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John Twelve Hawks will (not exactly) appear

John Twelve HawksMetropolis BooksThe Golden City

Haydenchilds

John Twelve Hawks concludes his Fourth Realm trilogy with "The Golden City," which hits shelves Sept. 8. Although he's got an enthusiastic fan following, he won't be going out for any bookstore meet-and-greets. The author has maintained his anonymity since his debut, "The Travelers," was published in Britain in 2004 (it came out in the U.S. a year later).

"John Twelve Hawks" is thought to be a pseudonym, and he -- or she -- has chosen to stay "off the grid," according to a 2005 interview with SFFWorld.com. "It’s an awkward life, but not a difficult one," John Twelve Hawks told the website. "I’m lucky to have a variety of friends who help me."

So with the pressure to publicize a new book, what's an anonymous author to do?

Well, there will be readings, but they'll be conducted by stand-ins. Including Julie Anne Swayze, proprietor of Metropolis Books in downtown L.A., who will declare, "I am John Twelve Hawks" on Sept. 12.

At the reading, which takes place at 4 p.m., the bookstore owner will read from "The Golden City" and hold a raffle for door prizes, including genuine signed editions of the book.

It's John Twelve Hawks' loss that he's not going to make it there. Metropolis Books is just down the block from The Nickel Diner, home of the famous maple-glazed bacon doughnut -- which is so good, it should be able to get anyone to come out of hiding.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Hayden Childs -- who is not, as far as we know, John Twelve Hawks -- reads at Metropolis Books in 2008. Credit: Carolyn Kellogg

 
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