Saturday, January 14, 2012

Those Wacky Authors!

It's no secret that authors don't make a whole lotta dubloons sitting in their rooms banging out the keys and keeping us entertained. So lots of authors have day jobs; Chuck Palahniuk was a car mechanic while writing his first book. The guy who cracks open your 'Gansett down the street has probably written 13 poetry manuscripts. Several Booksmithies have aspirations to write the Great American Novel, and our very own Ric is even already published, and we sell his volume of poetry upstairs! But sometimes, writers write to pay the bills so they can WRITE. Before Julian Barnes made it big he wrote mystery novels under the name Dan Kavanagh, because they paid better than the literary stuff that he really loved to write.

Conversely, mystery novelists Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankell have both written kids books, a pretty big turn from their dark and bloody Scandinavian mysteries. I think Nesbo and Mankell don't necessarily write kids' books to pay the bills, but it is a pretty incongruous image to think of these writers writing such quiet books as Shadows in Twilight about a 12 year old, or ... noisier, sillier books like Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder. The latter two books we both have in the UBC, and as they crossed the desk, it got me thinking about the double-lives of authors. And not just their double-lives, but the way they present themselves. We get lots of books vintage and contemporary that feature some pretty wacky author photos. Here are some recent favorites:

Author of the Bloom County comics Berke Breathed
Thomas McGuane
Christopher Moore
Do you have any favorite author double-life stories? Or author photos? Share in the comments!

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