Calling all the so-called literary experts in the blogosphere

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Think you are experiencing de ja vu? Bear with me.

While we all know there are many individuals who profess to be experts on certain subjects, especially here in the blogosphere, the day before yesterday I decided to set a challenge for the so-called literary experts who still pounce from time to time from among my many blog followers. These particular individuals always insist that as they know everything when it comes to literature, at least according to them, that it follows they are always right. Needless to say it came as no surprise whatsoever when they failed to participate. Only one person had the decency to comment by stating that they didn’t know any of the authors listed, which was fair enough.

So ‘experts’ now its time for you all to either put up or shut up, once and for all. If none of the self styled editors, armchair critics, pedants and literary snobs who follow my blog fail to take up my challenge, you will have proven my point yet again that each and every one of you are nothing more than nonentities with highly inflated opinions of yourselves! You know who you are, so here’s your chance to prove me wrong. I offer all of you the same challenge once again.

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What is the difference between writers and readers? Writers read in order to write while readers simply do it for pleasure. When it comes to the writer, our personal libraries differ markedly from yours, being largely filled with books we use for research. Now, stand by for a test of your knowledge of some well known leading authors. The twenty-five names I have listed below are responsible for ninety-nine percent of my reference library, each one of them is a recognised expert in their particular subject.

Robert Bauval

Graham Hancock

Michael Wood

Arthur C. Clark

Isaac Asimov

Steven O’Shea

Christopher Knight

Robert Lomas

John Man

Brian Bates

Nikolai Tolstoy

Joyce Tyldesley

Peter Unwin

Gwyn Jones

Professor Francis Pryor

Simon Young

Peter Berresford Ellis

Bernard Vassallo

Bernard Cornwell

John Lee Anderson

Immanuel Velikovsky

J.F.C. Fuller

Sarah Bartlett

Colin Wilson

Ian Shaw

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You’ve seen the list, so now is the time to put your knowledge to the test. How many of you can name one non-fiction book by each of the authors listed, bearing in mind that some in the list have also produced collaborative non-fiction works. While you are thinking about your answers, and just to confuse matters, a few of them like Arthur C. Clark, Bernard Cornwell and Isaac Asimov are also known for fictional titles.

For the purposes of the exercise, search engines are out of bounds!!!

Honesty is the key. Just leave your answers as a comment below the post – author first, then title.

Β The challenge has been thrown down. Will you take it up, or will you shut up?

PS – I might add that two of the prominent authors in the above list who I count among my personal friends, were not surprised in the least by the total lack of response the other day, when they read the post. All three of us await your participation, or lack of it, with interest…

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It Helps If You Are Completely Bonkers

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Vain, selfish and lazy? Speak for yourself Eric Blair aka George Orwell. Most writers I know are none of those things. These days the only people you will come across like that are certain editors and literary agents as well as some professional critics. The latter category, especially the odd one or two who write for newspapers and literary magazines here in the UK, can definitely be said to be vain and selfish. To those two unsavoury qualities I would add a few others – condescending, snobbish, scathing and vicious, particularly when it comes to one leading newspaper’s literary critic and his deep loathing of Indies. Compared to him, internet trolls are rank amateurs.

As for the rest of what Eric is quoted as saying – writing is a long exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness, he’s perfectly correct. It is. With a few exceptions, I seriously doubt that anyone who reads books has the faintest notion of what we go through when writing one. Blair was also right when he said that – one would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist, nor understand.

In my own case, what drives me to write is not so much a demon as the burning desire to share a story with you the reader. So the next time you read any book, whether you liked it or not, ask yourself what kind of hell did the author of this book put themselves through when he or she wrote this? How many sleepless nights did they suffer to bring the story to me? How many times were they afflicted with the one problem all writers suffer from on a fairly frequent basis – writer’s block?

As if all of that wasn’t enough for the writer to contend with, there are the endless attacks by internet trolls. In some cases they are actually disgruntled fellow writers who are seriously annoyed that people buy, like, and praise your work while shunning theirs. Some trolls are nothing more than malicious individuals hiding behind pseudonyms, thriving on hate while hoping that you will react, judging by their often incomprehensible one star reviews.

Do I still want to write for a living? Hell yes, even though it often drives me to distraction. Once you have been bitten by the writing bug, everything else in your life apart from writing posts like this, and chatting to readers and friends on Facebook, rapidly vanishes into the distance.

You heard it here first folks. It helps if you are completely bonkers with a masochistic streak when it comes to writing.

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A Case of Blatant Pretentiousness? Sadly Yes.

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Pretentious adj. attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed.

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Why do some people insist on adding the word author to their name on Social Media sites like Facebook? For the greater majority of these people, if you Google them, or type their names on Amazon or any other book site, you will find that very few have actually published anything!

Maybe it helps to boost their flagging ego somehow. Perhaps they delude themselves in believing that it will impress their friends, or somehow elevate their place in society. Sorry people, all it does is confirm the suspicions of everyone who knows you personally, that you are nothing more than just another poser.

So, posers please take note – the only time the word author comes into play, is when a writer is referred to as the author of a specific book. You do not author a book, you write one!

Genuine published writers do not adopt such nonsensicle tactics. You will find that most of us just use our given names. Attributing the epithet author, or even novelist, is for others to use when referring to a writer, not for you or I to assume as some kind of title.

Despite the fact that with a few judicious inquiries, the lie these people are living will be easily exposed, they still persist in referring to themselves as Author Joe Bloggs ,or Joe Bloggs, author. Why? What’s the point? Who do they think they are kidding?

When challenged, not only by me, but by others over recent years, a few of my FB aquaintances said that when they were first creating a profile on Facebook, when it came to filling in the various fields, without thinking they inserted ‘author’ instead of leaving that part of their profile blank, at the time seeing nothing wrong with using the word, being totally unaware of the subtle difference between both words, even though they refer to the same thing. None of my published writer friends, nor myself, have adopted either word as an epithet. Funny thing that, we don’t need to. Our work speaks for us…

Think about it? Does Wilbur Smith, J.K Rowling, Dan Brown or any other writer you care to name refer to themselves as ‘author’? No of course not!

So, if anyone reading this associates the word author in any way, shape or form with their name, believing that it is somehow prestigious, or perhaps means that they are a cut above hard working genuine published writers, think on!

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