All posts by Paul

I am a self-employed writer, which means I’m working for an idiot who doesn’t pay me enough – but the holidays are great. I’m ex many occupations, from the respectable ‘career-ladder’ to disreputable “somebody’s- got-to-do-it”. All a good way of seeing someone else’s point-of-view. Best job, apart from writing, was dispatch-riding on a motorcycle in the 70s, though I’ve also enjoyed teaching, librarianship, counselling and helping to run a community-centre. Sometimes I’ve looked respectable in a suit, other times a bit more wild and woolly (though still stylish) as a biker. It’s strange how differently people treat you, depending on what you’re wearing. A suit means I’m sometimes addressed as ‘sir’, but in motorcycle leathers I’m always referred to as ‘mate.’ The worst job that I’ve done ? You really don’t want to know, but it was in a processed food manufacturer’s factory – put me off bacon, sausages and quiches for a long time, and made me look at pet food in a new way. I’m very glad that I don’t have any pictures. I’ve been writing since I was eight, when I penned a story about a desert island and attempted to compile a dictionary – as Clarissa does in my short story ‘The Moon Is Out Tonight’. I’ve written for magazines under a variety of pen-names, ghost-written a couple of biographies and had a column in a local newspaper. I used to concentrate on non-fiction of an informative, how-to instructional nature, as I’m a firm believer in the dissemination of knowledge to enable people to do things for themselves. Knowledge is power, and in these troubled times of economic downturn and increased intrusion into our lives by government agencies, its vital to know how to get through. My fictional stories also show people coping and finding ways to survive. I’m based in a Celtic nation, the county of Cornwall or Kernow. I’ve been here for twenty years, and have lived all over the country, as well as abroad in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the U.S.A.

Baring the throat

I’ve just finished reading The Cold Dish, the first story in Craig Johnson‘s Longmire series.

Image result for craig johnson longmire cold dish

I haven’t seen the television adaptation, so don’t know how closely it mirrors the pacing and depth of the books. I was surprised at how intimate the internal dialogue of the protagonist Sheriff was, with Walt Longmire revealing his doubts and insecurities. Baring his throat made me bond with him as a character.

It’s vital to let the reader in—if you don’t share, why should they care? (That sounds like an advertising slogan!) A friendship grows not because someone is always strong, but because we love them despite their weaknesses. The same should be true of your fictional characters.

Happy to bare her throat

Infallibility might be attractive in superheroes, but in portraying the humanity of ordinary folk their missteps are more endearing than if they’re constantly triumphant.

But, what of giving the reader a peek at your character? When writing what you know, it’s likely that personal emotions will seep into the page. Fans of your writing will smile knowingly, attributing a scene featuring a quarrelling couple to your own marital breakdown. Such things are inevitable, especially if you write about sex.

In my own stories, poems and song lyrics I’ve tackled bereavement, divorce, loneliness, depression, suicide attempts, poverty, near-death experiences and acts of violence, all of which I’ve known. The reactions of my characters to these events isn’t the same as mine, but certainly informs them. Does it make my writing realistic and engrossing because it feels true? I don’t know, but I believe powers of imagination can only take a writer so far.

I’m currently reading two well-reviewed books about alternative ways of living. Being autobiographical, they offer close insights into the thinking of a disenfranchised woman living in a shed and a disillusioned man who decides to exist without technology.

Catrina Davies and Mark Boyle’s honesty is refreshing. They have no front about who they are, no deception about their circumstances. They bare their throats, say what’s in their hearts and get on with surviving by stumbling through different options. Their candour and vulnerability will affect how I portray my characters.

Being a know-it-all is a good way of losing friends and influence. I once met a young man, a computer whizz who had several IT patents to his name. At 17-years-old, he had more arrogance than discretion when boasting about computers. But, growing up in a moorland village, he wasn’t socially confident, and was nervous about going away to a city university. I advised him to occasionally admit to confusion about things, requesting help to encourage bonds with fellow students. I saw him a couple of years later, and he thanked me, for my tactic had worked!

