Sleep your way to a book deal

These days, being a celebrity mistress seems a new route to becoming a published author

Published May 8, 2010 12:01AM (EDT)

Forget about receiving your MFA degree, doing an unpaid internship at a prestigious publishing house or even, you know, having any literary talent whatsoever. There's a new and efficient way to become a published author: Sleep with a famous male celebrity! As a young writer, I dream of one day writing the next great American memoir. But it's starting to seem that I'll have a better shot if I aim for writing the next great American mistress memoir.

The mistakes, transgressions and "sex addictions" of contemporary male celebrities have paved the way for a new sub-genre of memoir. It's one that eschews the more traditional writing methods: Work hard, cultivate your talent and capture life's ineffable moments in poignant prose. Loredana Jolie Ferriolo, allegedly Tiger Woods' favorite mistress, is writing her sordid story and hoping to sell it for $1 million. Within her book, she plans to graphically describe Tiger's sexual proclivity for men, a revelation that "is the key to Loredana's hopes for making a seven-figure deal, no matter how unlikely that seems." (No wonder we're facing the end of book publishing.) Not all of Tiger's many mistresses are writing books, of course, but several of them have already made the pages of the illustrious Vanity Fair.

Just last month, two of Norman Mailer's mistresses published their memoirs on the same day. Random House published "A Ticket to the Circus" by Norris Church Mailer, a mistress turned wife turned author, and Phoenix Books published "Loving Mailer" by Carole Mallory, Mailer's mistress since 1983. Both have received critical acclaim. Mallory recently told the New York Times: "Norman and I shared both an intimate and emotional relationship that was also a creative and professional partnership, and I wanted to show that."

The mistress of David Boreanaz, the latest outed celebrity adulterer, has plans to turn their dirty trysts into a book as well. The woman's attorney, Gloria Allred, confirmed to Radar: "She has decided to tell the story of their relationship, so that the truth will come out." Allred added that "the woman has not decided how or where she will tell her story." OK, so these might not all be book deals. These are, more precisely, book deals in the making. But it's striking that these women have the assumption that they can leverage fleeting notoriety into publishing success. Even more striking: I suspect they're right.

If not a memoir, there's always print journalism. Ashley Dupré, Eliot Spitzer’s call girl, was given an advice column for the New York Post at the precocious age of 24. In a video announcing her new job, Ashley says, fingering her glasses, "I used to be on the front page of the New York Post. Now, I’m writing for it." (Note: Real writers do not play with their glasses this way. Glasses are to see your words on the page; they are not a secondary sex characteristic.) And let's not forget other forms of media: Another Woods mistress, Rachel Uchitel, has signed on as a correspondent for the syndicated entertainment show "Extra."

I'm not saying mistresses are bad people because they're bad writers; they're bad writers because they're not writers. (Also, maybe they are bad people? Just kidding.) They begin as obscure women who want more than powerful men — they want the power and accolades and permission that come with the men. Although being a mistress might be a productive career path, I doubt it is truly the best way to become a writer. Unless I'm wrong, and I need to adjust my writing practice.

By Elissa Bassist

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