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Best Practices for Writing Author Bios

Kimberly Davis Bio

Every author or prospective author needs a bio. Here’s what you need to include in that bio.

Follow these six basic rules when writing an author bio:

  1. Write it in using third person POV. It should look like someone else is writing about you.
  2. List facts. No one cares about your aspirations. They want to know what you have actually done. List publications, relevant work and education experience. Note: if you have a lot of publications, don’t list everything, only the most important or most recent.
  3. List only Pertinent Education. If you have a degree that relates to the piece you’re writing or a degree in writing or journalism, then list it. Otherwise, skip this information in the interest of brevity.
  4. Memberships and Awards. Again, this depends on the assignment. If you are a member of a professional organization that relates to the assignment, mention it. If you’ve won awards for your writing, mention those, but be prepared to cut them if they don’t really relate.
  5. Be Concise. Keep this bio short. 100 words is a good length to shoot for.
  6. Memorable. Include something special about you.


This is the bio of a man whose first novel is currently a blockbuster:

Maurice Carlos Ruffin has been a recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction and a winner of the William Faulkner—William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for a Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, The Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. A native of New Orleans, Ruffin is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance. Read more at his website,

This is the bio of a man at the end of his career, with more credits than he cares to list:

Sam Pickering grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. He spent 67 years in classrooms learning and teaching and has long been a rummager and writer wandering New England and the South, the Mid-East, Britain, Australia, and Canada. He has written some thirty books and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His most recent book is The World Was My Garden, Too (Madville Publishing 2019).

And this is the bio of a first-time author writing under a pseudonym:

Kate Saunders is a first-time author, but a life-long writer and avid entrepreneur. Following spinal surgery and a subsequent near-death experience, she felt compelled to reevaluate her life and reinvent herself through activism and writing. She views Stand in the Traffic as a subtle path to raise her readers’ awareness.


NOTE: There’s an even shorter version of the bio required for Social Media, but that’s a talk for another day!


Kimberly Davis holds an MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and a BA from Columbia College-Chicago in Arts and Entertainment Media Management. She spent five years on the editorial staff of Texas Review Press, with two of those in the director’s chair. While at TRP, she filled various roles including layout, cover design, editing, and acquisitions. Davis is currently the Director at Madville Publishing, where she solicits literary poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. In addition, Kim has been designing websites for 20 years. See her portfolio at Sublime Design Studio. Contact her at to speak to your group.

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We’ll be at the North Texas Book Festival

North Texas Book Festival Info

Madville Publishing will be at the North Texas Book Festival

When is it?

The North Texas Book Festival
Saturday, April 6, 2019
7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

We will have all our books for sale, and some of our authors on hand to sign copies.
Get there early for the Chuckwagon breakfast.


Patterson-Appleton Arts Center
400 E. McKinney Street
Denton, Texas

Books we’ll be featuring:

An Englishman in Texas by Ron Kenney
A memoir about an English jockey who came to Texas in 1960. Author Ron Kenney tells about childhood during the Battle of Britain in northern England, his apprenticeship as a jockey from the age of 14, until he retired from that life after an injury in his 30s. He tells about the rich men he rode for and about his life after horses. This man is a dynamo, and we hope he will be able to join us at NTBF.

Gunshot, Peacock, Dog by Rick Campbell
Poetry by one of Florida’s best loved poets. Rick Campbell’s poetry reads like a conversation with a good friend. He brings light and thoughtful humor to mundane day-to-day existence.

No Evil is Wide by Randall Watson
Dark, literary fiction by award-winning poet and author. Randall Watson’s gift for poetic language shines through this dark story of a chaotic near future where the world has slipped into madness.

Sisypha Larvata Prodeat by Jan Cole
Multi-lingual, illustrated poetry by beloved Texas poet/musician. Jan Cole’s poetry about love, life, and friendship translated by Angela Liu and Lorrie Lo is a joy in any language. It is enhanced by the colorful and playful artwork of Mexican artist, Adelina Moya.

The Autobiography of Francis N. Stein: The Last Promethean by A. Rooney
A novel that explores what may have happened if the Frankenstein wretch had descendants. Francis is a big hearted guy who can’t seem to avoid trouble.

By the Light of a Neon Moon edited by Janet Lowery
A wild and crazy poetry anthology about dancehalls. This collection includes the work of numerous poets laureate and award winning poets from around the country.

