Thursday, March 06, 2008

You Couldn't Make It Up!

But it seems that this is what penners of their own autobiographies do these days. Almost beyond belief, yet another tear jerking memoir has has run aground on the rocks of probity.
This time the publishers have had the good grace to pull the book from the shelves. Realistically, the authors of these falsely marketed books should be sued for obtaining money under false pretences.
I'm pretty sure that anyone's autobiography is going to contain a bit of fudging – mine certainly will – but blatant dishonesty is another matter.
It seems that publishers today are obsessed with either signing a celebrity up who can't write or a producer of a sufficiently miserable fictitious memoir of their life. Mislit has been big business for some years now but I think that future volumes will have to carry a certificate of authenticity stamp on them.
I'm not sure how other writers go about tackling these things but the last book I did in this genre involved my travelling to Lebanon and Dubai and interviewing various family members to ensure that the details were correct. Perhaps publishers should do the same before dishing out a contract.
This form of deception which plays upon the feelings of the reader is far more reprehensible than something in the flat out forgery vein such as the fake Hitler Diaries.
But many of the big publishing houses today are not the least interested in literary quality.
Coleen McCoughlin, whose bedside table contains nothing more cerebral than a telephone according to Wayne Rooney, has just been signed up to 'write' a series of novels for a substantial advance by a major publishing house.
No doubt Mr. Rooney can help her out with some of the four letter words.


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