There are good celebrity novels. The ones written by Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Charlie Higson, for example, are exceptionally good. But, to be fair, they did write before they famous, and they wrote a lot of their own material on their way up to the top.
And then of course, there’s Dick Francis, who started off as a jockey, and turned into a damn good thriller writer.
But then there’s Katie Price’s books (aka Jordan). Famous for not much more than stripping off a lot, and having a lurid private life, her books got onto the best seller lists. And no, they’re not good. They’re very very bad.
In France, a newsreader wrote a novel. It sold very well, and got good reviews. Then someone else copied the manuscript, changed the first two sentences and the title, and tried to sell it to a publisher. It didn’t get any interest. The hoaxer said this proved the original book had sold on the famous name of its author alone, and had nothing to do with merit.
It’s annoying, to try and sell a book that I truly believe is pretty good (British understatement, for non-British readers. That’s British language for ‘I think it’s fantastic!’) and fail, when bad books by famous authors are snapped up.
But I do have a consolation. Katie Price’s books, and all those other celebrity will only ever be judged on their name alone. When I am published, I will be judged solely on my merit. I hope the judgment will reflect well on me.