Fuse #8

Monday, June 05, 2006

And Ink Shall Run Freely Through the Streets

Gail Gauthier (who, to my mind, has the most interesting children's book author blog available today) had an especially intelligent posting. In it, she made reference to a time called Authorgeddon. The official definition reads:
Refers to the hypothetical date when the number of books published in a given year will exceed the number of people who have read a book that same year.
Of course, the world of children's books puts an entirely new spin on this possible End. If celebrity authors keep putting out picture books at an increasing rate and of decreasing quality (I'm looking at YOU Peter Farrelly!) then we may as well all quit our jobs, put on some dirty robes, and start marching down the street holding signs that say, AUTHORGEDDON IS NIGH!


At 2:29 PM , Blogger Greg Pincus said...

Waaaaaaiiiiit a second now. I'm not defending Peter Farrelly's picture book, cuz I haven't read it, but the thing about him is that his profession is Writer. Screenplays are writing. Novels (he has two) are writing. But maybe more to the point, if you ask parents who Peter Farrelly is, they will likely have no clue. If you ask them who Whoopi Goldberg is, they will know. I do not think this is the same type of "celebrity author" thing, so I'm curious to see why you think it is.

At 3:23 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Really? I hear the words "Farrelly Brothers" and a picture instantly pops into my brain. If anyone in Hollywood that writes deserves the pseudonym of "celebrity", it's a Farrelly. Entirely aside from the fact that the book, according to reputable sources (i.e. Bookbuds) is not-so-hot, I wouldn't hesitate to lump him into the Whoopie Goldberg category at all. Yes, he writes. So does M. Knight Shyamalan, but you wouldn't want to see him write a children's book. Oh! Too late! A companion to his newest movie is coming out this fall.

At 4:22 PM , Blogger Bkbuds said...

There are many celebrity writers who transition smoothly from writers of grown-up stuff to kiddie lit. Toni Morrison and Nikki Giovanni spring to mind. Mr. Farrelly does not. He put aside all the sophomoric stuff that made him famous and decided to Get Serious. Yawn.

He's living proof that just because you have kids doesn't mean you have to stop acting like one.

At 8:34 PM , Blogger Greg Pincus said...

I'm not arguing merits. I am saying that "Farelly Brothers" as a phrase won't sell kids books. Did his reputation get him the deal? Probably. But that's different, I think, than someone who's simply famous, hasn't been writing professionally their whole lives, and gets a deal cuz the name alone will sell books. Don't you think a strong editor coulda worked with a strong writer here?

Note, too, that the book doesn't say "Written by the Farelly Brothers." And we could argue endlessly about who are "celebrity" writers in Hollywood.

Anyway, the book might very well suck. I just don't view taking a chance on him writing a good book anything like I do taking the chance on soooo many others.

At 11:18 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...


So where would you stand on someone like M. Knight Shymalan writing a tie-in picture book to accompany his summer movie?

At 4:55 AM , Blogger Greg Pincus said...

Frankly, I think it's totally unfair to dismiss someone who's proven they're a talented writer, simply cuz they're unpublished in a certain genre. Do you know if he's tried picture books before? Do you know if he's studied them? Condemn them AFTER the fact, but I think you've got a better chance of them succeeding than most "celeb" authors. Besides, I suspect something like that was thrust upon him, not vice-versa. So blame the publisher... or blame the lack of editorial oversight. And finally, say the writer failed. But don't fault a writer... someone who WRITES FOR A LIVING EVERY DAY... for trying to stretch.

PS -- The cover art on the Peter Farelly book was enough to warn me off. How shallow of me!

At 10:29 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

So I talked this over with my husband (who hopes to someday be a screenwriter like yourself) and he totally agrees with you. As he pointed out, Farelly actually wrote novels in addition to his screenplays. In such a case as this, I concede the point. You are utterly and wholly correct. Fortunately, I can say that I am wrong and still condemn Farelly's latest bit of dreck. Such are the wonders of the children's picture book world.


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