You see, I demonstrate my insecurity by realising that I didn’t do my first post on the Insecure Writers’ Support Group (IWSG) properly.  I failed to introduce myself (and I was late adding the link).

I hate introducing myself.  It’s one of the things many authors struggle with – the ‘hello’ bit.  I see fantastic bios, oozing with wit and charm, and very studious ones where the writers are obviously far more qualified than I am.  Mine… blech!

When I did my writing course, we had to introduce ourselves.  There was the thing of talking to one’s neighbour and then introducing her to the rest of the group.  I’m used to doing that.  I hope I did Fay justice!  Then we had to write our own obituary as an introduction, but include a lie…

Here’s mine.

The world is mourning the loss of Jemima Pett, whose tragic death leaves the fans of her Princelings of the East series in a vacuum.  Will they ever read the final instalment?

Jemima was the only daughter of a midwife and an aviation pioneer.  Her ordinary childhood saw her displaying no literary talent whatsoever, in fact she studied Maths at the University of Bristol, with no thought of what might follow.

She tried many different careers, once joking that each lasted a maximum of twelve years, so at age sixty she’d still need two more.  Counting social work, police work, accounting, then management consultancy among things she tried – and was successful at – it was not until the turn of the century that she found two careers she loved – environmental research and writing.

Her success with the stories of her guinea pigs led to her achieving household fame.  But she was also a reticent scientist with a legacy of encouraging people in her specialist field.  The books live on, celebrating both her guinea pigs’ lives and her own.

And now, tell me what you think of biographies in general or critique mine in the ‘about’ section – and then go visiting some other insecure writers!

PS I never did accountancy or police work as careers.  And calling my dad an aviation pioneer is stretching it a little, but not a lot!

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Oh dear, I got it wrong – #IWSG
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19 thoughts on “Oh dear, I got it wrong – #IWSG

  • 4 February, 2015 at 6:25 am
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    Teehee. I’m imagining all your fans in a vacuum. Surely it couldn’t be a bagless, there wouldn’t be enough room.

    I think a lot of writer bios are only done to make the person look more interesting than they actually are. You know the type…”Before penning this novel, So-and-so worked as a paperboy, as an apprentice to an armless Norwegian Mastercraftsman making occasional tables out of moose antlers, and did odd jobs sewing spangled costumes for circus-chickens”.

    Really, no one is that fascinating.

    • 4 February, 2015 at 5:49 pm
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      Norwegian Mastercraftsman… sounds like my next flash fiction prompt! But there you are… so inspired. Maybe I should approach mine as fiction rather than fact!

      • 4 February, 2015 at 9:28 pm
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        I think you should. Surely 90% of them are at least a little bit fabricated.

  • 4 February, 2015 at 6:39 am
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    I dread doing a bio or even an intro about myself. The boring bio which is on Amazon is the one that goes up on everything.I think you need to be supremely self confident or have a belief in yourself to be able to do that easily.
    I hope my books talk for me instead. He’s a Writer they’ll say .
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • 4 February, 2015 at 5:41 pm
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      Thank you, David. I think your biog is just fine 🙂 I’m looking forward to starting the Barsetshire Diaries – I know you’re a Writer already!

  • 4 February, 2015 at 2:44 pm
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    You have to be forgiven, Jemima, after this charming post. You have lived a full life so far, and I’m sure all of your experiences have enriched your writing career.

    • 4 February, 2015 at 5:46 pm
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      Comes of being roughly the same age as you. 😉

  • 4 February, 2015 at 3:16 pm
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    I always hated those sort of “introduce yourself to the class” things. Writing a blog bio is a lot easier! I don’t have to actually look at anyone…I liked your “obituary.”

    February IWSG Co-host

    • 4 February, 2015 at 5:51 pm
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      Not look at anyone – yes, exactly. That’s why we’re writers… or maybe that’s because we are writers?

  • 4 February, 2015 at 3:18 pm
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    I hate writing bios. I feel like nobody reads them anyway–and even if a reader does read your bio, is it really going to help them decide if they’re going to read your work? I’ve never picked up a book and read the author’s bio and said, ‘Pfft, this person has never had an article in the New York Times. Next!’

    • 4 February, 2015 at 3:23 pm
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      True! In fact, I usually only read bios after I read a book that I really like and don’t want to let go of.

    • 4 February, 2015 at 5:54 pm
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      Hee-hee. Yes, I do read Biogs if they write scifi – partly to get warned of the type of scifi they might write. It is usually a good thing, though. Also if they are on my blog for a book blast or tour. After all, it’s only polite. But, as Rebecca says, otherwise only if I can’t stop reading their books. 🙂

  • 4 February, 2015 at 3:20 pm
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    Looks like an interesting bio to me! I, too, struggle with the bio. I’ve experimented with writing exchanges for them. But it does have to be written by someone who knows you pretty well or it ends up generic. Then someone tells me I should have multiple bios, tailored to different audiences….aie!

  • 5 February, 2015 at 5:24 am
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    I love your bio–hilarious! I don’t like writing bios either. I always feel like I’m sounding like I’m trying to make my life sound far more exciting than it is.

    • 5 February, 2015 at 7:18 pm
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      Thanks, Jennie. I think this is the problem – we’re talking about our ordinary, mundane lives. They are the only ones we’ve had, therefore they must be mundane. In fact, each one is unique. Isn’t that wonderful? This post has given me a great new view on my life!

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