We’ve all had to fake it at some point. After all, when it comes to expert writing, most writers don’t have James Bond-size resumes. I have yet to meet someone who is a fashion designer, funeral director, librarian, special education teacher, museum curator, and a politician. So faking it comes naturally and is even required in the job description of professional writer, which is what you are, by the way, if you write and get paid for it. Worried that your readers will find you out, that they will discover you are a fraud, a liar, a cheater who is good at talking your way out of the poor house? Well, don’t fret. You aren’t the first writer to fake it and get away with it.
Was Lewis Carroll a Child Molester?
Turns out by today’s standards, he would have ranked right up there with R. Kelly, Pete Townshend, and Spanky the Clown as a first rate perv with a penchant for child pornography. That’s right folks. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll, author of one of the best examples of nonsensical literature, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” may have been a reverend and deacon of an Anglican church, as well as an Oxford professor of mathematics, but he was also a child pornographer.
In his free time, Dodgson took more than 3,000 photos in an age when photography was a newfangled subject. According to the Smithsonian, half of these images were of children who were naked or somewhat nude. By Victorian standards, however, it was perfectly normal for an adult male to take children off and disrobe them for the camera. In fact, nude photos of children often graced birthday cards and were used for art studies. But even as society was accepting of this practice, Dodgson was a bit dodgy. Turns out that Dodgson was a little too fond of Alice Liddell, for whom he wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” so much to the point that her parents eventually cut all contact between the photographer/author and his young subject.
Anne Rice: Queen of Faux
Anne Rice, the original contemporary vampire novelist who published “Interview with a Vampire” while Stephanie Meyer was still teething, is purported as a devil worshiping, blood sucking sex freak. If you have read any of “The Vampire Chronicles,” or her lesser known hardcore BDSM fiction, such as the Sleeping Beauty trilogy, under the pen names A. N. Roquelaure or Anne Rampling, you have to think that somewhere in the world is a very demented writer. You are probably right, but their name is not Anne Rice.
May the real Anne Rice please stand up? Mrs. Rice is actually a devoutly holy woman who married her high school sweetheart, who’s the only man to have ever crawled in between the sheets with the erotic fiction writer. In comparison to her characters, Rice is nothing like the twisted sister we had envisioned.
Kurt Vonnegut was a Yuppy in Hipster Clothing
Yes, I went there. Perhaps this is a shocker for any “Slaughterhouse Five Fan” or college kid with the poster of the wily haired, hoboesque Vonnegut, a figurehead of counterculture America. However, Vonnegut, who worked in public relations before his books went bestseller, used his PR background to create a hip persona that would seal the sale for him, according to The New York Times. He lost weight, grew a killer ‘stache and made every effort to sound like a hip and happening dude during the ’60s. However, his actions spoke louder than his words. He invested in Dow Chemical, the infamous maker of napalm, while stating his anti-Vietnam protests and writing a book about his personal experiences with the World War II bombing of Dresden as noted in “Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death.”
Then again, maybe he was just all about the money, which is so similar to most of us writers out there who will put on any professionall hat, so to speak, in order to put food on the table.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.