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Tag: Celebrity (1-10 of 238)

On the Books: Long-lost Dr. Seuss stories hit shelves

Horton-and-the-Kwuggerbug

A new Dr. Seuss book was published Tuesday, 23 years after the writer’s death. Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories is a collection of four previously unpublished short stories that Seuss wrote for Redbook magazine in the 1950s. The stories, discovered by Seuss biographer Charles Cohen and published by Random House, feature both familiar faces like The Grinch and Horton the elephant, as well as new characters like the titular Kwuggerbug. Theodor Geisel, the man behind the legendary pseudonym, died in 1991. [The Telegraph]

British fantasy novelist Graham Joyce died Tuesday at the age of 59 after a yearlong battle with lymphoma. Joyce’s publisher Gollancz, confirmed the news via Twitter: “Graham Joyce was a writer of huge heart. He loved people and his writing celebrated the magic of them. His books are a fitting legacy.” The multiple-time British Fantasy award winner was mourned on Twitter by fans and fellow authors including Stephen King, who tweeted, “Very sad to hear that Graham Joyce, a truly great novelist, has passed away. Too soon. Far too soon.” [The Guardian]

The nation’s largest bookstore, Barnes & Noble, experienced a 7-percent loss in revenue in its first quarter, ending in August—but managed to cut its net losses from $87 million to $28.4 million in the first period of the fiscal year. Retail CEO Mitch Klipper said that part of the reduction in declining sales is due to the ongoing dispute between retailer Amazon and publisher Hachette, as well as the popularity of movies adapted from young-adult books. B&N’s future revenues will in part be determined by its Nook Media ebook business and a new joint venture with Google, a book delivery system, currently being piloted. [Publishers Weekly]

Celebrity television judge-turned-author Judge Judy Sheindlin is giving away her new book for free. What Would Judy Say?: Be the Hero of Your Own Story is downloadable on Sheindlin’s website a PDF or e-book, free of charge.  On the site, Scheindlen—who collects a bigger paycheck than any other celebrity on TV, earning nearly a million dollars per workday—describes her book as “an honest conversation with women about what it really takes to get what you deserve out of life.” [Los Angeles Times]

 

 

 

 

Nick Cannon to publish illustrated poetry book for kids

Versatile TV and radio personality Nick Cannon will soon be adding “published poet” to his list of professional accomplishments. Today Scholastic announced it will publish Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems, a hip-hop-influenced children’s poetry book written and partially illustrated by Cannon, in March 2015.

The poetry collection will include “funny, silly, gross, heartwarming, as well as serious poems,” according to the Scholastic press release. Cannon—a musician, comedian, actor, producer and host of America’s Got Talent—will do some of the illustrations himself, while others will be the work of notable streets artists like Califawnia (a.k.a. Fawn Arthur), Art Mobb (a.k.a. Michael Farhat), and MAST.

Neon Aliens is inspired by Cannon’s love for both poetry and hip-hop. “Writing is at the center of everything I do as an artist,” Cannon said. “As a kid, it was my escape from the inner-city pitfalls.” He credits Shel Silverstein in particular with fostering his passion for writing poetry and creating art from a young age—and aspires to do the same for kids today with his book. “I hope that poems in Neon Aliens will help inspire kids to want to get out a pen and paper to write or draw their own thoughts, rhymes, and stories.”

The book deal is the result of a collaboration between Nick Cannon’s production and management company Ncredible Entertainment, Vice President at Scholastic Debra Dorfman, and the investment group Impact Republic. Scholastic is set to publish a previously announced children’s book by Cannon in November, Roc and Roe’s Twelve Days of Christmas.

Billy Eichner inks deal for first book

But will it be written in ALL CAPS?!?!

