Everyone who publishes short fiction knows that we have to write a lot of bios. Some just repeat, but every so often they have to be updated. The first few are fun. “Talk about the glory of ME? Sure!” But somewhere around the 40th or 50th you realize “OMG, I’m even boring myself!”
The work’s never boring to me, and I hope to (almost) no one else, but talking about me? That gets old quick. I totally understand the impulse to just make s*%t up (“Richard Parks’ hobbies include breeding racing slugs and teaching Tai-Chi to polar bears.” You get the idea). Interviews, on the other hand, are a bit different. Especially when the people conducting them have done a little homework and ask interesting questions. I’ve written a lot of bios in my time but I’ve done very few interviews for obvious reasons. So it was a bit disconcerting when, over the space of a week, I wound up doing three: one general and one story-specific interview for LightSpeed and another for SFSignal.com. Mercifully short ones in both case, and I’ll put a link up for anyone who cares once they’re online. One of those for LightSpeed will be in conjunction with a reprint of “The Man Who Carved Skulls,” probably in the May issue. They asked such good questions that even I, the sole living authority on that story, had to really think about it.
Sure, it’s flattering and all when someone pays attention to us as writers, but what really floats our little boats is when someone pays attention to the work. Otherwise, we’re just talking to ourselves.
“…I totally understand the impulse to just make s*%t up (“Richard Parks’ hobbies include breeding racing slugs and teaching Tai-Chi to polar bears.” You get the idea)…”
What?! And all this time I thought that was true.