Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The double life of Daniel Handler

Last Wednesday, one of the world's bestselling authors was due to give a reading at a big London bookshop, Waterstone's in Piccadilly - and it was cancelled due to lack of interest. It summed up Daniel Handler's predicament.

Under his own name, which is how Waterstone's billed him, he is just another aspiring author, with a new novel bobbing at about number 4,000 on the Amazon chart. Under the preposterous pen name of Lemony Snicket, he is a superstar, whose 12 children's books, collectively entitled A Series of Unfortunate Events, have all been international bestsellers. When Handler gives a reading as Snicket, he doesn't get cancelled; he gets mobbed.

It must be a weird feeling, like being jealous of yourself.
"It's quite magical actually," Handler says over green tea in a chic London hotel. "You hand over your credit card and very few people recognise your name."
More from Tim De Lisle in The Guardian.

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