There’s No Such Thing As A Famous Author Anymore

Sorry, Virginia, even Santa Claus agrees there’s no such thing as a “famous author” anymore.

And this may be a good thing.

We live in a culture which doles out celebrity to “tin dynasties” of families who are famous just for being famous. You know who they are, whether you want to or not.

No surprise that in such a culture, the authors, the dreamers, the creators are receding into the shadows of marginalization. Even if their creation enchants an entire nation.

Look no further than this magazine.

us-weekly-cf

“Photos”
“Interviews”
“Diaries”
“Stories”

With all of that content, what could possibly be missing?

The author.

The person who created this saga in the first place. The person without whom the movie (and the tie-in magazines) would not even exist.

There was only one mention of “Suzanne Collins” or “novel” in the entire magazine.

In a small piece on the bottom of the back page. And not a single picture of Suzanne.

A stunning decline from the Twilight saga tie-in magazines of only a few years ago, which peppered their pages with pictures of Stephenie Meyer signing books and attending the movie premieres. Of course, she was never the subject of the intense media scrutiny focused on Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, but Meyer was at least “in the picture” (literally “in the pictures” of the saga tie-in magazines) as something of a household name that Twilight saga fans might actually recognize if they encountered her in person.

Now, in this issue of Us Weekly, Suzanne Collins is nothing but a name in the “closing credits.”

Imagine an adolescent Hunger Games Saga fan flipping through a copy of the Us Weekly special issue in the supermarket. If this magazine was all they had to go by, Suzanne Collins could walk right past that fan and they would never notice.

Suzanne_Collins_David_Shankbone_2010

This is what Suzanne Collins looks like. You’re welcome 😈

To think I was lamenting that a “J.D. Salinger”-type author could not exist today in this social-media-driven world. This magazine proves me wrong, at least in the “big picture” sense. Sure, Suzanne attends to all her social media, like any good author nowadays. Those fans who seek to know everything about Suzanne Collins can find it all on the Internet. But in the pages of the tie-in magazine, Suzanne is just a name hiding in the margins, as is the existence of her novel. Hidden from the mass media and the “non-readers’ view”, to the same degree Salinger hid himself from the world.

Sure, I dream of the Vampire Syndrome Saga being optioned by Hollywood. But where will I be, if this happens?

I’ll be celebrated by my fellow authors, to be sure. My life will become interesting enough without the fishbowl of fame. Those who seek to know the mind behind the movies will not be disappointed. But in the mass media, “Vampire Syndrome” will be the movies. The actors. The “photos, interviews, diaries and stories.” And I will be a Salinger in the shadows, left to the company of those who still care about those who can bring their dreams to life.

Update Jan 4 2015:
US Magazine’s subsequent Mockingjay Part 1 special didn’t mention Suzanne Collins at all. The book was only mentioned when Julianne Moore (God bless her!) mentioned that President Coin’s hair is gray because “that’s how it is in the book.”

I am now looking forward to an US Magazine Mockingjay Part 2 special without any mention of its source novel…
😈

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14 Comments

  1. Fame is a sharpened, doubled edged sword. It exposes us to all kinds of people bent on less than desirable activities, but it also gives us recognition for the work of our mind and our heart. What a fickle, fickle mistress/paramour.

    • A fame level of relative obscurity has some advantages. Meyer was spared the Beatlemania-level fish tank that Pattinson and Stewart were trapped in.

  2. Being one of those folks who dislikes crowds and has a real problem with camera flashes … I’d be okay with my story making it to the big screen even if my name is not associated with it.

    • At the rate the culture is going, “author” could be a good career choice for the agoraphobic.
      Even for the famous, monied authors, which is the point of this blog post… 😈

  3. This does leave one with a lot to ponder on the subject of fame. With respect to the Twilight Series, I bet Stephenie Meyer laughed all the way to the bank. On a more personal note, I would like to find myself in a similar situation. Jut to see how I would handle it. How about you, Daven?

    • Whichever actor born with Down Syndrome that plays the lead part of Jack would get all the glory (in this movie-driven culture), and rightly so. Me, I can handle being on the sidelines, taking in all the “photos, interviews, diaries and stories.”

      • It would be awesome enough to see one of the Lancer, Inc. mysteries on the big screen. I think I would be fine just staying in the background and on the sidelines.

  4. Reblogged this on Lenora's Culture Center and Foray into History.

  5. Yeah, like some of the others above, I’m not interested in the fame. I’ll take the income to the bank, but kindly leave my pictures and life out of it! :-] Cool, post, though!

  6. I can’t decide if I want to be supremely famous or hermit. Either way i’d like it to be one of those wherein I don’t have to do anything to stay that way – like the celebrities who make the paper for just buying milk. they were buying that milk anyway and yet now they have views – I weary of trying to slog through making up content to keep myself “relevant” lol! on the other hand, as a hermit I don;t need to do that, so either way is good for me so long as I can quit messing with it 😉

    • I thought authors were too “high-falutin'” to have to keep up with popular culture… 😈

  7. Reblogged this on The Ravings of a Sick Mind and commented:
    This is a good point. Steven King aside, nobody really pays much attention to the writers…

  8. Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

  9. […] Originally posted on Vampire Syndrome Blog: […]


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