The title character of my Cornish Detective series is going to be forced into showing his frailty in the next story, no longer able to rely on the support offered by his status as a copper, because he’s fallen in love with a woman who may have a criminal past.

How do your characters bare their throats?

Do you have any favourite fictional protagonists whose vulnerability created empathy?

I bonded with Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

Image result for pullman his dark materials lyra and will

I worry about what they’re up to, even when not reading the stories!

Back up your Work!

As part of adjusting settings on this WordPress blog, I backed up what I’d already done with a plug-in widget. Hackers love attacking WordPress, so this was a wise move.

Feeling virtuous, I decided to check when I’d last saved my precious crime novel series to the cloud. I thought it was late last year, which is too long ago, considering the amount of work I’ve put in recently editing, formatting and designing book covers in preparation for self-publishing on KDP. I almost fell off my chair, when I saw that the last time I’d visited Microsoft’s OneDrive was in 2015! That meant I didn’t have copies of my last two novels.

Feeling like an idiot, I checked two memory sticks, finding early drafts of those books, but not any completed versions.

I should know better, for in 2006 my old laptop had its hard drive shattered into a hundred fragments when a lightning bolt hit the farm where I was living. It loosened huge stones in a barn wall before travelling 20 yards through the ground to my cottage. It blew two lightbulbs into pieces, as well as frying the surge protector extension lead powering my computer. I was lucky not to be electrocuted for I had the laptop on my lap at the time—my goolies could have been flash-fried—great balls of fire!

I lost 18 months of writing, research and many pictures of my cat Pushkin, who had recently died, so it was quite upsetting. That’s one of the problems with digital records, not only documents and photographs but stuff like music, where we transfer everything to our computer or iPod. If you don’t keep hard copies, you’ve lost everything.

I use OneDrive and Dropbox, but need to be conscientious about backing up my work. It only takes seconds to do and provides peace of mind.

How do you save your work?

When did you last do so?

Do it now!

Kindle Storyteller Award

While preparing to self-publish on KDP Select, I came across several articles about Amazon UK’s Kindle Storyteller Award, which has been running since 2017.

The details are:

Closing date: 31st August 2019

Entry: Writers of 18 or over publishing in English in any genre, who publish their work through Kindle Direct Publishing between 1st May and 31 August 2019. No entry fee.

Prize: Grand Prize £20,000 cash, publishing agreement with Amazon Publishing and Amazon launch.

The Kindle Storyteller Award 2019 is a £20,000 literary prize recognising outstanding writing. It is open to writers publishing in English in any genre, who publish their work through Kindle Direct Publishing between 1st May and 31 August 2019. There are some specific exclusions in the Terms and Conditions, which need careful reading.

Readers play a significant role in selecting the winner, helped by a panel of judges including various book industry experts. One judge is Mariella Frostrup.

Image result for Mariella Frostrup

The Kindle Storyteller 2019 writing contest is open for entries between 1st May 2019 and 31st August 2019. Books must be written in English, previously unpublished and be available as an eBook and in print via Kindle Direct Publishing. The winning author will receive a £20,000 cash prize and be recognised at a central London award ceremony. Finalists will receive a Kindle Oasis Reader.

It’s an exciting opportunity, but one that will favour writers of commercial fiction, rather than literature. Potentially, Amazon could film your story, turning it into a movie or a series:

Still, with my nose to the grindstone, I should be ready to self-publish on KDP Select next week. I rather regret that I won’t be on Amazon in time for their Prime days tomorrow and Tuesday, but, as I feared, it’s taking a while to get my eBooks removed from sales vendors that D2D distributed them to…KDP Select demands exclusivity.

