Who Wants To Be Famous?

Jeffrey Archer has been reputedly offered an £18m advance for a five book deal over five years destined to be 'The Next Forsyte Saga' - what was wrong with the old one is what I want to know. Although the managing director of his publisher Macmillan, said there was “no substance whatsoever” in the figure. Well, in the words of Mandy Rice-Davies, 'He would, wouldn't he?' Even so, I'll bet it's pretty substantial.

I certainly don't aspire to that kind of fame, nor do I envy Archer, who is going to be under severe pressure to perform - mind you, a million of that advance would buy him a more than competent ghost writer - and the British public probably won't care as long as his name is on the cover.

I don't aspire to any of that media circus stuff Archer and his 'celebrity' contemporaries revel in either. What I would really like, is to see a story of mine - or two, sitting on a bookshelf in a mainstream store. Maybe a small pile in a window display would be nice, even a discrete book signing one afternoon accompanied by good coffee and muffins. I would like my stories to be picked up by Historical Fiction readers to enjoy as a temporary escape into a totally different world, a world where my characters stay with them long after they put the book down.

It would be nice, too, if they recommend it to their friends and family, and then the next time they are in the bookshop, maybe, just maybe they will ask the assistant if they can pre-order my next book!

You can keep the media circus, the international book tour with a spot on Oprah, Good Morning, [UK and USA versions] the five minute giggle session on Loose Women where we discuss where I get my nails done and don't mention the book at all. Not to mention the guest appearance on 'Have I Got News For You', where Paul Merton keeps giving me odd sideways looks as if he cannot figure for the life of him why I am there because I'm not a bit funny.

My motives are far humbler, and hopefully achieveable. Perhaps my next wip will be the one?


I so identify with this post, Anita. What keeps me going is a bit of enthusiastic feedback from readers here and there who read my one of my books and liked it. It's when I start to get ahead of myself that I get unhappy--Why isn't it selling better? Why isn't there more interest? Why can't Oprah discover my novel and her life be changed forever and tell the world who then all want to go out and buy a copy?

You know, that sort of thing. But now, when it comes down to it, I don't want to be famous either.
Lisa Yarde said…
I still hold out hope for seeing you on television, talking about all the hard work you've put into your writing.
Anita Davison said…
Television? Ack no that would just about crush me forever! The shelf in Waterstones between Authors C-E would be perfect!
Nadine Laman said…
When you are on television, we will all be in the front row so you don't get crushed.
We share the same dream - neither of us want millions, but it sure make us happy to see our books in mainstream bookstores. You're well on your way, Anita.

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