For some reason I am often the victim of mistaken authorial identity. Being confused with other writers gives me the opportunity to live vicariously for a few hours, though, so it's not all bad.
Like when some strange folks decided that author Stephen Leigh and I were the same person (that one even had a hilariously idiotic web site devoted to it for a while.) I was quite flattered, because I mean who wouldn't want to be Stephen Leigh? He teaches writing at university, plays in three bands and studies Aikido. He has a great beard, too. Truth is I'd love to be a scholarly musician author professor who can genuinely kick your ass. And while I'm still not sure how anyone could build an entire conspiracy theory based solely on the fact that Stephen and I use the same first two initials (S.L.), it was a nice thrill while it lasted.
Since this is evidently going to be a regular thing with me, I think I should get to pick the next author I'm mistaken for. It's my turn, isn't it? That way I can spend an afternoon or a week or even a couple of months not being me while I'm being someone else I'm not. I could dress up, make people call me by names I've never used -- I think there are still a couple left -- and quite possibly write stories I'd never write.
With this in mind, here are some suggestions for the next time someone decides to make me a writer I've never been:
Jane Austen: I know, she's moved on to the next place, but maybe we could work a reincarnation theory or something. Of course I'd need this to go on long enough for me to write a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, bury the appropriately fake-aged manuscript somewhere in England, and leave clues so people know where to dig it up.
Jude Devereaux: With this identity I'll need a sample of her handwriting so I can sign some of her books for my mom, who adores everything she writes. She doesn't have a hard signature to fake, does she?
Thomas Harris: The beard isn't as nice as Stephen's, but we'll pretend I shaved it off. Actually I'd just like five minutes access to his brain so I can find out why he ended Hannibal the way he did.
Barry Hughart: so I could rummage through his files and see if there's a follow-up anywhere to Eight Skilled Gentlemen (the third book in his Bridge of Birds saga). Please note that I wouldn't steal it, I'd simply read it while I hid under his desk.
Jan Karon: Have you ever see her office? It's like Oprah's, only better. Plus she's believably blonde and makes helmet hair look elegant.
Stephen King: idle curiosity for the most part; I'd like to know how it feels to be the only living writer who is actually less photogenic than I am.
Shiloh Walker: because she can run and I can't, she does way better on her diet than I do, and I secretly suspect she's tireless.
I have a signed ARC of Nightborn to give away today, so if you're interested in a chance of winning it, in comments to this post name an author you'd like to be mistaken for, and why (or if you'd rather keep your own identity, just toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. I'll choose one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner a signed ARC of Nightborn, my upcoming March release and the first novel in my new Lords of the Darkyn trilogy. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won someone here at PBW in the past.