On the day I learned that Alaska’s celebrity author Sarah Palin has inked a new book deal, I also heard that she’s shopping a reality show (at possibly one million dollars per episode). That got me to thinking: Would anyone watch a reality show featuring me as an author? Not likely. I love what I do, but my daily grind is not exactly exciting even though, like Sarah’s show, it’s set in Alaska.
But the lives of some writers do make good drama – and fiction. Fairbanks writer Michael Engelhard wrote to say he just finished the novel After the Workshop by John McNally — a fictional memoir by an ex-Iowa Writers’ workshop student and blocked writer who now works as a media escort. As Engelhard explains, “He’s had one brilliant story published in the The New Yorker and has been stalled on his novel for the past twelve years. It’s humorous and full of barbs (“Perhaps novelists are only failed poets?”) and insights into the publishing and writing life.”
As Engelhard notes, “It always feels cathartic to see our plight not taken too seriously and even turned on its head, as a source of inspiration.” He wonders what other fiction about the writing life our readers have enjoyed. Comments?