aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Turn your former bad job into a novel

- Little Pink Slips, written by a former McCall's editor, features a character with "lady wrestler legs" who seems a lot like Rosie McDonnel, who helped McCalls, renamed Rosie, fail.
- A Model Summer features a 15-year-old model and the underbelly of the fashion industry, is by former supermodel Paulina Porizkova, who was discovered at 15.
- Mergers and Acquisitions is about the disillusionment of a young investment banker, is by Dana Vachon, a former investment banker.
- Falling Out of Fashion is about the last days of a Jane- like magazine is by Karen Yampolsky, a former assistant to Jane editor Jane Pratt.
- Because She Can, by Birdie Clark, features someone who seems a lot like Judith Regan.

In USA Today, Amy Williams of literary agency McCormick and Williams says: "It's a lot easier to say something is 'sort of true,' especially since it is, in the end, fiction So they aren't denying it so much as saying, 'Sure, I worked at this big company or for this big person, but I wrote a novel. I added events that didn't happen and people who don't really exist, as all novelists do.' But publishers need all the help they can get, so they will understandably hook it to that one (real) place or person. That's the fun of it all."

If you thinly disguise someone can they sue you? In 1983, a lawyer successfully defended Robert Tine, who was sued by his former girlfriend because of his novel State of Grace. A New York court ruled that the similarities between the plaintiff, Lisa Springer, and Tine's fictional prostitute, Lisa Blake, were insufficient to be considered defamatory.

It probably helps to have worked in a glamorous, interesting workplace. I could write about the underbelly of health care administration, but is that interesting? I doubt my stints in data entry, pizza making, or non-profit work would be that thrilling. And while it was interesting, there's not much to say about my stint as an artist's model in college.

Do you have a job you could fictionalize? Or do know of any other "I know because I was there" books?

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Tags: truth or fiction?

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