Reflecting on 2012 (or: Nope, not quite famous yet)

Hang on. What happened? Or rather, what didn’t happen?

I didn’t get famous, that’s what. I can’t understand it. I wrote a book and it got published. I thought the logical progression from that point was to lie back, let the shower of riches begin, and enjoy a life of fame and fortune. Sicily, It’s Not Quite Tuscanyย has been out for nine months. NINE MONTHS! I should have been relaxing on a Majorca beach way back in August.

It gets worse. Look what I discovered the other day when I plugged my name into the search facility of a website:

Who is this Sharks Siler fellow, usurping my hard-earned right to be searchable? A little Google sleuthing shows me that he is, in fact, nobody. There is nobody in the world called Sharks Siler – at least as far as the internet is concerned. The closest I came was the NBA basketball player Garret Siler who happened to play a few seasons with the Shanghai Sharks team in China.

Here I am, a living, breathing human being – what’s more, a published author – and yet this particular search portal chooses to direct users to do a new search, this time for a non-existent person. So much for fame and fortune. Seems I won’t be in the running for Time‘s list of the World’s Most Influential People after all.ย I’ve probably got a negative Klout score!

Maybe my time will come.ย Sure, I know that approximately half of all writers earn less than US$500 a year (that’s 25 cents an hour, for the record). But most of them haven’t written a sizzling travel memoir about Sicily, have they? I guess I just have to be patient. In the meantime, I’ll need to content myself with seeing my book not on bestseller lists next to spin-offs of Fifty Shades but instead in the more far-flung corners of online catalogues, such as alongside a whole bunch of walkie-talkie radios on a Japanese website, or – as I discovered more recently – at the bottom of a collection of Swiss toiletry kits on Amazon. (No, really.)

Still, I guess I’ll need a toiletry kit for when I do finally retire to Majorca (my new projection for this is March/April). Make mine the Victorinox Leakproof Pouch Set.

6 thoughts on “Reflecting on 2012 (or: Nope, not quite famous yet)

  1. Congrats on being a published author Shamus.. you’ve progressed a long way down the track from the days of Latin classes at UQ. Rest assured when i did a google search for your name it DID show up immediately and even included Sicily.. think there were least 5 hits for you ๐Ÿ™‚ My friend from UQ Rachael Utley told me about you fame. I’m trying to track down Nick Girdis so will try Prof Bob for that. Alas I haven’t found fame and fortune as I didn’t get to do post grad Ancient History rather did it in Education which isn’t worth a pinch of anything in Education Queensland’s machine. Now to find a copy of your book – looking at your Chapter 12 photos took me back to the great time i had in Sicily in 1995 but only for 1 week.

    • Hi Marilyn,

      Wow, a blast from the past! Thanks for getting in touch (and thanks to Rach for the mention). You mentioned that the Chapter 12 photos brought back some Sicily memories for you – I hope that doesn’t mean you were robbed when you were there in 1995, ’cause that’s pretty much what Chapter 12 is all about!

      Good luck for tracking down Nick. Lots of the UQ crew came to my book launch in Brissie last year which was nice. They haven’t changed a bit.

      Have a great 2013. Chat soon.


  2. I’m reading your book at the mo (from the library…sorry!) and am loving it. So much fun. We’re off to Sicily later this year. Thinking of leaving Catania off the itinerary! X

    • Hi Dani,

      Thanks for getting in touch – glad to hear that you’re enjoying the book, even if it is one of those evil non-royalty-producing copies of the book.

      More importantly, have a great trip to Sicily. And don’t skip Catania – it’s really an intriguing place if you happen to be just passing through rather than living in its grimmest suburb for a year. Honestly!


  3. Hello there!! I bought your book some time ago and didn’t get to read it before visiting Sicily in June this year – which upon reflection was fortuitous!! I am LOVING re-living and your sense of humour is just THE BEST!!! :-). Fantastic stuff!!
    We arrived in Catania airport and jumped straight into a taxi to Giardini Naxos —- upon our return at the end of an organised tour – our coach RACED through the streets to the worst hotel and trust me from what I saw flit past I never want to set foot on it’s streets so bravo to you and your beautiful wife for living there OMG!!
    The highlights I snapped as they raced past were two tributes to Bellini.
    Loving matching my photos with your locations – I was reading of Ortygia and thought it sounded familiar – didn’t realise we had visited there (knew only as Syracuse) so thank you for clearing that up!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I loved the views of the incredible valleys – and the shock of seeing eucalyptus trees all around and the jacaranda trees in Palermo – I loved Palermo (not up to that chapter yet) and the shock of seeing acres of oil refineries!!
    I mention I took your book to lunch with some friends we met travelling and one couple saw your name and as it happens they met your parents on one of their travels who told them you were writing a book on Sicily!! How random is that?!!! :-O
    Please keep writing!!!!! I must get back to your book now !! :-)) Cheers, Anne ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Anne,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I’ve been trying to work out who the mystery couple might be who met my parents on their travels, but I can’t quite figure it out. (Small world!)

      Glad you got to Sicily and that some of the bits in the book have a familiar ring. Giardini Naxos is a great little town. I wrote about our visit there but it didn’t make the final cut of the book, probably because it was a largely uneventful day, aside from me getting locked inside the bathroom in one of the beach-side restaurants. Once I’d recovered from that mild trauma, Gill and I took a nice stroll through the lemon groves in the archaeological park on the headland. (Stole enough lemons to cook with for two weeks.)

      I also loved Syracuse/Ortygia and Palermo. Fascinating places.

      Hope you enjoy the rest of the book.


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