At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s dog, Toto, surprises everyone by revealing that the wizard is just an ordinary man and not, as previously believed, a giant see-through Star Trek monster. The great and powerful Oz is a fraud.

He is immediately handed over to angry witch murderers.

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” L. Frank Baum said.

The same goes for the author behind the cover.

Authors, I’m sorry to say, aren’t nearly as interesting as their creations. I, for example, spend a lot less time fighting robots and super-mutants than you might think. Practically none, really. So if you’re hoping to hear that I grew up in a monster-infested sewer or a secret garage-laboratory, you’re probably going to be disappointed.

I know I am.

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But if, in spite of this warning, you still feel the need to peek behind the curtain, you can check out my official bio, which says this: “Ron Bates has been a poet, a newspaper reporter, a humor columnist, a movie extra, a tractor jockey, and a world-class scooper of ice creams. He’s written novels, stories, short plays, comic books, commercials, and a widely misunderstood series of morning announcements that got him permanently banned from his high school public address system. In his whole life, Ron has never whistled or blown a bubble. This is because of a rare medical condition known as “stupid mouth.” When he was five, he was kicked off the Romper Room TV show for recklessly driving a make-believe cardboard car. It still haunts him. Ron’s favorite hobby is playing basketball badly, which he is extremely good at, and his biggest fears are birds, hamsters, deadlines, accidentally eating something with cilantro in it, and the coming robot apocalypse.”