Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Bio

I’m not by nature a fast writer. I’m slow at picking out the right words and spend too much time rearranging them. Not a good thing for a first draft of anything. It makes editing time consuming as well. But this slowness allows me to measure when I’m improving. The one sure sign that I’ve gotten better at trying to write in some new area or style is when I notice I’m writing faster than my usual pace.

There’s only one thing that I’ll never be fast at … writing about myself.

I must have an author’s bio for the novel. So I will start out by turning to the source of info I already have: my writing resume.

I had to put one together for my application for The Great River Writer’s Retreat in 2013. It has been a valuable tool ever since.

By digging up and listing when and where I wrote feature articles and news items—I proved I had a history of writing and publishing. By listing all the organizations I’d written press releases for—I proved I could do an important step in marketing. By listing my awards—I proved that I had been recognized.

So even though I’ve moved to a new city and have been very single-minded in the pursuit of my novel, I do have a background as a writer that I can fall back on.

Having said that, I went in a different direction for this bio.

I wanted this one to be personal and a reflection on my life choices. More about family and how I got here than a list of what I did here and there along the way. 

This is what I came up with to introduce myself to the new readers of my novel:

Mary Davidsaver was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. She had no choice but to attend school in Iowa City because generations of family craftsmen helped build the county courthouse, the dormitories, and the student union.
That tradition of craftsmanship had her living in Bishop Hill, an Illinois state historic site and a national historic landmark, first as a silversmith and then as a writer, for twenty-four years. She and her husband have returned to Iowa.

I could have added a little something about crossing the Mississippi River to find better sweetcorn … but I didn’t.

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