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I have trouble with simple things sometimes.
For example: I’m going to be Guest of Honor at Gencon this year.
That isn’t the hard part. Truth is, being Guest of Honor is a pretty sweet gig. I had my first taste of it up in V-Con last year.
When you’re GOH, the convention typically does lovely things for you, like pay for your hotel room and your flight out to the convention. Usually an author has to pay for all that out of their own pocket, which means it’s really expensive to hit two or three cons in a year. Let alone the five or six I usually try to attend.
This year, through a weird confluence of events, I’m going to be Guest-of-Honoring at four different conventions. Details are over on the Tour Page, if you’re interested.
One of these conventions is only a couple of weeks away, down in Madison. I’m sorry I haven’t posted up the info about Oddcon sooner, but I’ve been busy writing, and I was called in as a last minute pinch-hitter GOH to replace Tobias Buckell. He had to bow out on account of his wife being super-pregnant. If you’re interested, they’ve extended pre-registration until Friday because of the change of plans.
Anyway, in exchange for having our expenses paid, the GOH has certain responsibilities. The main one of these is to do stuff for the convention. We do more than the usual number of readings, signings, panels. Etc.
I don’t have a problem with this. This is why I go to conventions. I like talking about stories. That’s what I’m all about.
My problem was with something much simpler. As I mentioned above, I’m going to be the author GOH at Gencon this year. So they asked me to write a bio they can put in the program book….
This should be easy. It’s short. 150 words. When I was born. Where I’m from. What I’ve done. Stuff like that.
But I overthink these things. It’s a problem I have.
So I write a regular bio. Names. Dates. The Name of the Wind. Sold in 27 countries. Simple.
But then when I’m finished, I read that bio and it seems really dry and boring.
So I write a new bio. I want it to be better. Different. A little funny. I want it to be cool. Sexy even.
But then I read that one and it seems desperate, whorish. It’s stupid and corny.
So I write a new bio. I tone it down, try to be subtle, understated, professional.
But then I read that one and it seems boring again, plus stiff and awkward. Plus fakey.
So, finally, I get fed up and write something like this:
Patrick Rothfuss sprung fully formed from Marge Rothfuss, his mother, in Madison Wisconsin. In a mere three months, Pat grew to the height of a man while teaching himself to read and write using only a shovel and a dead cat.
When the voices told him to, Pat left home to attend college in at University Wisconsin Stevens Point where he joined Slytherin house and had many wonderful adventures. After graduating, Pat evolved into a being of pure light and energy. Then he went to grad school and evolved even further into being composed entirely of bile, anger, binder twine, and sweet, sweet, methadone. After grad school Pat joined forces with five plucky Japanese schoolgirls to form a giant robot that fights crime.
Through all of this Pat has read fantasy, watched fantasy, and written fantasy. Some academics have suggested that Pat eats, sleeps, and breathes fantasy, but this is simply untrue. The truth is that Pat eats burritos, sleeps like a drooly baby, and breathes a white-hot plasma composed of molten gold and rage.
And you know what? I like this bio the best. If I’m going to spew out bullshit, I’d rather have it be pure, unadulterated bullshit.
By the way, a lot of you have been asking who’s been doing my illustrations for the blog. It’s not me. I can’t draw worth a tinker’s damn. My illustrator’s name is Brett Hiorns, and he is awesome. You can say howdy to him in the comments, if you like.
First off, the bio, it is made of awesome and win. Honestly, I prefer the types of bio’s that show the writer’s sense of humor. Also, I’m super excited about you comming to GenCon this year, as one of your Hoosier fangirls. Unfortunatly, I won’t be able to make it, since I’ll be super pregnant by then. Yeah, the con is two weeks before my due date and something tells me that my doctor probably won’t approve of me spending all day on my feet, even though it means I’ll be depriving my unborn child the chance to bask in your reflected glory. Now if the kid would be born a little early, I could slap on the little Starfleet uniform I knitted and give my little geek baby a proper introduction to the World of Nerd. I wonder what my husband will think when I propose hauling his first born off to a con in the first weeks of life. Well, at any rate, Indiana will welcome you, Pat. We’re always glad to have you here.
Hi everyone! Glad you like the ‘toons. It’s a blast to illustrate for Pat because he always gives me the best images to work with–all I have to do is cover the paper with graphite and erase what he didn’t write.Pat–if anybody wants a “real” bio, they can just purchase your book and read the “about the author”. Go with this one for the cons.
So, I had to write a bio for work last year. Sadly, my line of work (unlike the awesome-bestselling-fantasy-author line of work) doesn’t really encourage creative bios. It’s under a quarter of a page long and I still put myself to sleep writing it. (Luckily, I don’t think anyone will ever actually read it.)In conclusion, great bio, not to mention a truly outstanding book!