Recently I was asked by a friend what I thought she ought to put in her biographical notes for a novel she’s submitting to a few agents. She’d been looking through those short paragraphs which preface most books – sometimes only a line or two if the author’s particularly cagey. I always look at them – perhaps you don’t – but it made me think about what I want to see there and why I’m drawn to them. I suppose I’m interested in how the writer’s life might have influenced the book I’m about to read. What it comes down to for me is this: I like to know when and where they were born, a little of what they’ve done with their lives other than write and I’m quite interested in where they live now but that’s just pure nosiness. If it’s a book of non-fiction, I like to have an idea of their credentials on the subject. I’m not interested in a long list of obscure awards or whether they’re married or not. Writers’ memoirs are usually a step too far for me but clearly not for many readers as Karl Ove Knausgaard’s runaway six-volume success illustrates. Short and pertinent is what I’m after, I suppose. What about you? Do you ignore biographical notes or are you interested, and if so what do you like to see included?