Hey, man, I hate to bother you, but I'm like a really important writer, and my car broke down….

The literary news is just so entertaining lately. For instance, confidence men have been targeting bookstores, posing as published authors. Yes, you read that right. In the L.A. Times (“Hoaxes hit bookstores“), Scott Timberg reports that bookstore workers have received calls from people pretending to be Mark Sarvas (Harry Revised, 2008), Eric Gower (The Breakaway Cook), Nick Hornby (Slam, 2007), Ray Bradbury (Now and Forever, 2007), and Russell Banks (The Reserve, 2007)–most of them claiming that something bad had happened to them and that they needed money wired to them right away.

Authors are often short of money, but really.

And Mark Sarvas? No offense to the always interesting Elegant Variation blogger, but he doesn’t seem like enough of a “name” to serve as the lynchpin for a con. Although I guess you might assume he needs money more than Ray Bradbury does. And Skylight Books manager Karen Slattery seems to like him:

“There is this sense that bookstores have this special relationship with authors, that they help them out. And if it had really been Mark Sarvas I definitely would have done it.”



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About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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