Which brings us to the strange case of celebrity writers – famous people who suddenly decide to write a book. It is a peculiar impulse, not least because it doesn’t work the other way round. You rarely hear that Hilary Mantel, A S Byatt or Alan Hollinghurst have decided to enhance their professional skill set by taking up modelling or acting, becoming a television gardener, cook or chat show host. Yet the autumn brings a rich harvest of fiction by celebs who clearly reckon that writing is a doddle.
A book with a famous name on it sells.
Russell Brand got a book contract because he’s got squiddely million Twitter followers, not because he’s got anything to say. Floella had a best seller without actually writing one. And Naomi Campbell has had best sellers without actually reading them (as has the orange one with the strange taste in men).