Sean Williams

I am “Number Two”

posted on 19 Jul 2006 at 3:23 pm

I mentioned in an earlier post my alter ego, Sean Williams, author of The Sound of the Ancestral Ship and editor of The Ethnologist’s Cookbook. (We occasionally exchange emails about collaborating, but can’t agree on whose name should go first. Ha ha.)

The strange thing is this: Sean emailed me the week before Conflux to say hi and to let me know about the new book. Excellent, I thought. Doppelgangers are fun, especially when they write books I wish I’d written myself.

The very next day, I received an email from another Sean Williams, he of Lawrence Real Estate fame. His email threw me for a second because I naturally assumed it was a reply from the first (or is that second?) Sean Williams. The content made no sense at all until I realised what strange coincidence had occurred. This Sean Williams had chosen to drop me a line within twenty fours hours of the other, apropos of nothing. Weird.

Coincidence and confusion reached a peak two days later when I went to check into the Conflux hotel in Canberra. I’d arranged to share a suite with the excellent Deb Biancotti. She had organised for my name to be on the room. Simple, right? That’s what I thought. Turned out there was no “Biancotti & Williams” registered, but there was a “Mr & Mrs Sean Williams”. Hilarity ensued–except that it wasn’t me. It was another Sean Williams also checking into a suite at the same hotel, on the same day.

Tempted though I was to assume his identity, I checked in under Deb’s name and went to hide under the bed.