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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blood and Tears: How to write an impressive Author Bio (it's not how you think!)

Thought I'd follow up my "come meet an Academy award winner!" post with a debrief on how John Kassab, Sound Designer's talk was.

And it was AWESOME.
Though not an author by trade (he is currently writing a children's book, however) just like us, he is a creative person, and knows all too well the struggles involved in being one.

He told a lot of great stories, funny and inspiring and I thought I would share with you John's take on those impressive, accolade-filled bio's you find on successful people's sites - authors and otherwise.

But first! Here's John's:

John Kassab is a sound designer, re-recording mixer, installation artist, electronic musician and DJ from Melbourne, Australia.

In 2010, John embarked on a 3 month Winston Churchill Fellowship interviewing leading sound people in 8 cities across 4 continents. His fellowship report, 'The State of Post-Production Film Sound', has popped up in film school teaching packs around the world and sections have been translated into languages other than English. Later that year, he was also inducted into the prestigious Motion Picture Sound Editors in Los Angeles for his contribution to film sound.

John's recent sound work can be heard in the Academy Award Winning 'The Lost Thing' directed by Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhmann and Ariel Kleiman's 'Deeper Than Yesterday', which received the Kodak Award and Petit Rail d'Or at Cannes in 2010 and the International Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2011. Both films also received award recognition for their sound design and mix. 

His latest sound design and mix can be heard on Craig Irvin's 'Tethered', which just debuted at the Sydney Film Festival where it won the Dandy Award for best director.

Impressive, yes?
Of course, you won't have a bio as impressive as that unless you too are a multi-award winning, inductee who won a lucrative Fellowship and is studied at universities across the globe.

What John has to say about his impressive bio is this:

That snapshot of his achievements doesn't take into account the decade of heartache and rejection, the promising sounding meetings that nothing came of, the applications for jobs that didn't exist. The years on Centrelink (Government payments), where Centrelink pushed him to work in an abattoir, and his family pushed him to work in the family's Real Estate business.
The impressive bio doesn't take into account the times after he dropped out of his law degree in order to pursue his passion, sound design, and then watched his ex-classmates go to the Mercedes dealership to buy their first real car.

Behind the impressive author bio, was a lot of struggle and pain. But there was also passion and belief in himself that he could succeed.

And now he has.

So. How to write an impressive author bio? Believe in yourself. Keep doing the work, keep honing your craft. Take a chance on you.

And be rewarded.



  1. What a great blog post--I'll have to find out more about John. I agree that life is all about discovering your passion and then persevering to the end until you actually attain your dream. Some of the sacrifices and heartaches along the way can add a lot to our journey. Love your blog and I'll be subscribing!

  2. Pretty inspiring, wasn't he? Not many of the highly successful people in the world had it handed to them. Most had to work for it! And yes, I think the heartache on the journey can make the victory that much sweeter!

    Thanks for the blog love, Sandra, I really appreciate it. :)


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