Dear Agent / Editor / Oprah:

Want a great book?

My story is especially compelling as a former gang member, not only of the Bloods in Los Angeles - as Margaret B. Jones professes in her just-recalled false memoir, Love and Consequences - but also Baader-Meinhof in West Germany and Shining Path in Peru.

Name a group of thugs, I ran with them. Against my will, mind you, but I ran.

As was revealed this week, Jones was not a poor foster child of partial American Indian ancestry raised by an African American family in "the dirt and desolation of South Central Los Angeles," as she professed to readers and to her editor. She's Margaret Seltzer, raised in tony Sherman Oaks, Calif., by her biological parents, and a graduate of Campbell Hall school, where tuition is $25,000 a year.

This week, Seltzer tearfully confessed to the New York Times that she wholly fabricated the memoir that is based on her experiences trying to reduce gang violence. "I just felt that there was good that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to it."

The publishing industry, despite being repeatedly burned by hoaxes, keeps signing first-person stories of victims who overcome staggering adversity to become stand-up citizens, like the readers who devour such books.

In three years of editing, Seltzer never met her editor once. Which is precisely the deal I'm seeking.

I, however, am telling the complete truth. My story shames Dickens, and would melt a Pulitzer committee. Descended from White Russian nobility, an Aztec princess, the Potawatomi Nation, several key members of the Lucchese crime family and, naturally, Wilt Chamberlain, I was poor, miserably poor, living on food stamps and government cheese while performing jazz on the hardscrabble streets of an undisclosed city.

In the European best-seller Mischa: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, Misha Defonseca claimed to be a Jewish girl raised by wolves while hiding during the Holocaust, until it was revealed last week that none of it was true. Except the girl part.

Who would fall for such hooey? Wolves? Wolves constituted pampering during my tortured youth. I was raised by rats, a vicious strain of locusts and one fat, stupid hen blindly loyal to Mussolini, though she was always Momma Cluck to me. Until Uncle Benito ate her.

That's when I fled from Italy, over the Alps on snowshoes, guided by an albino mountain goat, enjoying 35 minutes of delicious freedom before being arrested and sent to a Turkish prison. Once freed, I served in Atatürk's army, all before junior high.

This is unquestionably true. Unlike Ishmael Beah's Starbucks hit, A Long Way Gone, his account of being drugged and taught to kill as a 13-year-old Sierra Leone soldier, whose veracity was being challenged by Australian journalists last month.

I still have all my paperwork. At least I did. Give me a year or two, and it's bound to surface.

Drugs? I used 'em, made 'em, and sold 'em on eBay under the ruse of "household geegaws."

Like JT LeRoy, the mysterious persona exposed as a con perpetuated by Laura Albert, I've been a pansexual former addict and hustler given to costumes and celebrity friends. That is, until my last unfortunate incarceration for extortion and money laundering.

Bono has forgiven me. I hope you can, too.

In his best-selling sham, A Million Little Pieces, James Frey claimed to be a former alcoholic, addict and criminal wanted in three states. Then he made Oprah cry.

Oh, O, I will never make you cry.

Except in sympathy for my miserable, horrible, thwarted life, my obscene and heretofore-overlooked and uncompensated talent. Unlike Seltzer, I have known no luxury - except for that one year at Princeton as a member of the Ivy Eating Club, before my tour of duty with the 5th Special Forces in 'Nam.

I will tell all this to you my future agent, editor and beloved Oprah.

If it sounds too bad to be true, it probably isn't. Except in my case. Provided I can use a pseudonym and composite characters to protect the innocent.

For the movie, I'm thinking Uma.