Last weekend I managed to escape Washington, DC to go to the magical world of Sag Harbor. It’s the place where the sun always shines, the beaches are calming, and everybody knows your name. But that’s not why I’m bringing it up. Nope, I share my visit with you for one reason and one reason only: noveling (duh). You see, as I was enjoying the two inches of beach (it was high tide) at the Sag Harbor bay, Bethenny Frankel and her dog Cookie walked right past me and my friends. Most people know Bethenny as one of the Real Housewives of New York and creator of the SkinnyGirl Margarita, but did you know she was also a novelist? Oh yeah, she wrote a book called Skinnydipping. It’s about a reality star with a dog named Muffin.
I love Bethenny and all and I know it’s possible to write a novel while doing other things (like, for example, working at a law firm or being in med school), but can you really do it while running a zillion dollar business, starring in your own show, raising a child and lord knows what else? I saw an interview when Bethenny answered the question “how did you find the time?” by saying she wrote her book on her Blackberry. Blink. Since she agreed to take this picture with me (please note that my brother did NOT take this shot…he does NOT want to be associated with Bravo), I will give her the benefit of the doubt. Bethenny has actually written a bunch of books, and was smart enough to make $100 million off one product (the Skinnygirl Margarita). Still, as a semi-journalist, I felt compelled to do some investigating. Having seen the movie Young Adult (Charlize Theron plays a ghostwriter), I knew that if a celebrity has “help” writing a novel, they are typically credited on the copyright page in tiny print. I went to Amazon.com and “Looked inside!” Bethenny’s novel and found the following: “Skinnydipping: a novel/Bethenny Frankel; with Eve Adamson.” Eve Adamson is a bestselling author, award-winning freelance writer and (gasp!) ghostwriter of celebrity books. Ok, so B probably had help. I’m not mad, I’m jealous. It must be nice, when you have no time or writer’s block to just call up your ghostwriter to make stuff happen for you. I have bills to pay though, so no help for me (except my writer’s group). So in this case, I think the answer to the question “why can’t I?” is that I can’t afford a ghostwriter!
While we’re on the topic of ghostwriting, I must say, I really don’t know what to make of the phenomenon. When you have people like Snooki “writing” novels, I think it’s fair to say that it cheapens the craft, making it that much harder for women authors to be taken seriously. On the other hand, these novels may get some people who don’t like to read to pick up a book. You can’t possibly get dumber while reading right? So maybe it’s a good thing.
In honor of my chance meeting of Bethenny, I pledge to write at least one page of my future novel on my Blackberry. Til next time. Hollllerrr.