Celebrities Who Write

November 1, 2017 | Wendy B.

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To paraphrase a misquote from F. Scott Fitzgerald, the famous are different from you and me. Or from me, at least, in the sense that they're way more productive:

Tom Hanks. Photo: U.S. Department of State

Multiple Oscar-winner Tom Hanks recently published a book of short stories (all involving vintage typewriters, no less!) that is reportedly pretty decent.

Uncommon Type, by Tom Hanks

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

Similarly, Steve Martin, star of many hit comedy films, has published not one but two good novels about ambitious young women.

Steve Martin. Photo: Sarah E. Freeman. Licensed under Creative Commons.


An Object of Beauty, by Steve Martin

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin


Shopgirl, by Steve Martin

Shopgirl by Steve Martin


Shopgirl was  even made into a movie, starring Steve Martin, bringing the creative process full circle:

Shopgirl, starring Steve Martin

Shopgirl (DVD, 2006)


So. Regardless of what Us Weekly would have us believe, stars: they're not much like us at all. 

Carrie Fisher. Photo: rod. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Carrie Fisher. Photo credit: rod.
Licensed under Creative Commons

Further evidence: the magnificent late lamented Carrie Fisher, in addition to being everybody's favourite space princess/general, wrote seven well-received books, including four novels. Her first, Postcards from the Edge (1987), was a semi-autobiographical dive into the grittier corners of a drug-addicted star's life.

  Postcards from the Edge, by Carrie Fisher

Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher

And of course, it also became a pretty good movie (re-cue The Circle of Life):

Postcards from the Edge, starring Meryl Streep

Postcards from the Edge (DVD, 2015)

How about Canadian stars: are they also unrealistically productive?

Mary Walsh as Marg Delahunty.
Mary Walsh as Marg Delahunty. Photo: Nigal Markham/In My Name. Licensed under Creative Commons.

The answer is yes. Our own Mary Walsh has a novel out this year, which she has described (somewhat surprisingly) as the backstory for her irresistible Marg Delahunty, Warrior Princess.

Early reviews suggest that "Crying for the Moon" could be a sort of "Postcards from the Edge", only set in rural Newfoundland instead of Los Angeles. Accordingly, some reviewers have found the book "too depressing"; still, if Martin's and Fisher's experiences are any indication, we might get a CBC drama out of this sooner or later. 

Crying for the Moon, by Mary Walsh

Crying for the Moon by Mary Walsh


And it's not just Canadian actors who are obscenely productive:

Ron Sexsmith. Photo: Phil Birnbaum. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Multiple Juno-winning singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith has just published his first novel, a whimsical dark fairy tale about witches, boys turned into deer and the power of community, that you will probably love, if you love puns.  

Deer Life, by Ron Sexsmith

Deer Life: A Fairy Tale, by Ron Sexsmith

Have you read any good books by people who are famous for something else? Let us know in the comments.