North Texas Book Festival LogoLearn more:

Find out more on the NTBF website:

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Tropes in Suspense and Thriller Markets and Venus in Retrograde

Venus fresco in the Temple of Venus, Pompeii, Italy

Venus fresco in the Temple of Venus, Pompeii, Italy

Tropes in the Thriller/Suspense category—Philanderers

Studying market trends by looking at my social media feed leads me to make interesting connections (at least in my head they are interesting connections!) I’m bewildered by the overwhelming number of novels that focus on lonely desperate women who have been either dumped or widowed by philandering men. Is this a sign of the female anima awakening? Guys, are you ALL fooling around? Or are we just interested in reading and writing these stories for fun?


Look at this list that GoodReads sent me this morning (note: I don’t recall ever indicating that I even like to read thrillers):

The Good Widow, by Liz Fenton:

“Elementary school teacher Jacqueline ‘Jacks’ Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.

For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.

Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…”

P.S. from Paris, by Marc Levy

On the big screen, Mia plays a woman in love. But in real life, she’s an actress in need of a break from her real-life philandering husband—the megastar who plays her romantic interest in the movies. So she heads across the English Channel to hide in Paris behind a new haircut, fake eyeglasses, and a waitressing job at her best friend’s restaurant.

Paul is an American author hoping to recapture the fame of his first novel. When his best friend surreptitiously sets him up with Mia through a dating website, Paul and Mia’s relationship status is “complicated.”

Even though everything about Paris seems to be nudging them together, the two lonely ex-pats resist, concocting increasingly far-fetched strategies to stay “just friends.” A feat easier said than done, as fate has other plans in store. Is true love waiting for them in a postscript?

When Never Comes by Barbara Davis

As a teenage runaway and child of an addict, Christy-Lynn learned the hard way that no address was permanent, and no promise sacred. For a while, she found a safe haven in her marriage to bestselling crime novelist Stephen Ludlow—until his car skidded into Echo Bay. But Stephen’s wasn’t the only body pulled from the icy waters that night. When details about a mysterious violet-eyed blonde become public, a media circus ensues, and Christy-Lynn runs again.

Desperate for answers, she’s shattered to learn that Stephen and his mistress had a child—a little girl named Iris, who now lives in poverty with her ailing great-grandmother. The thought of Iris abandoned to the foster care system—as Christy-Lynn once was—is unbearable. But she’s spent her whole life running—determined never to be hurt again. Will she finally stand still long enough to open herself up to forgiveness and love?

Tips for Living by Renee Shafransky

On the day Nora discovered that her husband, Hugh, had gotten another woman pregnant, she made a vow: I will come back to life no matter how long it takes…

It’s taken Nora three years. With the help of her best friend, she fled New York City for a small resort town, snagged a job as the advice columnist for the local paper, and is cautiously letting a new man into her life. But when Hugh and his perfect new family move into a summer house nearby, Nora backslides. Coping with jealousy, humiliation, and resentment again is as hard as she feared. It’s harder still when Hugh and his wife are shot to death in their home.

If only Nora could account for the night of the murders. Unfortunately, her memories have gone as dark as her fantasies of revenge. But Nora’s not the only one with a reason to kill—and as prime suspect in the crime, she’d better be able to prove it.

The Barefoot Summer by Carolyn Brown

Leaving one widow behind is unfortunate. Leaving three widows behind is just plain despicable. Oil heiress Kate Steele knew her not-so-dearly departed husband was a con man, but she’s shocked that Conrad racked up two more wives without divorcing her first. The only remnant of their miserable marriage she plans to keep is their lakeside cabin in Bootleg, Texas. Unfortunately, she’s not the only woman with that idea.

Fiery, strong-willed Jamie wishes Conrad were still alive—so she could kill the scoundrel herself. But for their daughter’s sake, she needs that property. As does Amanda—twenty-eight, pregnant, and still weeping over the loss of her true love. On a broiling July day, all three arrive in Bootleg…with a dogged detective right behind who’s convinced that at least one of them conspired to commit murder. One momentous summer filled with revelations, quirky neighbors, and barefoot evenings on the porch offers three women the chance to make the journey from enemies to friends, and claim a bright, new beginning.

Trespassing by Brandi Reeds

Veronica Cavanaugh’s grasp on the world is slipping. Her latest round of fertility treatments not only failed but left her on edge and unbalanced. And her three-year-old daughter, Elizabella, has a new imaginary friend, who seems much more devilish than playful. So when Veronica’s husband fails to return home from a business trip, what’s left of her stability begins to crumble.

Given her family’s history of mental illness, and Elizabella’s insistence that her daddy is dead, Veronica starts questioning herself. Every move she makes is now suspect. Worse still, Veronica is positive that someone wants her and her daughter dead, too—unless it’s all in her mind…

Somewhere beneath her paranoia is the answer to her husband’s vanishing. To find it, she’s led to a house in the Florida Keys. But once there, she isn’t sure she wants to know the truth.