Billy Eichner, the deafening dude behind Fuse and Funny or Die’s Billy on the Street, is writing a book. Details on the tome’s content are scarce for now, though a posting on Eichner’s official Tumblr says that it will be “an irreverent look at Hollywood and pop culture that you can find literally anywhere else.” (The post also notes that Eichner’s favorite books include “Twitter, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood Reporter, and emails.” You can’t argue with good taste.) READ FULL STORY

Lena Dunham's book tour features spectacular roster of guests

The hype for Lena Dunham’s first book Not That Kind of Girl might be even louder than we expected — this will be the bookstore equivalent of a Beyonce and Jay-Z stadium concert tour. Dunham announced the dates for Not That Kind of Tour today, and the lineup of special guests is absurdly amazing. Certain stops will feature local talent (you can apply to an open call on Dunham’s website), but others will feature well-known women, including fellow Apatow collaborator Amy Schumer, poet and memoirist Mary Karr, Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein, filmmaker Miranda July, and novelist Zadie Smith.

See below for a full list of stops for Not That Kind of Tour: READ FULL STORY

The life and times of a ghostwriter (or, how Kendall and Kylie Jenner became published YA authors)

First comes fame, then the magazine covers, the signature perfume, the makeup collection, and—yes—the novel.

Tyra Banks, Pamela Anderson, Nicole Richie, and Britney Spears are just a few of the stars who have novels to their credit, and much like clothing collections or advertising gigs, their literary offerings are considered a commercial product with which to cash in on their fame. And the latest to join the celebrity-turned-novelist club are teen darlings Kendall and Kylie Jenner, who catapulted to fame as the half-sisters of Kim, Khloé, and Kourtney Kardashian.

The Jenner sisters—ages 18 and 16—have just released their first novel, Rebels: City of Indra, marketed as dystopian story about two girls who take off on a journey “amid the constant threat of danger.” But is there any pretense that Jenners or any other celebrity—with their modeling and reality television careers—actually sit down and write these books? (Remember how hard it’s been for Hannah Horvath of Girls? And she actually wants to become a full-time writer.)

The answer, it seems, is a resounding “no.” “I don’t have any expectation that any of the celebrities that I sign or work with will be able to sit down and write a book,” says Rebels publisher Karen Hunter, who has worked on books with Kris Jenner and Tamar Braxton. “I don’t know that many teenagers that could write a book, period.”

Enter the celebrity ghostwriter, usually a seasoned novelist or journalist who gets connected to celebrity projects via literary agents (paired together in what ghostwriter agent Madeleine Morel calls a “matchmaking process”). Then, for a price—a negotiated fee typically between $20,000 and $40,000—ghostwriters will churn out several hundred pages that will ultimately be passed off as a celebrity’s creative endeavor. Which, it turns out, is okay with celeb-crazed readers.

“Fans don’t really care whether or not a celebrity wrote it or not, as long as they can visualize the characters and the setting,” says Valerie Frankel, who’s written several novels under her own name and ghostwritten others, including a 2011 New York Times bestseller for Jersey Shore sensation Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.

But that’s not to say celebrities aren’t part of the process; they’ll usually create a novel’s characters and plot, providing a foundation for a ghost writer to expand on.

“It’s an escape out of my own head to work with other people and be inspired by their lives, and their stories and their characters,” Frankel explains of collaborating with pop culture phenomenons like Polizzi. “It’s as satisfying as writing a novel under my own name.”

Rebels ghost writer Maya Sloan agrees. “It’s a gift to be writing, making a living,” says Sloan, who did “a ton” of interviews with the Jenner sisters and spent hours studying their preferences, style, and language in order to accurately transmit their personalities onto the written page. “And to me, writing is collaborative. That’s how the face of writing is changing—we need to own it.”

Though Sloan’s name appears on the Rebels title page along with the Jenners’ manager, Elizabeth Killmond-Roman, ghostwriters aren’t often acknowledged at all in a book (that largely depends on how savvy an agent is at negotiating—and how willing a celebrity is to share the credit). And while slapping a celebrity’s name on a product seems to be an easy sell, these novels actually aren’t guaranteed bestsellers, says Morel.

“Stars think writing a book loosely based on their life is the way to go, but most of these books don’t sell,” explains Morel. “Fiction is too subjective.”

