I’m never sure how I feel about famous people who write books. Please understand – I’m not talking about famous (or infamous) authors (Archer, Thompson), but about people who are ALREADY famous for some reason, and who then go and write a book as well. It’s a bit like Model-slash-Actors: they’ve already gotten to be really good at something (even if it’s just draping themselves over things in an alluring manner), and are earning buckets of money for doing so. How is it then fair that they also get to have a go at being good at something else – draping themselves all over the big screen as well?
I’m sure this is the main reason that I myself am not a successful writer – there’s only so much success to go around, and if SOME people are hogging it all, then it stands to reason there’s not enough left for the rest of us.
Not only that, but frequently the end result of hogging ALL the limelight turns out to be pants. I’m not naming names here (Minogue, Madonna, McCartney, Gervais), but as often as not these are the books that regularly appear on our Worst Of lists, AND that are the subject of such gloriously tetchy columns as this one from a few years ago in the Guardian.
Having had my wee grumble, I’d now like to backpedal and say that the reason I started this rant is that I have just finished reading Dawn French’s recent novel, and have found it to indeed be A Tiny Bit Marvellous. Funny and sweet and a bit dark and all about families and children and relationships and growing up, it’s not the most amazing novel I’ve read this year, but I really enjoyed it and I’d certainly recommend it to my friends. So clearly it’s not ALL celebs who should be banned from branching out. And here’s the problem, of course – how do we know who should and who shouldn’t be let loose with a ream of paper and a word-processor?