Digging In by Loretta Nyhan

In Loretta Nyhan’s warm and witty Amazon Charts bestselling novel, a widow discovers an unexpected chance to start over—right in her own backyard.

Paige Moresco found her true love in eighth grade—and lost him two years ago. Since his death, she’s been sleepwalking through life, barely holding on for the sake of her teenage son. Her house is a wreck, the grass is overrun with weeds, and she’s at risk of losing her job. As Paige stares at her neglected lawn, she knows she’s hit rock bottom. So she does something entirely unexpected: she begins to dig.

As the hole gets bigger, Paige decides to turn her entire yard into a vegetable garden. The neighbors in her tidy gated community are more than a little alarmed. Paige knows nothing about gardening, and she’s boldly flouting neighborhood-association bylaws. But with the help of new friends, a charming local cop, and the transformative power of the soil, Paige starts to see potential in the chaos of her life. Something big is beginning to take root—both in her garden and in herself.

After You Left by Carol Mason

You want to know what the worst thing is? It’s not the embarrassment, or the looks on people’s faces when I tell them what happened. It isn’t the pain of him not being there—loneliness is manageable. The worst thing is not knowing why.

When Justin walks out on Alice on their honeymoon, with no explanation apart from a cryptic note, Alice is left alone and bewildered, her life in pieces.

Then she meets Evelyn, a visitor to the gallery where she works. It’s a seemingly chance encounter, but Alice gradually learns that Evelyn has motives, and a heartbreaking story, of her own. And that story has haunting parallels with Alice’s life.

As Alice delves into the mystery of why Justin left her, the questions are obvious. But the answers may lie in the most unlikely of places…

What could cause this emphasis on cheating husbands?

The similarities between these stories sent my mind drifting back to a Facebook post I read yesterday about the planet Venus entering a retrograde phase:

“Venus Retrograde 2018—What to Expect”

Venus Retrograde 2018 starts on October 5th at 10° Scorpio. Venus retrograde will last for 40 days, until November 15th when Venus goes direct at 25° Libra. Venus is the Goddess of love and relationships. When retrograde, your relationships are being tested. You have 40 days to review, revisit, re-evaluate your love life and your relationships. If Venus Retrograde 2018 is already giving you chills, listen to this: Venus goes retrograde in Scorpio, the most intense sign of the zodiac. Death, sex, finances, and taboos – in general, what people never talk about – are Scorpio’s territory. Can you imagine what it means to have the Goddess of Love going through Scorpio? The Valley of death, the inferno? Let’s put it like this: If Romeo and Juliet was an astrological transit, it would have been Venus Retrograde in Scorpio. . . .

It’s a tenuous connection at best, but sort of fun to contemplate. Might the influence of Venus going into retrograde have made the copywriter of that GoodReads bulletin gather all the suspense and thriller titles that involved philandering men? Should we send our prayers, love and light, whatever to that poor girl who has philandering men on her mind?

Happy Sunday, y’all!

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Other Words Literary Conference in Tampa 2018

Other Words Literary Conference logo

Madville’s First Official Conference

The Other Words Conference was held at the University of Tampa, October 11-13, 2018, which turned out to be unfortunate as Hurricane Michael blew through the Florida Panhandle on October 10. This meant many writers who had planned to attend simply couldn’t get there. Still, Tampa was unaffected, and the airplanes flew, so Kim and Jacqui attended and represented Madville.


These events are largely about networking, and we sat prominently with a table at the book fair, where we offered our first two titles, An Englishman in Texas and Gunshot, Peacock, Dog. Rick Campbell, author of Gunshot, Peacock, Dog, was on hand to sign copies. In addition, Kim spoke on the subject of publishing.

Other Words Literary Conference logo

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2018-2019 Catalog Progress

Madville Publishing LLC Fall 2018/Spring 2019 catalog

Madville Publishing LLC is proud to begin promoting our catalog. Our titles are set for fall 2018, and we’ve begun building the list for spring 2019.

Fall 2018 includes the following:

An Englishman in Texas
A Memoir by Ron Kenney

Sisypha Larvata Prodeat
(Sisypha Wearing a Mask Advances)
薛西法 假面 潛行
Poetry by Jan Cole, Art by Adelina Moya
Translated by Angela Liu

Gunshot, Peacock, Dog
Poetry by Rick Campbell

No Evil is Wide
A Novella by Randall Watson

Spring 2019 features the following:

The Autobiography of Francis N. Stein: The Last Promethean
A Novel by A. Rooney

By the Light of a Neon Moon
A Poetry Anthology edited by Janet Lowery

Read about all our upcoming titles HERE.