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Bogus Cormac McCarthy Twitter account fools top writers

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 6, 2012 | 2 min read

A bogus Twitter account set up in the name of American novelist Cormac McCarthy has fooled some of the world’s top writing talent, including Margaret Atwood and Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey.

The reclusive novelists surprise appearance on the micro-blogging service wasn’t all that it seemed with the real author actually Michael Crossan an unpublished writer from Renfrewshire.

Speaking to Scotland on Sunday Crossan said: "I had looked for McCarthy and he wasn't there. I didn't think he would be, but I thought it'd be amazing if he was online. I came across Margaret Atwood's tweets. I had read and admired her novel The Handmaid's Tale, and I tweeted her as Cormac. It just snowballed from there.”

Crossan was eventually unmasked after three days and 33 tweets but not before Atwood and Dorsey were left with egg on their faces for mistakenly endorsing the fraud.

Dorsey tweeted to his 1.8m followers: “Join me in welcoming @CormacCMcCarthy to Twitter! We have the best authors in the world right here."

McCarthy has gone on record to denounce the penning of short stories, noting once that: “anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.”

McCarthy is the author of post-apocalyptic horror The Road and winner of the Pulitzer prize.

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