Meet Chris Kurtz!

Chris Kurtz didn't want to grow up to be an author when he was a kid. He wanted to grow up to be the main character in the whatever book he was reading at the moment. Chris spent much of his daylight hours reading, and his nighttime hours lying awake in his bed, long after his mother's good-night kiss, staring at the strip of light in the crack where the bottom of the door didn't quite reach the floor (Chris was terribly afraid of the dark). To keep his mind off his fears and the freaky, blood-sucking ghouls he was sure were hiding in the darkest corners of his room, he imagined himself in brave situations from a book. Of course he was the bravest of all. Sometimes he was Jim Hawkins hiding in the apple barrel listening to the lovable scoundrel, Long John Silver make his dastardly plans. Or he was in the north pole with a bull-whip, driving a long line of sled dogs with Buck from Call of the Wild in the lead. Or he was Buck, himself! And the corner ghouls became harmless.

Later on, after the juice from those stories had been squeezed dry, he made up his own mind movies. In Chris's movies he was always the star. Of course! Chris, the adventurer, Chris, the man-boy so wise beyond his years, the kid who never gave up no matter how much he was injured. Chris was always getting injured in those mind movies, and showing everyone else how a hero keeps going. And another thing, his shirt was always getting torn...just a little bit. In real life Chris was an attention seeker. The smallest drop of blood would be maximized and exaggerated in order to get some sympathy. And he was shy and needy around girls. Girls didn't just pretend he didn't exist. They went out of their way to avoid him! But not in his movies. In his movies, girls just couldn't get enough of the handsome, brave, man-boy in the torn shirt.

Gradually Chris grew up and he came to the disappointing realization that none of those movies were going to come true. Mushing with dogs in the North Pole meant being cold and hungry most of the time. And even if pirates still existed, they were probably not the lovable scoundrels he imagined, but more likely dirty and smelly, or even a little bit creepy like his 7th grade social studies teacher who had way too much eyebrow hair.

But there were all those stories and movies he had already starred in. So Chris sat down to write his own books! And that's what he does now-a-days. His shirt is not torn...even a little bit, his bull whip is...well...there is no bull whip, and he keeps his eyebrows carefully trimmed. But oh those stories. They still want to run in his mind late at night when the corner ghouls (those ghouls haven't gone away, they've just changed into worries) want to suck out all of his blood.