A few nights ago, I got an amazon recommendation for a book called The God of Relationships by Barney Snaith.
Yes, that’s right: Barney Snaith*. I thought this was just the most ironic thing. There was an actual Barney Snaith in the world… and he was a Christian relationships writer? Something seemed too good to be true, here. I mean, seemingly, any living Christian with the actual name Barney Snaith needs to be a closer acquaintance of mine, n'est pas?
* Barney Snaith is the hero of L.M. Montgomery's 1926 novel, The Blue Castle.
After snickering with my friends: “Barney Snaith? Christian? Writer? What?” , google- searching, and with the solid assurance that this Barney Snaith (like his literary counterpart) must be using the handle as a nom-de-plume, I remained puzzled. Who would possibly pick that pseudonym? I didn’t think there was a gentleman on earth who knew who Mr. Snaith was (face it Blue Castle? Not "guy" book. At all).
At one point, for an infinitesimal moment, I even entertained the idea that it could all be a lovely, impractical practical joke.
A little bit about “Barney Snaith’s” book: it was published in June 2011 by Createspace. It has one rather highly starred amazon.com review by a reviewer who keeps referring to the author as a John Di Marco. I searched John Di Marco and discovered that he published a book with the same title for the same e-publishing company the year before; even boasting the exact same amazon.com review---except this time, the copyright was under the name Barney Snaith. I searched through the book and stumbled upon erudite paragraphs extolling valid ideas about Christ-centered relationships and the pursuit for a life-partner while simultaneously striving to maintain a Christ-centric ideal.
Yet, Barney Snaith, readers, was an alias.
Not satisfied, I needed to find out more about John Di Marco (who has a blog) this sounds stalkerish; but it was really just internet Sherlock Holmes ---you can’t just use the name Barney Snaith and expect to get away with it? Can you? Seriously. It’s bound to resonate…) and found out that a John DiMarco (the same one, perchance?) writes graphic art and design books for Wiley and seems very educated, assistant professor at a prestigious institute, and what not. I flipped through his amazon books ( same title; under both Di Marco and Snaith) and from what I read he seems like a relatively relevant and intellectual chap. So, if you are so inclined please explore. Perhaps, inadvertently, this blog post will direct interested parties to an author they may never have otherwise stumbled upon. And, "Barney Snaith", will google search to find an entry which refers to his book and not, possibly for the first time ever, eighteen thousand searches pertaining to that other Barney Snaith. Ahh… the power of the internet.
The story goes slightly deeper. I decided to look up the amazon profile of Di Marco/Snaith’s enthusiastic four- star reviewer and discovered this guy --- who also seems like a decent, intelligent human being ---Joni Erickson Tada gave one of his books a shout-out. That’s clout in Christian circles, friends.
[He notes a very interesting interest (for our intents and purposes in his bio]
So, Andrew Case and John Di Marco (whomever you are)--- live long, prosper and write well and often--- this is posted with the most good-natured of intentions ---
Your pseudonym, Mr. Di Marco, sparked very fun and distracting intervals of sleuthdom for this rabid Montgomery fan and I wish you well in your future endeavours. A Christian writer named Barney Snaith dapples in life-long-dream territory for many bibliophilic, albeit, Christ-following gals.
I think we all learned something here --- Using an alias from a lesser-known; but well-beloved L.M. Montgomery hero will garner you some attention….
Mea Culpa John DiMarco and Andrew Case--- best wishes. If you are back-tracking to see where you have left indelible thumbprints on the internet, please feel free to let us know what inspired Barney Snaith as a pseudonym. If you have read (and enjoyed) the Blue Castle, I would really like to know…. ‘cause guys don’t DO Montgomery ( at least that was my previous impression)