Although my manuscripts, cover designs, synopses and blurb are all ready, I’ve been bogged down in expanding my online author platform, something I wish I’d worked steadily on over the last few years, rather than being faced with a colossal amount of work now. For instance, I’ve spent the last week sharing posts from my writing blog Paul Pens and The Cornish Detective website to their equivalent Facebook pages. That’s 420 posts that needed to be mouse-clicked one by one, each transfer taking about 2-3 minutes. It’s as boring as it sounds, feeling like nothing to do with writing.

I’ve said it before on this blog, but most of what we do as authors is speculative. Nothing feels more based on conjecture and potentially a waste of time than designing a blog and website that no one may look at.

I’ve learned all sorts of things about SEO to make my posts appear in search results more often. I was happily ignorant of most of these techniques at the beginning of the year. While working on my sites, I put them in maintenance mode, so they weren’t showing as searchable. I finished Paul Pens first, making it live three weeks ago. Determined not to become neurotic about receiving likes and comments for my articles, I was still a little puzzled that no one appeared to be looking at my blog. 

Randomly clicking on site icons one night—what’s that one do?—I finally rang the notifications bell I should have been dinging all along, to find that 100 people had left feedback. Proof that I miss the obvious.

Although bored witless recently, I remain optimistic about signing to KDP Select, which I’ve been wary of for the last six years. It could be that my lament about Where Is My Competition, Where Is My Prize? has finally been answered with Amazon UK’s Literary KDP Storyteller Award. I’m not so arrogant that I think I might win, but it’s a chance at fame and fortune that makes me feel upbeat.

It certainly beats querying literary agents!




I enjoy self-publishing & sending publishers rejection letters. They’re like, ‘Who is this guy?’ And I’m like, ‘the end of your industry.'”

Ryan Lilly: Write Like No One Is Reading

Image result for AUTHOR RYAN LILLY

Self-publishing is evergreen. Your book can always be in print via POD or available as an eBook. You can edit it, alter the cover or reissue it under a pen name.

The goal of many authors, to be accepted by a literary agent who touts your book around publishers has drawbacks you may not have thought of. A publisher can change your characters’ names, alter the plot and saddle it with a book cover design that’s ugly and irrelevant. Your newly published book has a shelf life of six weeks in a bookshop. If it doesn’t sell, it’s in the cut-price bin or remaindered, meaning it’s sent back to the publisher to be pulped.

If you self-publish, your earnings are higher than for comparable sales from a traditional publishing contract. I’m about to sign up to Amazon’s KDP Select programme, which offers 70% royalties + whatever I make from page reads as part of their Unlimited option. Even with their ordinary KDP authors are paid 35% of retail. Select means giving Amazon exclusivity for 90 days, meaning I can’t sell my books directly from my website, but I’m free to take a break from Select once the three-month period is over to go fully Indie—meaning I’d earn 100% of whatever sales I make.

Compare that to traditional publishing, which might pay an author $1-$2 for each book sold, those payments coming twice a year in arrears:

It’s odd how we admire musicians who release their records on their own labels, and we praise Indie filmmakers who get interesting projects financed and made, yet many people still look down their noses at writers who self-publish. It’s damned hard work to get everything together in a way that looks professional, as I can attest.

These days, it’s not the case that your publisher will do the bulk of the work in promoting their author clients—you’ll be expected to do all the things a self-publishing author does—establishing an online author platform, including blogging, running a website with a newsletter and posting on social media.

You don’t have a job for life with a book company. If your books don’t sell, you’ll be dropped. It’s better to be an unpublished writer, who might be the next big thing than to be shuffled aside as a failed author with a poor track record. Self-publishing is an attractive alternative. You can do so swiftly, not waiting up to two years before your book appears on a shelf. Most of the earnings are yours, not your publishers. If one book doesn’t sell well, there’s no stigma attached to you. Publish another one! You rule.

There have been some spectacular success stories for authors who started off self-publishing, such as Andy Weir, E.L. James, Adam Croft and James Oswald.

