The dreaded bio

My publisher just asked what I wanted for my bio in the back of The Wrong Side of Magic (Assuming Feiwell keeps the original title.) I always get a personality crisis whenever anybody asks me about my bio.

Who am I? How am I supposed to put anything meaningful in a few sentences? I always want to write something like:

Janette Rallison rocks. No really, she’s awesome. And she is totally not writing this bio herself. Everybody believes she’s awesome. You should buy all her books.

At other times I want to write something more abstract like: Janette Rallison doesn’t have the patience for chess, wears white after labor day, and has never seen the intrinsic value of modern art. She always roots for the prey during nature videos. Sometimes she trips over air molecules.

Sometimes she remembers the difference between root and route–but not very often

I mean, after 23 books, what is there to say?


Fact checking in the real world–why authors can’t ever really leave work behind

I’ve been vacationing in Oregon and Utah, both of which have way better weather than Arizona has right now. I didn’t mean to work at all, but the problem (or benefit, depending on how you look at it) is that you can’t turn off the writer’s brain. For example, when we went white water rafting, we took a 15 passenger van to the river head. The whole ride up I was thinking about the fifteen passenger van I have my characters riding around in during Slayers. (That may or may not be the actual title of the book.)

Actual example of the conversation in the van:

Youngest daughter (code name, Melody, because she has recently informed me that I should have named her Melody.) “Mom, look at how tall those trees are!”
Me: silently thinking, “My characters need a bigger van. There’s not enough room for surveillance equipment in this thing.”

Here are some pictures from our water adventure. Although I look like I’m standing up in the back of the raft, I’m not. The water is simply higher where I am.

In this next picture you will notice I have disappeared. Coincidence, or a plot by our evil raft guide? My question is this: Who in the world first saw a churning river with rapids quaintly named things like “Bone Crusher” and thought, “Hey, I have a good idea! Let’s get a flimsy, air-filled boat, and go down this baby.”

Who? Men, that’s who.

In Slayers, my main character rides a black gelding named Bane. That’s what the stables gave me. Unlike my main character, I had no mystic connection with my black horse. However, he did want to eat non-stop, so maybe there were similarities in our personalities. That’s pretty much what I did on vacation.

Next stop, The Princess Festival in Lindon,Utah. Think Prom for little girls. Here is Melody riding a sea serpent. Hmmm, that would make an interesting plot point . . .

Here I am posing in a fountain with Melody. This picture actually has nothing to do with the rest of the blog. I’m just including it because I’m vain. I think most authors are. Why else would we ever think that anybody cared, let alone would pay for, all the stories that go swirling around in our minds? (Discuss amongst yourselves.)

Here is Melody with Beauty. All of the famous princesses were at the festival. (Which incidentally is a volunteer run fundraiser to help girls in Kenya.)The princesses had to have generic names though, so Disney won’t sue them.

Here is the best princess of all: The Snow Queen, played by none other than big sister, code name Serena. Hey Serena, I knew that pale skin I gave you would pay off someday!

And lastly, here is Melody learning early on that to find your prince, you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs.

I love princesses. I totally want to write that retelling of Cinderella that I’ve been thinking about since I wrote My Fair Godmother. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be doing revisions. Cinderella will have to wait.