Characters Developing Characters

All sorts of interesting characters are writing books these days. As previously reported here, Dr. Angus has a diet book out. Now soap stars are getting in on the act.

from New York Times: A little more than a year ago, Marcie Walsh decided to write a mystery novel. It was a big step, considering that she was a college student and part-time receptionist. Also, she had picked up a rare disease after being thrown into a Dumpster (long story) and given it to her boyfriend, who died. But she got over all that and sent her manuscript to an editor at Hyperion named Gretchen Young, who accepted it. Chip Kidd, the sought-after book-jacket designer, did the cover. The book was published this past February and made it onto The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists.
Marcie Walsh may not be as celebrated a young author as, say, Jonathan Safran Foer. But on the other hand, she didn’t have the advantage of an Ivy League education and the support of critics who see her as a master of experimental fiction. In fact, she doesn’t even exist. Her book, ”The Killing Club,” is quite real. It was written ”with” Michael Malone, the prize-winning (and nonfictional) author of several mysteries, and there are 150,000 copies in print. Walsh, however, is a character on the ABC soap opera ”One Life to Live,” which pulls in about 3 million viewers a day; the big author photo on the back cover is of Kathy Brier, the actress who plays Walsh on the show.

If you’d prefer to read a real book by a real author, advertising is full of them (real writers with real books, that is). For instance, former BJK&E copywriter, Bob Drake, has a new book out, Paper Boys: A Novel In Five Part Harmony.
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Michael Stodola, an Amazon reviewer says, “My sense of Norman-Rockwellesque-American-Childhood was brutally mugged by Bob Drake’s Paper Boys.” That’s quite an endorsement.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.