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Another movie deal for John Twelve Hawks


We learned this week that the mysterious John Twelve Hawks has sold the movie rights to his next book. It was first reported in Deadline Hollywood, and the industry is buzzing with the news.

John Twelve Hawks, you will recall, is the author of the bestselling Fourth Realm Trilogy, which (in my opinion) is some of the best science fiction to come along in years. No one knows Twelve Hawks’ real identity, not even his publisher and agent. He lives off the grid. There has been much speculation by people in the publishing industry who consider themselves savvy that John Twelve Hawks is a pseudonym for James Frey, a hustler of a writer who has made a bunch of money and taken a lot of heat after accusations that he made up a bunch of stuff in his memoir. He subsequently went on Oprah and Larry King to account for himself.

However, I think the James Frey theory is bunk, not least because I’ve gotten to know John Twelve Hawks a little, through email.

It’s strange how it happened. No joke, I was stretched out reading the thrilling conclusion of the third book of the trilogy, The Golden City, when I heard the email chime from the iMac. I got up to check mail and could hardly believe it when I found it was an email from my new favorite writer, John Twelve Hawks. How often does it happen that, when you’re reading a book, email comes in from the author, out of the clear blue sky? But Ken can testify that this is true, because actually John Twelve Hawks’ email went to Ken first, because Ken’s email address was easier to find. John Twelve Hawks asked Ken to forward the email to me.

The reason Twelve Hawks emailed me was to ask permission to reprint on another web site a blog post I had written on Internet privacy. Of course I gave him permission to do that. Since then (that was in 2010), we’ve exchanged a few emails.

There are several reasons why I think the James Frey theory of John Twelve Hawks’ identify is bunk. For one, Frey is a hustler and appears to have much more interest in money than truth. I believe that John Twelve Hawks is sincere, particularly in his commitment to freedom from surveillance. I don’t think that a busy businessman of a writer like James Frey would take the time to slum with provincial bloggers like me or to take note of something I had written on Internet privacy. Frey has more profitable fish to fry.

In any case, I can’t wait for Twelve Hawks’ next book. If you haven’t read the trilogy, I recommend it. Warner Brothers has bought the movie rights to Twelve Hawks’ first three books. All of which means that John Twelve Hawks is now a pretty rich man. I seriously doubt that Twelve Hawks is using the money for new hustles, as James Frey would be doing. Rather, I suspect that Twelve Hawks’ is using the money to buy himself more peace and quiet and more writing time at his hideaway in rural Ireland, wherever that place may be. I suspect County Kerry, though, because Skellig Michael is used as a location in the trilogy. When the movie comes out, expect some thrilling helicopter shots from Skellig Michael.

Below, an email from John Twelve Hawks dated May 24, 2013


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