Image result for adam croft

There are drawbacks. It’s difficult to get physical copies of your masterpiece into bookshops, though the way that independent stores are reinventing themselves, including focusing on local writers, that situation is changing. Bear in mind, though, that should you manage to distribute your titles, it will be on a sales or return basis, with you paying shipping expenses. Another potential expense is paying for your book to be displayed prominently with the store. Few readers realise that the reason James Patterson novels are all over the shop, including at the till, is that his publisher has bought those spaces.

Your local library system will stock digital and POD versions of your work—a great way of getting your name known.

I’m not expecting miracles from self-publishing my Cornish Detective series with Amazon. I have six years of experience publishing on Smashwords and Draft2Digital, so I know how many authors are doing the same thing as me. Amazon does more to promote sales, but it’s still a steep learning curve.

What do you think of self-publishing?

Do you buy eBooks to read?

With your own books, is it traditional publishing only or the bottom drawer forever?

A Good News Story

From today’s Guardian, a story to encourage us all:

Adrian McKinty deserves his success. What depresses me about his story, is how, despite winning numerous writing awards, he was neglected by publishers.

Image result for author Adrian McKinty

It sometimes seems to me that book companies detest their clients, failing to promote their books on the basis that they haven’t made enough money—and why should they do anything to rectify the situation?

Shane Salerno, the agent who turned McKinty’s life around, is a real powerhouse:

Imagine taking a phone call from such an influential figure!

Do you scare yourself?

I should add, do you upset, arouse, please or amuse yourself as you write a story?

Image result for crazy author gif

I just experienced another example of my writing unexpectedly affecting me.

I’ve been moved by my own writing only a few times, largely because I know what’s coming next, of course. I’ve penned some revolting scenes in my crime novels, including finding corpses and autopsies. There are so many facts to get right, that I’m more focused on the minutiae of decomposition and post-mortem techniques than I am with the emotions of the participants—which are muted, as they’re professionals who’ve seen it all before.

All the same, there was a scene in the first Cornish Detective story which always makes my heart beat faster. In it, a headstrong detective conceals information about a serial killer—a master of disguise—planning to arrest him alone to secure prestige and promotion. Visiting the killer’s workplace at night, no one appears to be there. Thwarted he makes for the police station, stopping to examine a nearby skip/dumpster for evidence. He disturbs a homeless Asian woman, and going to offer her help with sheltered accommodation for the night, he realises at the last moment that it’s the man they’re hunting in disguise. The detective dies. Every time I read it, I’m gripped by the danger he’s in.

Finding a way to write a sex scene for my Cornish Detective was tricky, as it had to fit into a crime story and the circumstances of the MC and his lover. I went for erotic rather than out-and-out-get-it-all-out-and-stick-it-in-there pornography! Two of my three female beta readers loved it, while the other thought it too explicit—preferring the gory details of a body being dissected by the pathologist. Impossible for me to judge if it’s sexy or not, but it’s emotional and fitted in with how my protagonist finally permitted himself to become close to another person, after running scared from intimacy for nine years of widowhood.

I was more moved by the grief of a widower in a short story I wrote about assisted suicide at the Dignitas Clinic, shedding a few tears when he finds hidden messages from his dearly departed wife.

The ghost stories I’ve written slowly build an atmosphere of dread, so I’m more aware of technique than I am horrified. However, just this evening, my skin crawled as I thought of a way to conclude a Crime short story I’m writing in a ghostly way. 

Image result for writer haunted by ghosts

I intend to give away a couple of tales to subscribers to my newsletter from the Cornish Detective website. I started a story in March, returning to it from time to time. The Sad House became gloomier and gloomier, possibly reflecting my own pessimism as I struggled to understand how to build a WordPress blog.

