In the past month, I've been asked to submit three author bios to various writing projects: two books and a magazine article. I'm always stumped by these requests. What, after all, does one, or should one, say about one's self? How does a writer tell the truth without coming off as self-serving or self-glorifying?
Well, I think I've hit upon a solution. Here's a bio I'm toying with. Maybe this one will be more accurate, actually, than the others floating around out there. It's totally honest . . . without being self-serving.
Todd Outcalt is your proverbial loser. In 1968 he lost his 2000-count baseball card collection in an ill-fated trade for a plastic horse. In 1975 he lost a basketball game for, at that time, his undefeated 20-0 freshman team when he mishandled an out-of-bounds pass. In 1979 he fouled out of his final basketball game as a high school senior and once again found his ass attached to a hard pine bench. In 1984, Mr. Outcalt received an "F" on a paper along with a red-pencil note that read: "You can't write!" However, since 1998, Mr. Outcalt has published 20 books in ten years, all but one without the assistance of a smart-ass agent. He has also published numerous magazine articles, columns and corn-on-the-cob recipes (but he's not bragging). Additionally, he's been the recipient of two writing awards, which have since been taken away from him because Beyonce had one of the best writing awards of all-time! He is married to the loser, Rebecca, his wife of twenty-five years. They own four junk cars which they keep running with bailing wire and duct tape. They have two loser children who each own one of two loser pets. Within the next five years, one or both of these animals will be euthanized. Mr. Outcalt's losing streak actually began in 1973, when, at the age of 13, he lost his marbles to Jimmy Southwood.