Unlikely Celebrities Who Wrote Works of Fiction
You love them on the screen, online, and on the radio, but did you know a lot of your favorite celebrities are also published fiction authors? They might not be as well known for writing as the richest authors in the world, but their experiences and talent onscreen often translate to the page. In fact, a lot of their fictional works read more like creative non-fiction, thanks to their Hollywood settings. Take a look at these 15 unlikely celebrities who wrote (and published) works of fiction.
1. Sharon Osbourne
There’s nothing boring about Sharon Osbourne, that’s for sure. She’s quirky and creative with adoring fans from all over the world who loved following her and her family on the reality show The Osbournes. She released her novel Revenge in 2010, which is about (unsurprisingly) the dramatic and backstabbing world of the entertainment industry. (Hey, write about what you know, right?) Featuring family drama between two sisters and their deceptive mother, it’s a book you won’t want to put down. Fans seem to agree, as it has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon. If you want to read more about Osbourne’s personal, you can check out one of her three autobiographies, Survivor, Extreme, and Unbreakable.
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2. Sylvester Stallone
You might already know that Sylvester Stallone authored the screenplay for Rocky, but did you know that he published a novel shortly after? Paradise Alley, published in 1977, is a family drama featuring three brothers wrestling in Hell’s Kitchen. It got made into a movie in 1978 starring, you guessed it, Sylvester Stallone. Now, we have to give Stallone credit here because he pitched the screenplay Paradise Alley before he wrote Rocky. If Paradise Alley hadn’t been rejected, Stallone may never have been fueled to write Rocky. The novel has a respectable 3.5/5 stars on Goodreads.
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3. Macaulay Culkin
The Home Alone star used inspiration from his life as a child actor to write and publish Junior. This piece of fiction isn’t quite a novel. Rather, it’s a series of satirical anecdotes and reflections told humorously from the point of view of the narrator, Junior. While there’s no doubt Culkin pulled anecdotes from his own life, he keeps the character Junior separate from himself for a funny look into life as a child celebrity.
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4. Tim Burton
Known for creating creepy, gothic worlds in movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sweeney Todd, The Corpse Bride, and at least a dozen others, Tim Burton is also a masterful written storyteller. His 1997 fictional work The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories is as haunting as his films and as artistically crafted. The book is a collection of fictional stories following strange and outcast children. Burton fans will find a familiar comfort since the stories have a similar feel to his movies.
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5. Chris Harrison
Bachelor and Bachelorette star Chris Harrison tried his hand at finding love in the form of publishing the novel The Perfect Letter in 2015. The novel is about a young book editor in the big city who ends up back in her small hometown. Torn between her big-city fiance and her first-love, readers follow Leigh on essentially a novel-version of The Bachelor, but without the house and only two guys. Reviews are mixed but the novel holds a steady 3.5/5 stars on Goodreads. Mega Bachelor fans seem to love the book. You can also check out his second book, Head Over Heels: Seduced by Southern Italy, which came out in 2017.
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6. Isla Fisher
Known for her comedic roles in movies like Wedding Crashers and Confessions of a Shopaholic, Isla Fisher has also had a lot of success with her children’s fiction series Marge in Charge, which debuted in 2016. In the 90s, Fisher also published two romance novels for young adults: Bewitched (1995) and Seduced by Fame (1996). These cheesy romance novels hover between 3 and 4 stars on Goodreads, with most reviewers commenting that the novels are definitely geared toward the teenage girl audience. Hey, whatever gets kids to read, right?
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7. Lauren Graham
Lauren Graham’s nonfiction debut Talking as Fast as I Can (2016) became an instant bestseller, but that wasn’t her first published work. Her novel Someday, Someday, Maybe was published in 2013 and was popular enough to land a spot on the New York Times bestseller list. She actually signed a deal with Ellen DeGeneres’ production company and Warner Brothers to turn the novel into a TV series, but sadly it never got picked up. Fans still enjoy the novel’s humorous portrayal of an aspiring actress in 1990s New York City. It has a 3.5/5 star rating on Goodreads.
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8. Lauren Conrad
As a former reality TV star and owner of two fashion lines, Lauren Conrad certainly knows how to keep busy. She has published two successful fiction series: L.A. Candy and The Fame Game. With a focus on the entertainment industry, specifically, the world of reality TV, these works of fiction seem to mirror Conrad’s own Hollywood experience. Both series have ratings that hover around 3.5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
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9. Tyra Banks
As one of the most iconic supermodels in the industry, Tyra Banks has made a name for herself as an actress, host, and businesswoman. You might have missed that she also wrote and published a YA novel in 2011. Modelland follows a character, who seems suspiciously similar to Banks, named Tookie De La Creme as she becomes involved in the secret and prestigious world of modeling. It’s sort of ANTM meets Hunger Games, minus their overwhelming popularity. Originally intended as a trilogy, the reviews were so bad that Banks never moved forward with the second or third installment.
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10. Pete Wentz
As the writer of a lot of Fall Out Boy’s songs, it’s not all that surprising that Pete Wentz has also had success as a fictional writer. His debut novel The Boy With the Thorn in His Side was published in 2005. It’s about his childhood nightmares and has received good reviews. The book is a bit hard to find since it’s no longer in print. His most successful novel to date was Gray, which he published in 2013 and wrote alongside MTV news writer James Montgomery. The novel is an exploration of depression, loss, and self-recovery and was well received by fans. It has a 4+ star rating on Goodreads.
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11. Hilary Duff
Former Disney child star Hilary Duff turned to writing during her break from the spotlight. Her young adult fantasy trilogy The Elixir Series has been well received by critics. Elixir was published in 2010, followed by Devoted in 2011 and True in 2013. Unlike other actors-turned-novelists, Duff doesn’t focus on Hollywood in her book series. Rather, it takes a look at the troubling world of D.C. politics through the lens of a young and accomplished photojournalist. The series maintains a steady 4 out of 5-star rating on Goodreads.
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12. Naomi Campell
Not to be outdone by supermodel Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell also made a name for herself as an author with the 1996 release of Swan. The novel follows a group of models who compete against each other to replace a group of retiring models at a cosmetics company. Campbell admits to writing the novel, in part, to clapback against dishonest journalists. Unfortunately, the book got pretty bad reviews and didn’t seem to do anything to curtail the issues she brought up in the novel. The novel has a 2.6/5 star rating on Goodreads.
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13. Ethan Hawke
We already know Ethan Hawke is a talented actor on the big screen, small screen, and even in off-Broadway productions. But not a lot of people know he’s also a prolific author. He’s actually published four novels: The Hottest State (1996), Ash Wednesday (2002), Rules for a Knight (2015), and Indeh: A Story About the Apache Wars (2016). His novels have received good reception from critics and are worth checking out if you’re into dramatic novels.
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14. Steve Martin
Legendary funnyman Steve Martin is also a talented and accomplished author. He’s published four novels and even had one, Shopgirl (2000), turned into a movie starring himself, Jason Schwartzman, and Claire Danes. His other novels are The Pleasure of My Company (2003), An Object of Beauty (2010), and Late for School (2010). Sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic, Martin’s books are well worth reading if you’re looking for a book written by an actor who has talents that extend beyond the big screen.
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15. Britney Spears
Fewer celebrities have caused as much controversy over the years as Britney, but you can’t argue that she has talent. And now you can see how her talent goes beyond just singing and performing with her novel A Mother’s Gift, which she co-authored with her own mom. The novel was published back in 2001, during Britney’s heyday, and maintains a 3 out of 5-star rating on Goodreads.