Friday, September 14, 2007

Frey owns up to this fiction: HarperCollins to publish ‘Bright Shiny Morning’

After imploding his career—profitably—with his alleged memoir, ‘A Million Little Pieces,’ James Frey continues his—profitable—success with the sale of his novel to HarperCollins. The book is scheduled for publication in summer, 2008. Jonathan Burnham, senior vice president and publisher at HC, said in a corporate news release, “James Frey is an immensely talented writer who has written a truly extraordinary and original novel, one of great breadth and ambition.” Gosh—sounds just like his first “novel” packaged as a memoir, doesn’t it?

American publishing knows no boundaries when it comes to making money. Remember Clifford Irving—faker of the Howard Hughes biography in 1971? Irving actually did time in a federal prison for his scam. Frey gets a new book deal and praise from his publisher.

The saddest thing about Clifford Irving is what makeup artists did to Richard Gere when filming the movie about Irving, ‘The Hoax.’ I literally could not even look at Gere, made up so poorly he brought to mind the image of Alfred E. Neuman of Mad magazine fame.

Well, we all have our ups and downs, I suppose. Can you fathom musings about my own success? What if I were to claim my next book has just been acquired by a mega-publisher who wined and dined me recently in New York, offering a $2 million advance for my brilliance in penning an account of my life as personal poet to Diana, Princess of Wales. I might tell you I include stories of our teatimes together. I might conjure how we shared everything —finger sandwiches, Earl Grey tea (loose leaf, of course) and even Prince Charles. And how when Di wanted a poem, I composed one on the spot. “Formal or free?” I’d ask—“a sonnet, perhaps?”

I confess she preferred free. I think I’ll use the pen name Jamie Frey for my “memoir.” Nonfiction, they say, is a great way to break out on the best-seller list, even if your book is as we say on the street, a pack of lies.

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