The books that have done well—like Lauren Conrad’s L.A. Candy series or Hilary Duff’s Elixir trilogy—are aimed at young adult and 20-something audiences who are captivated by their idols’ forays into literature (and will likely also purchase their branded nail polish or musical albums). However, following the success of 50 Shades of Grey, both Mob Wives star Renee Graziano and talk-show host Wendy Williams have ventured into a new kind of celebrity novel: erotica.

Might that be the next big thing? Maybe. But for those who prefer a youthful brand of dystopian chic, feel free to hold out for a Rebels sequel.

“There’s more to come,” says Hunter of the Jenners’ literary efforts. “They’ve already figured out what’s coming next.”

Mindy Kaling announces title for new book of essays

Clear some space on your bookshelf — Mindy Kaling’s second book of personal essays now has a title: Why Not Me?

In a chat with the Los Angeles Times (which you can watch in full; the book talk starts at 33:00), Kaling revealed more details about the follow-up to her 2011 book of essays, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns). Why Not Me? will explore her world post-discovering everyone might be hanging out without her.

“So much has happened between the time I published my first book and now: The show; my mother passed away; so many of my friends have gotten married. I’m a godmother now, and a homeowner,” she explained. She said the book will give her the chance “in the most articulate way” to explain all of the headline-generating incidents of the past few years, including her magazine covers, the ethnicity of her television boyfriends on The Mindy Project, and — hopefully — a return of “Things I’ve Bought That I Love.” READ FULL STORY

Check out '80s-inspired cover of Amy Poehler's memoir 'Yes Please'

Amy-Poehler

The cover of one of the most anticipated books of 2014 is here.

Amy Poehler’s memoir-esque book was previously described thusly: “Her original twist on the conventional memoir will have universal appeal,” according to It Books. “An illustrated, non-linear diary full of humor and honesty and brimming with true stories, fictional anecdotes and life lessons, the book will be a unique and engaging experience from one of today’s most talented and beloved stars.”

Here’s hoping the Parks and Recreation star’s book will have chapters on Kaitlin and Joe Biden — and, of course, the full story behind the Palin Rap.

Check out a full picture of the very ’80s-looking cover below: READ FULL STORY

Take a first look at Jason Segel's first novel 'Nightmares!'

nightmares

We always knew that Muppet lover and Dracula musical writer Jason Segel was a giant kid at heart, and now he’s planning to tell stories directly aimed at a very young audience. The first novel from the former How I Met Your Mother star will hit shelves Sept. 9, and EW has the exclusive first look at the cover of Nightmares!. Read on for more on Segel’s own weird nightmares, the first screenplay he ever wrote, and his experiences reading Infinite Jest while preparing to play David Foster Wallace in an upcoming biopic. READ FULL STORY

Neil Patrick Harris wrote a Choose Your Own Adventure-style memoir

Neil-Patrick-harris

In hindsight, readers shouldn’t be surprised that Neil Patrick Harris’ autobiography isn’t going to be the typical celebrity memoir. Still, a Choose Your Own Adventure-style tale is a fun surprise from the guy behind Barney Stinson, Dr. Horrible, and  — sorry Hugh Jackman — the best Tonys opener of all time.

Here’s the just-released book description: “In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht. Choose correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a guest stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”

No word on if you get to choose to get naked on the cover of Rolling Stone. Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! will be available Oct. 14, 2014.

'Hi doggie!': Hear 'The Room' star Greg Sestero read from his memoir -- EXCLUSIVE AUDIOBOOK EXCERPT

When Entertainment Weekly first spoke to actor Greg Sestero back in 2008 the cult which surrounded his film The Room was still a small, mostly Los Angeles-based affair. Six years on, director-writer-star Tommy Wiseau’s fantastically awful film has become famous around the world and Sestero’s recent memoir The Disaster Artist – which concerns both the film’s production and his friendship with Wiseau — has been optioned by James Franco. READ FULL STORY

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