One Writer’s Journey

April 17, 2017

Author’s Bio: Three Tips for Combining Business + Fun

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 3:45 am
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I think it may have had something to do with my mood when I got the message.  The e-sports book is heading into the final stages of production and they needed a bio now.

At the best of times, I loathe writing my bio.  Loathe.  In this case, I had 3 – 4 sentences.  For Abdo, I tend to have 50 words.  I need to say something about my body of work and my life and relate it all to the book in question whether that be the Ancient Maya, Trench Warfare or the Zika Virus.

But they needed something so I gave it my best. E-sports.  That, I reasoned, is computers. Computers are science . . . right?  So I could mention both of those in my bio.  But how to wrap it up?  I needed to relate the book to my life and I needed to find something about it all that would appeal to my reader.

I decided to have a little fun with it and eventually I sent them this:

“Sue Bradford Edwards is a Missouri nonfiction author who writes about science, culture and history.   Her books about science and computers include Women in Science and Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA. When she isn’t working, she games with her teen son although she’s not nearly as good as he is.”

This is the first time they’ve ever called my bio “perfect.” I’d love to say that I’ve discovered the perfect formula, but I think that I big part of it is that this was something I could approach using my own voice — educated and cheeky.  Here are three things to remember when you have to write your next bio:

  1. Go with details that relate to the book.  If you’ve written a book about sports, discuss earning your letter in track and field. If you’ve written history, discuss your love of history in general or that particular time period.
  2. Don’t forget to mention your other books.  You may not be able to include them all, but go with something recent and/or something that relates to this book.
  3. Include a kid friendly fact whenever possible.  I game which worked well for this book.  You could mention that you share your office space with your cat or a cockatoo.  Maybe you were an inventor when you were ten.

Writing your bio may not be fun, but customizing a bio for each book gives you the opportunity to create something that is a “perfect” match.



December 22, 2016

Writing Middle Grade Nonficiton

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:32 am
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video-games-1136042_1920esterday I met my most recent deadline, turning in a piece of middle grade nonfiction on professional gaming.  Yes, that’s people who make money playing video and computer games like Dota 2 and CS:GO.  

The funny/ironic/slightly disturbing thing about it is that it really has demonstrated the disconnect from one generation to another. My teen son pointed it out. When he tells his friends and teachers, people who “get” teens, what I’ve been working on, they smile and nod.  They make the appropriate comments.

When I tell my peers? The vast majority go completely blank.  Sometimes they ask for clarification.  Occasionally, and these are the really bad moments, someone will tell me that they’re glad they don’t write about the stupid things I do.  They couldn’t do it even for money.  Yep, that one was totally my favorite.

Not that I really understood professional gaming before I wrote the book.  I had no clue how much money some of these people make.  Or how many teams there are.

But it really makes me wonder – how do the publishers and editors decide that you are someone who could write about this topic?  Clearly many baby boomers and Gen-X could not do this.  They don’t know about gaming, they don’t want to know about gaming and they think it is a ridiculous waste of time.

Maybe they checked out my social media.  “Has she ever used ‘game’ as a verb?” Because I do game somewhat casually.  I’m pretty darn good at Call of Duty.  Ah, well.  I’m just glad I got the gig.  Finally I’ve written a book my nephew is interested in reading.


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