A biography, commonly known as a bio, is defined as a detailed description of a person’s life. Rather than dealing with the basic facts of the subject’s life like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience with life events, presenting a subject’s life story, with highlights of various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may even include an analysis of the subject’s personality.
Biography’s are usually non-fiction in nature but fiction can sometimes be used to portray the subject’s life. One form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing that deals with in-depth research.
At first, biographical writings were merely a subsection of history focusing on a particular individual of historical importance. The independent genre of biography began emerging in the 18th century reaching its contemporary form at the turn of the 20th century. Biographical research as defined by Miller is a research method of collecting and analyzing a person’s whole life, or on occasion a portion of their life. This is accomplished through the in-depth and unstructured interviews, or even by semi-structured interview or personal documents. In short the research can come from “oral history, personal narrative, biography and autobiography” or “diaries, letters, memoranda and other materials.
There are two types of biography:
Authorized biography which is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject’s heirs.
An autobiography which is written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter.
The idea of writing our own biography is a daunting one for most of us and knowing where and how to start can be the main stumbling block for many. What to put in and what to leave out!
With other members of my writing group, I helped produce a memoir writing guide, which gives pointers on how to collect and compile artifacts, photos, letters etc. into a themed collection enabling you to format and theme your memoir/biography.
The practical suggestions included in the pages of this book will suggest to you ways you can identify, record, and organize your collection of memories so you can begin to write your stories. It is not a how to write but a how to begin workbook.
This week I will be preparing for an author reading on Saturday. With the theme ‘Back to School’ I will probably read from my children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue. As each chapter revolves around a particular animal, I will more than likely choose one chapter that has a fall/autumn related theme.
AUGUST 19 10.30 am – 3 pm Festival Place, Sherwood Park.
Artisan Market at Chautauqua
Check out all kinds of beautiful hand crafted goods made by local artists and artisans at the Chautauqua Tent Artisan Market! There will be demonstrations at some booths so you can see how the artist works and chat with them about their process. While you’re there you can stop by our free drop-in workshop to make your own mini work of art and create a button to celebrate Canadian art.
The Writers at Woody Point Festival in Bonne Bay, NL, runs August 15-20, with authors including Eva Crocker, Dennis Lee, Lawrence Hill, Linden McIntyre, Lisa Moore, Kathleen Winter.
And The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts returns August 17-20 to Sechelt, BC, for its 35th year, its amazing lineup including Donna Morrissey, Iain Reid, Janie Chang, Kamal Al-Solaylee, Bev Sellars, Zoe Whittall, Charlotte Gray, and more.
It is Board meeting week for me this week, Tuesday is the Writers Foundation meeting and then Wednesday is the Arts & Culture Council meeting. We have a lot to plan and organize for our annual Words in the Park and Culture Day events. Again we are co-hosting our events as part of Alberta Culture Days. It is a special year not only for Canada 150 but the Writers Foundation and Albert Culture Days 10th anniversaries.
We have a new larger venue this year – Spark Gallery, which is the home of the world renowned Canadian artist Glen Roland. It is exciting to have such a beautiful space to display, interact and engage.
With numerous authors and artisans, dance and music performances, children’s activities and a food truck it’s an event for the whole family.
What are your plans this week?
A few tickets are still left for the very popular When Words Collide in Calgary, AB, August 11-13, with Will Ferguson, C.C. Humphreys, Guy Gavri
Winterset in Summer – Literary Festival
The Winterset in Summer Literary Festival in Eastport, NL, takes place August 10-13, with Anakana Schofield, Esi Edugyan, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, and so many more great authors.
Please welcome Joe to my blog. He is a great writer, a talented artist as well as author and the President of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I have always had a love for storytelling. Even when I was young. When I was fourteen I saw a game called Time Soldiers and I basically took it from there. Many rewrites later the final draft looks nothing like the original; even the title – Time’s Hostage – is different.
How did you come up with the title?
I needed a title that wasn’t already owned by a video game so during my last revision, I looked into my story to find a title that worked with the story. I knew I wanted to incorporate time into the title so that’s where I started. Then, because one of the characters is kidnapped and taken through time, I came up with Time’s Hostage.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or un published)
Time’s Hostage was my first; it was published in 2013. Since then I have published two more with a fourth one coming out in fall of 2016. I am currently writing a fifth book and planning a sixth one to be started in November 2016.
Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?
Occasionally I throw in a message but mostly I just want the reader to have fun and enjoy the world I have created.
How much of the book is realistic?
I try to immerse my characters into the real world whether that be a world where they travel through time, exist on another planet or live in a world of enhanced humans. I try to create relatable characters no matter what environment put them in.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I don’t base my characters on real people usually but sometimes a steal memories from real life and insert them into my stories.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I am answering this one for Fly On The Wall as it is my newest one as of Summer 2016. I’m not so sure I would change anything. This book was different than anything I had written previously and that’s how I try to write all my books. Keep them different from each other; try new things. It was a lot of fun for me to write.
Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?
Just that I hope everyone who reads my books gets as much, if not more, enjoyment from my stories as I did writing them.
What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?
I don’t know that I have a specific favorite part or chapter in my novels. What I really do enjoy is creating completely new worlds. In my novel The Arrival and my newest book, Powerless, due in fall, I got to create worlds far apart from our own – a distant planet and an alternate universe respectively.
What is your favorite theme/genre to write?
Sci-fi has to be my favorite genre. Four of my books are of a science fiction nature. Two of which happen to be time travel, which would be my favorite theme. Although I do try and change it up. Right now I am writing a suspense novel.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I’m sure there probably is a subject I wouldn’t write about but I haven’t been approached to write anything so I haven’t had the opportunity to weigh out whether or not I felt comfortable in writing it. I basically get inspired to write certain stories that both interest and excite me.
What book are you reading now?
I am reading Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.
Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to have a career as a writer and to do this full time.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
By then I hope to be working full-time for a local publishing company, still writing, and possibly making the Comic Con circuit.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Research is always challenging. I have dealt with scenes involving medical, law enforcement, science professionals, and time travel. The trick is to make each scene believable and authentic.
Have you ever hated anything you have written?
Of course. If I really hate something I have written and editing cannot fix the issue, I would consider revising or just scrap it altogether.
Which book do you wish you had written?
This might come across as a pure money grubbing answer but I wish I had written the Harry Potter series. I title like that would make my wish as a full-time writer come true.
What is your best marketing tip?
Actually, I’m still working on my marketing. But from what I can tell, social media is a great way to go. Get your name out there. The more people who know who you are and what you’re writing, the better your chances are.
What genre is your next project? What is it about?
My current WIP is a suspense novel. It’s about a woman who has been keeping secrets from her husband, which could end up turning her life upside down when her husband vanishes.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My newest book, Powerless – due out in fall of 2016 – is about an alternate world where everyone has enhanced abilities but someone is using a serum to rob people of their abilities; sending them to exile on Institutional Island. One man who has had his abilities taken away from him before he had the chance to gain them finds a way to stay on the mainland to protect the city from this threat.
How do we find your books, blog and bio?
You can find my books and bio on the Dream Write Publishing site – www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/j-e-mcknight. I don’t have a blog but you can also see me at various events around Strathcona County. As well, I will be at the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo in September 2016. Booth 1101 – come and meet me.