Last summer, the legendary Booksmith in San Francisco made me my very own author “baseball card,” which was too cool, even though I look like a total cheese-dick in the publicity photo. The card said some nice things on the back regarding All About Lulu, and there was a blurb from one of my favorite writers, Tim Sandlin. But no stats!
Now, I grew up collecting baseball cards, and it was always, always, always about the stats, about tracking the player’s performance over the previous season, and more importantly, the player’s performance over his career. The stats don’t cover the intangibles, like heart, but they usually do tell the story of a career pretty well in terms of longevity, consistency, and arc, and moreover, stats never lie.
I’ve done a lot of interviews the past two years. I feel as though I’m starting to repeat myself—and I usually sound stupid the first time. So, I thought it would be a welcome diversion to use my TNB self-interview to record some stats, along with some careeer highlights, which will allow readers to track my career performance, and possibly tell them a little bit about me as an artist. These numbers are actually accurate, with exceptions noted.
Novels Completed: 8
Novels Aborted: 1
Novels Buried: 5*
Stories Written: 116
Stories Published: 12
Form Rejections: 509
AAI (Average Annual Income): $16,489**
Dental Insurance: 0
Beers Consumed: 63,450****
Credit Card Debt Accrued: $18,554
Credit Card Offers: 319
Books Published to Date: 1
Books Forthcoming: 2
Publicity Photos in which I Look Like a Cheese-Dick: Too Many
Average SPR (Sweats-to-Pants-Ratio)*: +4/3
Current SPR: 7/0
* Includes one incident of incineration
** Slight exaggeration
*** Conservative estimate
**** Really conservative estimate
*+ Sweats-to-Pants-Ratio denotes days spent in casual versus formal attire (formal being anything with pockets)
1979 – Published children’s story (“The King Without a Crown”) at the age of 8, thus beginning a 25 year publication drought.
1986 – Bummed a cigarette off of Larry McMurtry.
1989 – Dropped out of college.
2003 – Received coveted 500th rejection.
2004 – Published first story (“Accepting the Charges”) since “The King Without a Crown” in 1979.
2007 – Sold debut (ahem) novel, All About Lulu.
2008 – Received first one-word review of All About Lulu on social networking sight: “Dumb.”
2009 – Quit gardening job. Became father. Paid credit card debt.