Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Traveler

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The Traveler

The First Novel of the Fourth Realm Trilogy

by John Twelve Hawks

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2006, 464 pages

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Who is John Twelve Hawks? According to his editor at Doubleday, Jason Kaufman (who also edited The Da Vinci Code), nobody knows - not even Kaufman. Twelve Hawks claims to live 'off the grid' - meaning that he lives in such a way that the government can't track him - no credit cards, no driver's license and nothing that would allow the government to invade his privacy.

Kaufman says 'we talk quite frequently [by phone], and I believe he always speaks with a satellite phone ... and a satellite phone is virtually untraceable.' His agent, Joe Regal, adds that Twelve Hawks uses a synthesizer to disguise his voice, so it's not even clear if he is a he or a her. 'He's' believed to be in his 40s or 50s, lives in New York, Los Angeles and London, and is a first time author. According to Kaufman, he doesn't own a TV, likes wine and drives a 15-year-old-car.   In a rare interview with SFFWorld he says that he finds it amusing to hear how he's been influenced by TV shows such as Alias and Highlander considering he's never watched them!

Whether this is all a publicity stunt or genuine authorial paranoia is anybody's guess. However, his biographical details do beg the question - if he truly does live in three cities in two countries, how does he get about, and if they don't know who he is, where does Random House send all the lovely money that he's earning in royalty checks?!

This article was originally published in July 2005, and has been updated for the July 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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