The abandoned cottage has been the scene of murder and suicide for 150 years, so much so, that it’s the first place the police search when a vulnerable adult goes missing. I had vague intentions to add a supernatural element, but couldn’t think how to do it. Out of the darkness of my subconscious, came the idea of my MC catching a glimpse of a woman watching him from an upstairs window of the deserted house. Rushing to find who it is, the detective sees a shadow disappearing into the wall followed by a plaintive wailing. I think it’s the change of senses, from him examining a historic crime scene to hearing the distress of one of the victims that gives me goosebumps.

Image result for ghost look window

How have you been affected by your own writing?


Dating a Writer

A while ago, I posted about how Frequent Readers Make The Best Lovers, but I’ve been thinking about what it means to be involved with a writer.

My ruminations are partly inspired by running ideas through my mind for my sixth Cornish Detective novel, which I’ll begin writing in a month. My MC Neil Kettle has been a widower for nine years, not dating in that time, but corresponding with an American witness from Book 1. She unexpectedly turns up on his doorstep in Book 5 and they become lovers. Not on the doorstep!

Although my protagonist has an artistic side, his new lover is a talented professional photographer who makes multi-media art pieces, runs several blogs and writes hardboiled crime novels. She’s hinted at a wild past, including involvement with biker gangs, but Neil is disturbed when he does the one thing he shouldn’t have done, by reading her latest manuscript. The details of a 1980s bank robbery contain details of a real heist, hinting that she may have been involved—two people died—she could be a fugitive from justice.

Reading a WIP without permission is one of the things mentioned in this all too true article:

I haven’t dated in a decade, which is down to choice, as I made a deliberate decision to focus on my writing career. At times, I miss not being in a relationship, but being honest, I know that I’d resent interference with my freedom to do what I want, when I want—whether it be writing a new chapter, editing old material or going nuts as I attempt to understand the complexity of my WordPress blog and website.

Perhaps the ideal relationship for a writer is with another writer. There have been many famous literary couples:

Being alone, without anyone to share setbacks and little victories can be draining on the soul. Last night, after several days seeking solutions, I finally cracked a frustrating issue to do with hyperlinked chapter headings disappearing when converted to other formats. I gave a little cheer, realising that no one in the world cared but me. Such is the loneliness of the long-distance writer. I didn’t feel sorry for myself for more than a few seconds, simply glad that I can move ahead today editing my crime novels for publication on Amazon.

At present, I don’t have the time or inclination to date…and, anyway, I’m too damned weird!

What are you like to date or to be married to as a writer?

Do your partner and family understand your funny little ways?

Have you ever dated a writer?


As I emerge from reclusiveness, to share myself and my crime novels online, it occurred to me that part of my self-promotion campaign should include personal appearances.

From reading how debut authors achieved success, one of the best ways of getting anywhere is attending literary festivals and residential training courses. It’s not as if writers, editors, literary agents and publishers wander around looking like their job or wear helpful placards hanging from their neck.

The second question commonly asked, after learning a stranger’s name, is: “What do you do?” I’ve long referred to myself as a writer, simply because it’s what I’ve done more than any other job. It’s how I’ve thought of myself, even when working in a factory, as a dispatch rider, teacher and librarian.

After being a hermit in a hovel for ten years, I’m pondering on how to be a public performer. I’m a long way from being shy—and the world of books is genteel—but how do I infiltrate it? Maybe my ambition is showing on my face, somehow, for three unexpected incidents yesterday set my brain whirring.

Firstly, I bumped into an old lover. She lives locally and though we don’t socialise, we’ve chatted amicably enough on the street. Back in 2013, when I mentioned to her that I was returning to creative writing full-time, she was dismissive, saying I’d never make money at it—which I already knew would be hard. Puzzled by her negativity, I later recalled she’d written a memoir that she couldn’t find a publisher for. This time, when she asked about my writing, she was joyful and encouraging that I’m going to begin self-publishing my Cornish Detective series this summer. A pat on the back beats a kick up the arse, so I felt buoyed up.

