I recently discovered the TV show Castle. It has all the elements I love; attraction between characters, mystery and in this case, it involves a writer. I haven’t caught up on all episodes, but TNT was showing a few last night. In one of the episodes, Castle’s new series of books featuring Nikki Heat (based on Beckett the detective he follows around), is being made into a movie. The actress hired to play Nikki joins the group to follow Beckett around as part of her researching of the role. The actress is thrilled to meet Beckett, but barely acknowledges Castle. He introduces himself again, telling her wrote Heat Wave, she’s still not impressed. “I’m your creator,” he mutters in the endearing way Castle pouts.
What’s interesting about this show is that in many ways Castle is the rockstar of mystery writers. He’s rich, famous and handsome. But if you think about it, in real life there aren’t many celebrity writers…at least writers that have the same problems that television and movie celebrities have. In many cases, people may not even recognize their favorite authors if they passed them on the street. And very few authors are invited on television unless they are super-rockstars. I recently saw E.L. James on Katie. J.k. Rowling was on the Daily Show. I’ve seen Stephanie Meyer on two talk shows. But I’ve never seen Grisham, Nora Roberts or even Susanne Collins on TV, except for clips from local news stations posted on YouTube.
I guess because writers aren’t seen very much, the best they can hope for is getting on the bestsellers list. If they’re lucky, their books will become a phenomena and garner a movie deal and then maybe they’ll be a celebrity. Of course, authors never go into writing to become a celebrity. But it’s got to be a happy bonus when the public and media create buzz that propels a book’s success.