Did Teri Hatcher Burn Her Own Toast?

Posted on May 15, 2006

Teri Hatcher Burnt Toast

The Answer B!tch of E! Online (that's a lot of exclamation points) answers a question from a reader as to whether celebrities like Teri Hatcher really write their own autobiographies. Hatcher's new book, Burnt Toast, has an amazingly clever title by the way.

The article begins by analyzing Teri's comments about toast from Burnt Toast.
Let's see if we can figure it out from parsing a small piece of Teri Hatcher's new memoir:

"Toast," Hatcher muses. "Think about it for a moment. It probably has the simplest recipe in the world: one ingredient, one instruction. Still, you know when you're trying to make it, and you just can't get it right?"

Well, I don't know about you, but my heart just stopped! It's like she's looking right into our souls--if not our stomachs.

No way could someone write that without help from a professional, right? Well, according to a spokesperson for Hyperion, Hatcher's publisher, the actress penned that all alone, with no aid from a ghostwriter. Armed only with the ingredients in her refrigerator, Hatcher apparently has crafted 224 pages of pithy, crunchy and probably whole-grain prose.

"She wrote it herself!" Hyperion spokeswoman Beth Dickey tells this B!tch.

That is not the complete answer from the E! story. The article goes on to say that "many, many" celebrity authors use ghostwriters.
The truth, Nina, is this: Many, many celebrity "authors" use ghostwriters. Stars don't want to admit they use ghostwriters, and most consumers don't really care. Lastly, ghostwriters know that they will be living on macaroni and cheese for the rest of their lives if they ever broadcast their participation in, say, oh, The Truth About Diamonds by Nicole Richie. The ghostwriter's career would be over, of course. Celebrities would shun them, and real writers would laugh them right out of their ascot-laden literary circles.
Sara Nelson, editor in chief of Publishers Weekly, told E!, "There are probably more ghostwriters for celebs than for noncelebs," says . "In some arrangements, ghostwriters are required to sign NDAs, but sometimes the news gets out anyway, as in the case of Hillary Clinton's memoir, which was cowritten by Maryanne Vollers. Sometimes the co-author holds the copyright with the celebrity, sometimes not. Sometimes the co-author gets a flat fee, and sometimes they also get to partake of some of the royalties."

We're all for ghostwriters, Teri Hatcher notwithstanding. Without our brave, underappreciated, yet sometimes quite well-paid ghostwriters, most celebrity memoirs would be absolutely unreadable.

Image: Hyperion

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