I wandered into the library. The assistants know I’m a writer and have been helpful offering advice about Cornwall Libraries policy on buying books by local authors. I’ve shared some of my experiences about querying agents, editing, blogging and putting myself out there on social media. The librarian smiled at the requested titles I’d come in to collect, which were three books in theFor Dummies’ series about Facebook, Instagram, GoodReads and Twitter. Although I’ve used social media for twenty years, there’s a big difference between being a casual surfer and using it to run a business. She asked if I’d be interested in talking to their readers’ group, which meets once a fortnight to discuss a set book. Sure, said I, panicking about how to describe being a writer without sounding like a merchant of doom!

Wondering if my status as a writer could grow from grassroots, I went to shop for food at the Co-Op supermarket. At the till was an employee I’ve talked to about writing. When writing my last novel, which features thieves who use a bulldozer to steal the ATM from the foyer of that very supermarket, I’d spent time eyeballing the security cameras and monitor screen hanging from the ceiling as a deterrent. The assistant looked at me suspiciously, as if I was about to rob the place, so I explained why I was being nosy.

Since then, we’ve chatted about writing and publishing, as she totalled my bill at the till. I said I was about to self-publish the first two novels, whereupon, she asked for my profile name on Facebook, offering to promote my crime series via several book groups she runs. I was very surprised. I’m hopeless at asking for help, preferring to assist others, so receiving three boosts to my efforts inside an hour gladdened my heart.

I’d better get on with things. People think I’m a writer, even I feel like I’m a bumbling impostor at times.

How do you handle being a writer with your family, friends and the public?

Interviewing your Protagonist

One way to establish the character of the main players in your story is to interview them.

Whether you’re a pantser or a planner, it’s wise to make notes about your recurring characters, to help establish a world that feels realistic. This is especially true if writing a series. Not just their physical characteristics, but likes and dislikes, including phobias, and basic stuff like their birth dates. I was four books into my Cornish Detective series when I realised I hadn’t given my MC a birthday! Fortunately, there was a gap in the timeline of the plots to have him celebrate, albeit alone, on October 4th.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kettle is a widower. I’d written about his grieving and depression, but missed out an obvious detail—did he still wear his wedding ring? I re-edited the first three novels to put it on his finger, having him store it in a drawer in the fourth book when he’s rebuilding his personal life in a new house.

I might have avoided these omissions, had I interviewed him.

Taking the first question from the HuffPost article What do you do and are you good at it? Neil Kettle would respond:

“I’m a detective leading a murder investigation team. I joined the force when I was twenty-years-old, following the unexpected deaths of my parents. They wanted me to take over their sheep farm, but it wasn’t for me. Growing up there, surrounded by tranquillity made me appreciate the need for calm and order, which is what I try to restore to society as a policeman. Being a farmer’s son gave me patience and resourcefulness. I’m a grinder, never giving up until I get my suspect.”

That answer gives some idea of his background and brooding watchfulness. Also, he’s a modest man, preferring to get the job done, rather than boast about it.

Image result for detective interview suspect

Immersed in plotting, punctuation, grammar, formatting and editing, it’s very easy to lose track of who your characters are as people. I’ve read some exciting crime novels which moved at quite a pace, with intriguing clues, but the hero was two-dimensional. Readers need to bond with the goodies and the villains if they’re going to read on and search out more of your stories.

It can be strangely intimidating to imagine sitting down opposite someone you’ve created, but who’s taken on an all too real identity in your mind, haunting your waking and sleeping hours.

It may be that you don’t like them very much, that they’re aggressive or annoying to be around. I based DCI Neil Kettle on various farmers and coppers I’ve known. There are aspects of him that I share, such as his liking of art, music, reading, cats, motorcycling and nature, but I’d find him too judgemental and reserved to be a friend.

Detectives have a saying, “Believe no one”. Neil Kettle has that caution and analytical way of observing people, which would be unsettling to experience, making me feel like I’d been up to no good from the way he looked at me! 

Which of your characters would you interview?

What would they say?

Are any of your antagonists too scary to be near?

