Thursday, September 30, 2010

Snooki's Kooki Booki Hooki

One of the characters from the Empty V show "Jersey Shore," Snooki (the one that president Obama lied about), is apparently writing or putting her name on a novel that will be published by Simon Ampersand Freaking Schuster for crying out loud in January.
She may be better known for her hairstyle than her literary style – but that hasn't stopped Jersey Shore star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi from trying her hand at writing.

The reality star is expected to release her first book, tentatively titled A Shore Thing, in January, publisher Simon & Schuster announced Wednesday.

And she'll likely be coming at it with a fresh perspective.

In February, the MTV star Tweeted – jokingly? – that she was reading her first book. "I have mind blowing news! I am officially reading my first bo! Lmao! Nicholas Sparks "dear John!" ... I'm proud of myself," she wrote at the time.
I don't know if it matters that Ms. Polizzi claimed not to have read a book before February of this year (after all, a writer should spend most of his/her time doing things and collecting experiences, not necessarily reading or writing), but did it have to be a Nicholas Sparks novel that broke her fiction hymen? (Nothing against Mr. Sparks, by the way, he's talented and a bestseller. I just would have suggested maybe Sidney Sheldon or James Patterson.)

And the book is to be released in January. Given the amount of lead time involved, we must be left to believe that Ms. Polizzi had been working on this novel since before she started reading her "first bo." Either that or someone else was working on the book before then. Or they found the ms. in the slushpile and bought it from said author, with the intention of affixing Ms. Polizzi's name to the cover.

Please note that I am not suggesting that Ms. Polizzi didn't actually write this novel. I am merely suggesting that scenario is one of many different possibilities. I'm not someone who believes that Ms. Polizzi is too stupid to write a novel. I have written a novel or two in my time. It's difficult but it's not improbable.

It's getting them published that's the problem.

When I (sorry, I'm getting personal here) wrote my first novel, and actually managed to get myself an agent, I was told by a couple of publishers that the novel was good, very entertaining and very funny, but there was one nagging question the editor had...

Who the hell is Ricky Sprague?

These editors told me that with publishing the way it is now, a writer must have some kind of notoriety. It helps to market the novel. At that time, my published credits were mostly in comics and cartoons, and not very extensive at that. So, much as these people were entertained by my demented little story (that was something else that worked against me -- the novel wasn't exactly "mainstream"), it was with great reluctance that they had to pass.

So I went sobbing away in my corner. Only to watch notorious or famous people get book deals.

The publishing industry is troubled, let's say. A lot of it is the fault of the publishers who are unwilling to take a chance on strange novels written by unknowns but a lot of it has to do with the bad economy and the fact that a lot of people don't read novels and television shows are getting a lot better and more involved. "The Wire," for instance, is better than just about any modern novel.

So publishers need a hooki to get people to buy the booki. "Snooki" is a good hooki. She's on a wildly popular television show. She is often in the news for her kooki antics. And when her book is announced, it's covered by People, Us Weekly, RadarOnline, and a bunch of gossip blogs and people like me.

She won't be the first. Kate Gosselin has written at least a couple of books. Tyra Banks has a novel coming out. That woman from "The Hills" wrote a book. So has at least one of the "Real Housewives."

I wonder where is Megan Hauserman's book? Don't you think that would be interesting? Especially the chapters about "Megan Wants a Millionaire." Someone should write that.

Anyway, to those of you worried that Ms. Polizzi's novel somehow represents the end of civilization, or the coming apocalypse, or whatever doomsday scenario you prefer, please be aware that celebrities have always been used to sell books. Huffington Post has a snarky list here. Someone at has a list of celebrity books here. (I didn't realize that Pamela Anderson had written two novels. Wow.) But this phenomenon goes back even further than Pamela Anderson. The great English poet and novelist Mary Robinson, aka Perdita, started off as a famous actress before becoming famous for  her writing.

So, um, yeah, to my point -- are there any productions companies out there that would like to follow me around for awhile, and watch me get drunk and then -- do a bunch of other stuff? Just until I get a book deal, I mean. Like Snooki.

The new Nicholas Sparks? Probably not -- but maybe the new Pamela Anderson.

Snooki on a pole pic source.

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