According to an e-mail from our regional advisor, it’s time for those of us in Austin SCBWI to update our biographies in the member directory. In my case, is it ever.

Here’s what mine currently says:

Chris Barton’s favorite books as a child ranged from Lilian Moore’s Pickle for a Nickel to John D. Fitzgerald’s Great Brain series to The Book of Lists. His work as a children’s writer is equally diverse/erratic: picture book biographies (his debut, The Day-Glo Brothers, is due from Charlesbridge Publishing in spring 2007), picture book fiction, and a middle-grade novel blending historical fiction and tall tale. His other lives in the past dozen or so years have included history-degree holder, journalist, iguana owner and dot-com survivor. He lives in Austin with his wife, two sons and spotted-tongued Lab, Rocket(te).

Even ignoring the shiny-foreheaded, sunken-eyed photo of me, there are some things wrong here. For one, my book is now slated for fall ’07. For another, we now have two dogs. And where’s the talk of my agent? My newfound focus on nonfiction? My blog?

So, I’ve rewritten my bio, with big chunks of it coming from the tagline and “About Me” text from this very page. Here’s what I’ve got at the moment:

Chris Barton’s first book, The Day-Glo Brothers, is due from Charlesbridge Publishing in fall 2007. It’s a picture book biography of Bob and Joe Switzer, the Montana-born brothers who – in their teens and 20’s during the Great Depression and World War II – invented Day-Glo. Represented by literary agent Erin Murphy since late 2005, Chris is focused on nonfiction but takes a stab from time to time at picture book and middle grade fiction. He also writes about his writing – and about other, more fascinating elements of the world of children’s book publishing – on his blog, Bartography.

Nothing here about dogs, children or iguanas. More professional, or just more boring? Who’s my audience, anyway? Would they like to know that I once spent the night at the home of Sam the Sham? Should I tell them about the time I was driving a moving truck down I-20 (right outside Pelahatchie, MS) when two wheels fell off? Or that I used to be an intern at Sassy?

I’ve got a couple more weeks to think about it, and 150 more words to play with, if I’m so inclined. Maybe I’ll at least keep the part about A Pickle for a Nickel