Stupid Author Tricks

Author Steve Berry has a new book coming out. We are guessing that the author's previous efforts - largely forgettable airplane reads such as The Templar Legacy and The Alexandria Link - experienced sagging sales in the past.  We say this because Berry is pushing his latest effort The King's Deception, a fictional novel in which England's great Queen Elizabeth I is really a man in disguise, as a factual possibility.

Is that a 5 o'clock shadow we see?

While A Reader's Respite is a firm believer in outlandish fiction, we read in a recent interview that Steve Berry is actually asserting that Elizabeth I was indeed really a man.  Calling for an exhumation of the monarch's remains for testing, Berry is claiming that the real Elizabeth died in childhood and her governess, that crafty Kat Ashley, ran down to the local village, snatched a young boy and substituted him for the young Princess with no one ever being the wiser.

We pause here so you can indulge in hysterical laughter.

Since no serious scholar or historian gives any credence to such a theory we can only call Berry's assertion one thing: a Stupid Author Trick used to generate sales.

Unfortunately, Berry didn't think this one out very well.  He is claiming that that because Liz never married and accomplished what no previous monarch had, she clearly must have been a he.  Because women are not capable of successfully ruling an entire nation. Pssst, Steve....

What we have here, Steve, is a classic case of I'm-a-misogynist-asshole.  And that, my friend, is not an intelligent way to sell books.  You've now limited your potential audience to similar-minded misogynist assholes. Or at least the ones in airports since that is generally the only place we ever see your books for sale.

So what, Steve, should you do now?  Thankfully, there is some damage control you can engage in starting immediately:

There. That ought to do the trick.  And remember that fiction is not synonymous with fact.  Try not to confuse the two in the future.  Thank you.


  1. HAHAHA! You crack me up. You've always gotten right to the point. Actually this author was our guest speaker at a fund raiser we had here for an adult literacy group that I work with. So assuming he didn't charge us for his time (who knows?) then he gets points for that. But I couldn't bring myself to read any of his books prior to the event. It is just not my thing.

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  3. ChristineOhChrysJune 10, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Great freaking post, Michele! Love the flashing "That's Misogyny" GIF. Poor Liz. Because of her independence I have heard her called a lesbian, promiscuous and now a MAN. BWAHAHAHAHA. Unbelievable is the retrogression of the modern 'intellectuals'. Or should I say the "make money quick" aspect of the book industry?

  4. Wow. I have to pass this on to the fiance who has read some of his books. Cray!

  5. I have 3 or 4 of his books laying around. He's a Dan Brown knock-off writer, basically. Nothing horrid, but nothing original either. I suspect his publicist just missed the mark on this one. Job opening, anyone?

  6. Right? It's amazing that in this day and age we are still dealing with things like this. Racism, sexism, etc and so on...all a part of our daily lives. I try not to dwell, but seriously - Caucasian males seem to want to hold on to that position of superiority and power. I might go burn a bra now.

  7. I suspect, dear Sandy, that this was a publicist thing that Berry didn't take the time to think too much about or he might have said "umm, maybe not such a good idea." Then again, white males tend not to think too much about this stuff in general.

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  9. bermudaonion(Kathy)June 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Even his theory makes no sense. If the queen really was male and everyone thought he was female, his maleness wouldn't benefit him in any way.

  10. God I love you. Thank the lord for bitchy women!

  11. I'm willing to suspend disbelief on just about anything. What I think will be interesting is if they (whoever they are) buy into his theory and actually exhume the body and test it. You know, just for shits and giggles. I've never read Berry's work, although I do think I have a few titles in my library.

  12. Arghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

  13. I think I'll run right out and avoid this one.

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