The other night I’m on YouTube watching Jennifer Lawrence video after Jennifer Lawrence video from her press tour for the new movie Passengers. I easily did this for two hours straight.
Anyway, during her appearance on The Graham Norton Show she was joined by Jamie Oliver. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are probably the two biggest movie stars in the world today, so I’m sitting there trying to figure out who this other guy is with them. They talked about him having dyslexia and reading Catching Fire after seeing Jen as Katniss.
Then Graham Norton said something I actually couldn’t believe. This mystery man I’d never even heard of is the bestselling nonfiction author EVER in the UK. WHAA?
Tell me about this guy. I haven’t looked him up yet.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the accusations made against Bill Cosby in recent months. Lawsuits and criminal investigations followed thereafter. Well a Pennsylvania judge dismissed a civil defamation case against him last week. And now he’s got a book deal to tell his side of things.
This just shows that publishing is no different from other types of media that tend to blow up controversial figures and events. But it makes me sick thinking about this man still being able to profit from his side of things. You know the book will become a bestseller and no admission of guilt will be made. Ugh.
What do you think of controversial figures getting lucrative book deals? I know it happens, but that doesn’t make it okay.
PS: Bill Cosby hasn’t reportedly been offered a book deal to tell his story. But I wrote this to show that it’d be believable if he did. People sometimes put publishing up on a pedestal, and there’s really no reason to do so. It’s about making money. Just like every other industry. If you comment what you think of Cosby’s new deal, I’ll know you didn’t read all the way through.
Evidently Sarah Palin has just released a new book. Which isn’t all that surprising considering that she is all but out of the public eye. But eh, politicians write books all the time.
What makes this a bit odd is that she recently held a book signing in California. I’m not sure I’d have picked that particular state for her signing, but I’m also not in charge of anything. It wasn’t at a bookstore. It wasn’t at a political event. It was at a gun range.
Yes, you read that correctly. Sarah Palin held a book signing at a gun range in California. Why? I’m sure she’s got plenty of support from those in favor of gun rights, but I just don’t see the point. If she wants to make a statement on guns, then she could just as easily make an actual statement, right?
I just think it was mostly done to attract a certain amount of attention. And it worked. She ran out of books to sell because the line of people was so long. I won’t even comment on why people would even be following her at this point. Oh well.
Do you have any thoughts on having a book signing at a gun range?
I’m not talking nonfiction. And I’m not talking about simply using one’s life experience. I’m talking about particular events. Kind of like the TV show Castle. He uses real crimes (in the show) and writes books about them.
I think it’d be an interesting thing to do, but I doubt I’d ever even try it. It would lead me to ask myself why not just write nonfiction instead? If an author really wants to focus on real events, then why not REALLY focus on them?
For example, one of the most notorious crimes of my lifetime was when Andrea Yates killed her five children in Houston. I’m certain that there are plenty of books about this, but I think it’d be better to go ahead and write some true crime rather than a novel when it comes to something like that.
I don’t know if this actually happens, but I do think authors may hesitate to go from fiction to nonfiction or vice-versa if they’re already well known for one or the other. Makes sense. Don’t want to confuse readers. But what do I know, right?
Do you ever use specific events from real life in your stories? Things that didn’t necessarily happen to you.
I know many people bash awards all the time because they never seem to get it right or because there’s some kind of agenda at play. But why can’t it be that sometimes the recipients of these awards are deserving? Why is that so hard to believe?
The Nobel Prize for Literature was announced yesterday. And I’ll admit that I didn’t know the recipient off the top of my head. So what did I do? I read about her. No, not Wikipedia. I read what respectable news organizations had to say about this woman who had just won the top literary prize there is. And based on what I’ve read she absolutely deserves it. All of the authors being considered deserved it. But you can’t slice up the award and give it out in fifths.
Svetlana Alexievich is a journalist who also writes books. Yes, they’re nonfiction. But honestly, someone who feels strongly that she shouldn’t be considered for an award for “literature” has probably never written anything longer than a tweet. I’m finding through my own reading that true stories are just as entertaining and thought-provoking as fiction.
Are you familiar with her work? Have any thoughts on a nonfiction author winning this award?
I’ve just realized something recently. I have no idea what a memoir is. I’d been told previously that it’s a mix of fact and fiction. But not much more.
So I looked it up. The actual definition doesn’t help one bit. It sounds exactly like an autobiography to me. But it’s called something different. Someone enlighten me. Seriously. I don’t currently have any idea what differentiates the two.
What the heck is a memoir?
“Don’t ask me about nonfiction. I never read it. I hate anything real.” ~ R.L. Stine.
Probably due to the new Goosebumps movie coming out, R.L. Stine has been more in the news lately. An interview he did with The New York Times gave me a chuckle, but also an insight into the mind of a brilliant writer.
See the article here, and find out for yourself how droll he is.
In it you’ll learn he hates nonfiction, adores Ray Bradbury, thinks horror is funny, and hasn’t yet read the “autobiography” about himself written by five other people.
Many of his questions are humorous, and it was interesting seeing him through his own eyes.
I’m not going to deny, I couldn’t read the Goosebumps books when I was a kid. Self-proclaimed scaredy-cat. They gave me nightmares. John is not at all like that. But I sure am.
Looking back, I know they weren’t nearly as scary as my adolescent mind made them to be, and I’m tempted to go and re-read them.
But the one quote that struck me above all the others was the one I posted at the beginning of this post. He hates anything real?
As a fiction writer, myself, I can understand the lure of escaping the real world, but there is so much to learn from history and current events. And many times, history is fictionalized and we end up reading about “real” life anyway.
What do you think? Do you like nonfiction? Fiction? What do you think of his opinion? (Unless it was sarcastic. I won’t know. Ask John. I’m a doof when it comes to sarcasm).