Hi. My fake name is "John Cheese." Yes, I know that John Cleese's family was once named "Cheese," but even though I'm a fan, that's not why I chose it. The real story is much, much stupider than that.
My real name is Mack Leighty, and I grew up in small town America in the heart of the Midwest. I've spent the last several years, cleaning up the ugly spots in my life, and in that respect, I'm a rare success story. I've survived a 23-year alcohol and drug addiction, a physically and mentally abusive childhood, and extreme poverty. Don't worry, I'm much better now, but not without a metric shitload of pain and effort. These days, I use those horror stories to educate others on the respective subjects, mixing it with jet black humor to help break up some of the heaviness that those topics are known for.
No one was more shocked than me to find out that people relate to that type of writing, and it's now become sort of my thing. I write a weekly column on Cracked.com, where you can find the majority of my body of work, including but most definitely not limited to those topics. I sometimes write some straight-up silly shit to break up the routine.
If you've heard of the novel and movie John Dies at the End by David Wong and Don Coscarelli, respectively, I am the "real life" John. Well, not in the terms that he is a representation of me as a human, but in the fact that I created the character. It's the personality that I adopted when I first started writing comedy. Back then, my work was mostly character driven, so "John" was born. Here's a horrible picture of me, sitting under my fake name as it appears on a FedEx envelope in the movie:
And that, friends, is the saddest claim to fame I think I've ever seen in photograph form.
I'll be adding more to this if things work out. I currently have two book deals in the mix. One is for the aforementioned website, Cracked.com, and the other is a possible fiction piece through a major publisher. Neither of those are set in stone enough to get into details about, though, so we'll just hold off on those so we don't jinx them.