What about the sexy ones?

Apart from your own characters, which famous fictional character would you like to interview and why?

I’d like to have a chinwag with Winnie The Pooh, who’s got his priorities right, but Ewan McGregor beat me to it, thanks to making Christopher Robin.

Your Author Bio

In rejigging my online presence, via a blog, website and various social media accounts, I’ve had to describe myself in profiles of different lengths.

As with anything to do with writing, self-publishing and self-promotion little words can carry mighty weight. From the story itself to the title, to tags chosen to describe the plot and onto an author’s biography, there are writing experts who’ll coach you on what to use and what to avoid saying.

I freely admit that I’m nosy about finding out details about a creative person’s life. The internet could have been invented for me: I’ll read the Wikipedia pages for all of the stars in a film that’s on television, before moving to the director, cameraman and sound recordist. Contemplating the idea that some reader will be doing that with my bio is disconcerting.

I’ve often wondered how relevant an author’s upbringing and career history are to their books. I see the significance if their parents are writers, as with Kingsley and Martin Amis, James Lee Burke and Alafair Burke, Stephen King and Joe Hill and Alice Walker and Rebecca Walker. But, what difference does it make if a writer’s parents were aristocrats or servants? My father was a noted industrial photographer, so I grew up in a house full of cameras and photographs, but did that make me more observant? Would I write differently if Dad was a plumber?

What about an author’s work history? I’ve done something like 50 different jobs, including career ladder professions, wage slave factory worker, manual labourer and charity volunteer on nature projects, street art, community centre and counselling. Such variety has given me an appreciation of what people do to earn a crust, more so than if I’d been a truck driver for 40 years.

How about a writer’s romantic liaisons and marriages—always of keen interest to prurient readers—was the person who wrote the book promiscuous or a prude? A lot of authors’ bios on the back flap of their novel end with something like ‘She lives in Brighton with her husband, two children and three cats.’

That should be enough, surely?

One factor that readers apparently consider, is how experienced or knowledgeable is the author to write about their subject? In my writing genre of Crime, there are some noted writers who were policemen, profilers, lawyers, probation officers or criminals. Would I sell more books, if I confessed to burying my first two wives under the patio? I’m joking! 

I posted my bio on this blog. My profile is similar on my Cornish Detective website and social media sites

I think it’s important to open up and let readers into your life and way of thinking if you’re going to foster loyalty to your books. Along those lines, I’ve written articles explaining why I wrote that particular Cornish Detective story, which will be open to readers leaving comments on my website. In the internet age, we all think we deserve to know about someone’s life. How many reclusive writers manage to stay unknown these days?

I’m happy to interact with people that way, and further down the road, if I have any sales success, there may be public appearances and book signings. I would never want the level of recognition which makes authors household names, with fandom that intrudes, as with J.K. Rowling, Anne Rice and Stephen King.

Some authors adopt a whimsical approach to their bios:

Lemony Snicket has ridden the rails, gotten off track, and lost his train of thought. His investigative research has been collected and published in books, including those in A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions.”

Image result for lemony snicket

Eric Carle invented writing, the airplane, and the internet. He was also the first person to reach the North Pole. He has flown to Mars and back in one day, and was enthusiastically greeted by the Martians. “Very strange beings,” he reported on his return. He has written one thousand highly regarded books; a team of experts is presently attempting to grasp their meaning. “It might take a century,” said the chief expert. Carle is also a great teller of stories — but not all of them are true, for instance those in this book.”

Image result for eric carle author

Laurelin Paige is the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She’s a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio. You can connect with Laurelin on Facebook at or on twitter @laurelinpaige. You can also visit her website,, to sign up for emails about new releases and a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate in a monthly drawing.”

Image result for laurelin paige author

How do you feel about putting yourself out there as a writing personality?

Is anything from your past going to help you sell books?

Feeling clueless about what to say? Reedsy has a free author bio template: