I’m Sparticus!

Due to our cats changing both the duration and location of their nightly bed sharing, my sleep has been more disturbed for the last few days. Apart from potentially a millisecond longer of wanting to stay in bed, I had not noticed any issues from this. However, a chance piece of spam revealed a hidden problem: I am in a very real sense shattered.

Most of the spam I get via my contact me form is almost certainly from automated crawlers: the same nonsense text strings in every field, three hyper-links per sentence, @fxlarg.com email address. However, I do occasionally receive something with greater nuance than I expect of a computer. Unfortunately this greater nuance is seldom turned to the cause of winning me as a client.

Today a self-titled marketing expert (who will remain nameless for reasons that might be clear by the end of the post) contacted me to offer help as my current public relations team weren’t fully exploiting my profile. Their specific angle? Using the juxtaposition between seat=of-the-trousers driving and sitting behind a desk typing.

Many of you will immediately realise why I make no reference to Subaru on this blog and Dave Higgins, Subaru Team US rally driver, makes no reference to publishing speculative fiction on his.

shattering the myth of shakespeare : san francisco (2014)
torbakhopper HE DEADCC BY ND 2.0)

Even the briefest glance at our sites would reveal we do not look that similar. A scarcely more-arduous trip to our About pages would reveal a continuing lack of similarity. Which raised some interesting questions:

  • Is the idea of mentioning your client does more than one thing so radical most public relations people haven’t thought of it yet?

  • Is Dave Higgins so rare a name that it is more likely two apparently different people are actually one person with two websites than different people?

  • Could someone writing two blogs unintentionally keep them so separate?

The effort that went into crafting an actual reason to talk to me; blown by the distrust engendered by the lack of even trivial research.

And then a more unusual possibility hit me. This is not the first time I have been mistaken for a faster-moving, less-bookish Dave Higgins. Many years ago, while I was still at primary school, my mother received a telephone call from a man demanding to speak to me. My mother refused on the grounds I was in bed. The irate man denied I was and alleged I had his daughter on the back of my motorcycle.

My mother prevailed in that discussion, but the spectre of that motorcycle-riding, curfew-ignoring Dave Higgins continued to rise irregularly for many years.

Moving forward, nearly every distributor and listing site I uploaded Fauxpocalypse to conflated me with Dave Higgins, WWII tank expert. Some sites continue to do it for every book.

The only logical conclusion is that we are linked by more than name: in the distant past, an Ozymandias-like Dave Higgins suffered a terrible accident. Shattered into avatars of himself he crosses the time streams over and over again, playing out conflicts like some solipsistic Jerry Cornelius.

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