This is less about anything related to story, and more about what happens after your story is done and you’re shopping it around to publishers: The author bio.
What makes a good bio is something we’ve spent some time on lately, especially when we had a publisher ask for a much more personal biography of each of us than the format we generally prefer.
Most publishers will ask you for an author biography, and almost any marketing you do for your book will require one. It’s good practice to keep one on file, and update it regularly so that it’s always ready to go when you need it. We keep three on file — one for each of us individually, and a joint bio that we use for anything cowritten.
Bios can be tricky, because the most effective ones, at least as we’ve discovered, walk a fine line: On the one hand, bios are your place to make yourself accessible to the readers, to tell, in three-paragraph form, the story of your own life and interests. On the other hand, they’re also a mini-resume, a place to list your published titles, your awards, and other relevant industry-adjacent experience. Finding the right balance between “This is who I am” and “These are my accomplishments” can take some time.
Our original bio:
Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese are authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry — Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015) — from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella series Love’s Labours, set in the theater world — Midsummer (May 2015), and Twelfth Night (Fall 2015), is from Dreamspinner Press. They also have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano.
Racheline is a NYC-based performer and storyteller; Erin is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. They write stories and scripts about the intersection of private lives, fame, and desire. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.
What we settled on ultimately and what we’re currently using:
Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, and delights in applying her knowledge of international relations theory to her fiction and screen-based projects, because conflict drives narrative.
Racheline Maltese lives a big life from a small space. She flies planes, sails boats, and rides horses, but as a native New Yorker, has no idea how to drive a car. A long-time entertainment and media industry professional, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their two cats.
Together, they are co-authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry — Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015) — from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella series Love’s Labours, set in the theater world — Midsummer (May 2015), and Twelfth Night (Fall 2015), is from Dreamspinner Press. They also have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.
We start with listing some individual interests and history: Racheline can fly planes. Erin is really into international relations. Something that gives people a taste of who we are and what we’re doing when we’re not writing romance.
And then we go into the “these are our achievements!” section: Our major titles (especially series), and the publishers they’re with. This gives people a sense of the scope of our work and — handily — where they can find it if they want to know more.
And of course, we end our bio with our blog URL. That way, if anyone wants to know more about us, be they a publisher or a potential reader, they have to do absolutely no Googling to find us. Easier for everyone!
Happy writing, and happy bio-ing :)
John Lyonel, a long-time theater professional and teacher, heads to Virginia to play Oberon in the Theater in the Woods’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, intending to focus on his work. John is recovering from the tragic loss of his family and needs a break. The last thing he expects is to become captivated by Michael Hilliard, the professional actor playing Puck, especially since John has never been attracted to men, let alone one so much younger.
They rush headlong into an affair which falls apart dramatically over secrets that John and Michael are keeping from each other. A steep learning curve, the gossipy cast of the show, and the sometimes sinister magic of the woods conspire to keep them apart. But stage lights and stars might work their magic and help them define a new future.
Connect with Erin & Racheline online:
Costume fittings and dress rehearsals means that John finally gets to see Michael costumed as Puck. The human characters are dressed contemporarily, in suits and cocktail dresses that become increasingly disheveled as the show goes on. The fairies, though, are dressed in greens and browns with crowns of strange wildness — thistles, cornsilk, and Queen Ann’s lace. Michael as Puck looks deeply inhuman, covered in leaves as if dragged in from the wooded grounds. For their first dress rehearsal, it takes all of John’s considerable experience and willpower to actually focus on the play and not Michael. As taken as Oberon is meant to be with Puck, he should actually be able to remember and deliver his lines.
“Whose idea was this?” he asks Michael afterward, catching him before he can change. Michael blinks at him with eyes done up in silver and green. John wants to devour him.
“Do you like it?” Michael asks, more distant and coy than usual, sliding his hands up John’s chest which, like his own, is bare.
All John can do is groan when Michael looks up at him from under his lashes. He stands on his tiptoes to kiss John briefly, and then vanishes. When he reappears he’s Michael again, in t-shirt and shorts, but John can’t forget the image of him transformed.