either. Sometimes, I think those pictures need an update, if an author chooses to show one, but other than that, I don't care how the author describes herself and her life. I think it's all fairly interesting. In fact, I've found out many authors are from my home state. Who knew MN grew so many romance authors? As for the photo, if it looks glamour-shot, that's okay too. I'm just happy when an author is wearing shoes... Very Happy As for online behavior...now that's another kettle of fish. I've been turned waaaay off a time or two that way.
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LeeB.



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1281
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kelly: Do please let us know which book/author had the bio that turned you off. I'm really curious.

As for me, the funnier the bios, acknowledgements and dedications are the better.

I've always enjoyed Julia Quinn's dedications; simple but endearing.

Suzanne Enoch has changed her bio on her new book and it made me smile as I read it.
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Kelly B



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still hate Jennifer Crusie for not giving me the recipe for those fabulous-sounding southern pecan pancakes in Agnes and the Hitman. Don't torture me with descriptions of how delicious they are and then not tell me how to make them!

I will say, this is the first time I've had such a visceral reaction to something as innocuous as a bio. Perhaps it was just my frame of mind when I looked at it, though I went back and looked again and still find it obnoxious.

LeeB, I sent you a personal message. Since this is more about an author and less about a book/writing, I didn't want to do a pile-on in a public forum.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't yet been turned off by an author bio or photo, though frankly, the author photos of many romance authors are pretty scary. What has occasionally turned me off were author blog posts, mainly when an author spouted extreme political views. Different political views don't bother me, but when authors start posting insane conspiracy theories or nasty bigotry of the "all X are evil and insane and will bring about the end of civilization as we know it" type, then I'm off. Oddly enough, I have also been known not to pick up an author's works when he or she vehemently slagged off a book, movie or TV show I enjoyed. Maybe it's silly, but when an author and I differ so fundamentally on what makes for good entertainment, likeable characters or realistic dialogue, then the chance that his or her books won't click with me is pretty high.

General behaviour in online communities has also turned me off certain authors, such as the fantasy author who always kept posting endless posts of philosophical discussion. If his books were as dull as those posts, then I am not too keen on trying them. Or another author, who posted on a forum I used to frequent and came across as incredibly obnoxious with a "bow down to me, peasants, cause I've published four media tie-in novels" attitude. Many of the posters on said forum worshipped that author. But once you dared to disagree with him on anything, he'd attack you and argue you down, even if it was a topic he knew next to nothing about (he actually tried to tell me that he knew more about my job than I did), because he was a published author and always right. I actually read one of his books (and didn't like it). Needless to say I never read another.
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Retrograde



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 458

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless their attitude bleeds over into the work, I can pretty much ignore my dislike for an author and just enjoy the story. There's an urban fantasy series that I'm really into, but there's something about the author that I find abrupt and rude. Still love the books, though.
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