Sometimes author bios "go off the board" and include picturesque details about the author and her interests. For example, the author bio for The Heretic Queen tells us that author Michelle Moran "lives in California with her husband and a garden of more than two hundred roses." I thought that was a neat detail to include, for it tells me something about the author's sensibilities. Now, as I read Michelle's books, I will be on the lookout for descriptions of flowers and their scents and colors to see how they demonstrate Michelle's love of gardens. I find that I appreciated this type of bio more than the standard resume type. Not only is it more interesting to read, but it helps me imagine the person behind the name better. Unfortunately, when I checked out the author bios on a dozen of the hardbacks on my shelves, very few were as engaging as Michelle's. This is a shame, because I think more personalized details could forge bonds with potential readers just as effectively as credential-type details, if not more so.
So, some questions for you:
1. Do you read author bios?
2. What type of details do you like to see there?
3. Does the author bio affect your decision to buy the book? Have you ever bought/not bought a book based on what you read in the bio?
There is an even greater issue lurking behind this discussion of details: why is the author bio important at all? Does it matter whether the author likes cats or runs triathalons? Shouldn't the book be judged on its own merits?
I'm looking forward to reading your answers to these questions and your thoughts on the larger issue. In the meantime, off to brainstorm some interesting details for a bio of my own...