Biographies and Contest

Biographies are obviously popular, we see a new celebrity promoting their book nearly every month. It’s human nature to want to get inside another person’s head, to understand what makes them tick.

The first biography I remember reading was Nicholas and Alexandra: An Intimate Account of the Last Romanovs and the Fall of Imperial Russia, a little light summer reading for a high school kid. I was fascinated with Russian society and drank in every detail of this doomed couple. Since then, I’ve read a number of other biographies, but as I write this, I am realizing that almost all of them were on political figures. I guess that makes sense, though, considering my love of history and desire to learn from the past to make better choices in the future.

Recently, though, I read The Soul of it All, the memoir of singer/songwriter Michael Bolton. I’ve been a fan for many years and knew a bit about his struggle to achieve the success he has, but this book gave me a new appreciation for his dedication to his passion. It is admirable Mr. Bolton was so candid about his struggles.

I love writing, and when I’m in the zone on a book I feel freer than anywhere else. Even when I’m not actually writing the zone can continue as the world I am creating takes over my brain. I love that feeling, but I don’t know if I could give up all the security I have achieved through my day job to focus solely on my writing. Mr. Bolton faced eviction and hunger more than once pursuing his passion. How often do we encounter someone with that kind of drive and confidence in their abilities? Too often I hear stories on the news or even in the office of people complaining about life not being fair, that they deserve more than they have. I’ve even been guilty of this myself, but this book was a good reminder that hard work is truly the key to success. I plan to keep the book near my writing area to help me remember good things do come to those who persevere and, of course, to make me smile at the sight of one of my favorite artists.

Just for fun, is there someone  you would like to read a biography on that doesn’t have one out yet?  Share their name and why in comments and you could be the winner of  a pre-order of my upcoming release Jessie

The four Cole boys suffer abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father, while largely being left to their own devices by a heartbroken and overworked mother.  Their adventures on their island home have become a welcome escape, and one of the only things in life the boys can truly rely on. Jessie, the youngest and a dreamer, becomes enamored with US plans for manned space flight and its race to the moon, stirring his own dreams of one day becoming an astronaut. In a strange twist of fate, it is the space program and the momentum it gains that abruptly brings their beloved island life to an end. The family is forced to move to the city and start anew.

Releasing July 20.2014



  1. James Prescott says:

    Ooh, this is difficult. Do they have to be famous? I always wanted to write a book telling my Mum’s (amazing) story. Wouldn’t mind reading a biography of Rob Bell, though that’s just because I’m a fan of his writing. So many famous people get biographies done so young now, it’s difficult to think of someone who doesn’t have one.

  2. I would have loved to read biographies of “real” women from the 1800s. The factory worker, farmer, teacher, and of course prairie wives 😉 I love the collections if letters but I wish we had more…

  3. Well I’d LOVE to see my own memoir get written!!! But that’s because it’s been in process since 2006. OY. This is the year, though! LOL Great post Rebekah!

  4. Elyse, have you read Alan Alda’s book, Never Stuff Your Dog? It’s pretty funny. I’ve always love learning, so biographies are still entertaining for me. I don’t think any I’ve read have shown the subject in a particularly glowing light, but I don’t read fluffy ones like many celeb bios are. Ronald Reagan is my next biography in queue.

  5. I’m just not into biographies since I feel most of the time they attempt to put the person in a glowing light. Or let me state it this way – a book biography. I read little blurbs to get an idea but I have read (forced via schools) ones about Lincoln and other well-known people of the past. Reading about Miley Cyrus, George (insert favorite initial) Bush or some other political leader/celebrity – nope! Not interested. It may be my loss but I’d rather be entertained in a tale of fantasy and fiction than read about somebody else’s life. Actually, when you get down to the basics of a story, almost all of them are biographies — consider John Carter of Mars, a tale of a man who lived on Mars and his adventures. Hmm? I think I’m losing my battle with my own arguments. LOL.

  6. Biographies are a great source of information, especially for researching a certain period. For instance, I learned more about 1800s politics and the Civil War by reading biographies about the people of the time than I did reading supposed historical books covering the same era.

    • I agree. The biographies from those times help make the history come alive. That is part of why I enjoyed the Nicholas & Alexandra book so much.

  7. There must be something wrong with me. I very seldom like to read biographies or autobiographies – always felt too much like schoolwork. I know, that’s ridiculous. I guess I just want to be entertained. I will say, I’ve liked some that were about comedians but I haven’t picked up one in awhile… I might have to rethink this.

  8. Terry Tyler says:

    Anne Boleyn’s – would love to know if she was really just a pawn of men….!

    • Terry, I once read a lot of Jean Plaidy and her Anne Boleyn story is the one that stayed with me. I would love to read her biography! That is why I look forward to reading your new novel.

Now it's your turn. Tell us what you think.

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