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Writing Books/follow up question to paragraph about yourself


One agency wants: 1. A paragraph about yourself, 2. Synopsis in the query and then, I belive, publishing credits, "if any,"
What exactly should I write in the paragraph about myself if I have only a few non paid, non fiction pieces published when I want to sell a fictional story?)


ANSWER: What they're looking for is probably just a little evidence that you have "qualifications" to be writing.  This is going to be far more important for non-fiction authors than novelists, but for us fiction writers, there are some cases where this can work in your favor.

Essentially, if your novel deals with any subject with which you have some demonstrated experience, you'll want to mention that.  For example, if you're writing war thrillers, you should probably have some background with the military, and that's something you'd write about in your paragraph.  That sort of thing.

If you have nothing like this, then hopefully you can pad it with experience of another sort.  Being a creative writing teacher would be one example.  

In short, anything that's going to make it sound like you've got the background to be writing your book.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The only thing I can add is that I have taken a creative writing course and such in college. What if you are writing a book with a private eye, but have no law enforcement experience but only asked private investigators questions when researching the book? Is this something? How might I phrase it in writing?

I would phrase it something like, "My book, <insert title>, is the story of a private investigator, blah blah blah, and is inspired in part by interviews with a variety of real life private eyes."

And I wouldn't mention a creative writing class in college.  A degree, okay.  A class or three, no.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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