- The lifestyles and career trajectory of celebrities are completely unpredictable. From fashion lines to liquor companies, there’s no shortage of unique celebrity business ventures out there, but perhaps none riskier than publishing a novel. Other hustles like podcasts, startups, and memoirs are impressive in and of themselves, but it takes a certain level of creativity to write a novel, especially one that’s engaging enough to become a bestseller.
Although books aren’t guaranteed to be hits, you have to give these celebs credit for going out on a limb. Find out which stars branched out of their chosen career paths to pursue a life in publishing.
Naomi Campbell lamented about the modeling world in the early ’90s.
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Modeling is no easy gig, and fashion icon Naomi Campbell gave fans an inside look into the fierce and competitive industry in her 1994 novel “Swan.” Though entirely fiction, the book has some similarities to Campbell’s career as she recounts the trials and tribulations of “the world’s most successful model,” Swan.
Hilary Duff has an entire trilogy under her belt.
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Former Disney star Hilary Duff isn’t just an international pop sensation, she’s also an international literary sensation. The singer and actress has not one, but three novels under her belt with the “Elixir” series. The series follows photojournalist Clea as she encounters supernatural figures in her photographs, which opens her up to an intense bond with mystery man Sage.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gave a nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with “Mycroft Holmes.”
Who knew famed basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had such a fascination with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? In his novel “Mycroft Holmes,” Abdul Jabbar puts his own spin on the famous “Sherlock Holmes” character with an original story of his own. If you’re into classic mystery novels, this one is sure to tickle your fancy.
Bella Thorne’s post-Disney journey led her to publish “Autumn Falls.”
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Fresh off her five-year run on The Disney Channel, one of 20-year-old Bella Thorne’s first forays into life post-Disney was the publishing of her novel “Autumn Falls” in 2014. The book follows the journey of the titular protagonist, Autumn Falls, as she discovers her wishes come true every time she records them in the diary bestowed upon her by her dead father. It was followed up by two sequel novels: “Autumn’s Kiss” and “Autumn’s Wish.”
Comedian Steve Martin is actually a two-time author.
Legendary comedian Steve Martin may be known for his acting and jokester chops, but it turns out he’s also a talented writer to boot. Martin has four major fiction titles to his name: “An Object of Beauty,” “The Pleasure Of My Company,” “Shopgirl,” and “Late For School.” As his first novella in 2001, “Shopgirl” was adapted into a movie in 2005, starring himself, Claire Danes, and Jason Schwartzman.
Lauren Graham traded television for literature.
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“The Gilmore Girls” star may have to memoirs under her belt from the past couple years, but her first dip into the writing game was with her fiction book “Someday, Someday, Maybe” which she published in 2013. It quickly became a New York Times bestseller, with its witty writing providing a fresh take on Graham’s own early beginnings as a young actor in the 1990s.
Chris Harrison channeled the romance of “The Bachelorette” and “The Bachelor” for his debut novel.
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You don’t host a reality show centered around finding love for almost 16 years without picking up some pointers along the way, and “The Bachelorette” host Chris Harrison brought his firsthand knowledge to his 2015 debut novel “The Perfect Letter,” which, you guessed it, is all about romance. And if you want a double dose of love, don’t forget about his second book from 2017, “Head Over Heel: Seduced By Southern Italy.”
Britney Spears teamed up with her mom to write “A Mother’s Gift.”
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During peak Britney Spears mania, the Princess of Pop and her mother, Lynne Spears shared a byline for their first and only novel together, “A Mother’s Gift,” which tells the story of a young Holly Faye Lovell, a southern singer on a meteoric rise to fame, and her mother Wanda, Holly’s mother who is holding a family secret. Proceeds from books sales do go to Spears’ charity, The Britney Spears Foundation.
Hugh Laurie drafted a spoof novel about war, spies, and crime.
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Hugh Laurie may have a penchant for the medical drama given his lead role on “House,” but the British comedian and actor seems to have an interest in the crime genre if his novel “The Gun Seller” is anything to go by. The book came out in the middle of “House’s” run in 2009.
The Kardashian Sisters once tried to add “published author” to their resumes.
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They say life imitates art, but back in 2011, the Kardashian sisters tried to make their own art imitate their own lives with their co-authored novel “Dollhouse.” The book follows the story of three sister – Kamille, Kassidy, and Kyle – as they navigate their newly-acquired star status.
Kendall and Kylie Jenner followed in their big sisters’ footsteps three years later.
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The younger sisters of the Kardashian-Jenner clan followed in their older siblings’ footsteps by releasing their own book series in 2014. Kendall and Kylie decided to dabble in the fantasy genre for “Rebels: City of Indra: The Story of Lex and Livia.” Even though the release didn’t exactly go over well and their ghostwriter told the LA Times she was caught in the backlash, the duo released a sequel in 2016: “Time of the Twins.”
Willie Nelson incorporated his country roots into his writing.
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Willie Nelson has written his fair share of autobiographical musings but “A Tale Out Of Luck” takes a fictional turn and follows Texas Ranger Captain Hank Tomlinson and his murder investigation in the small Texas farm town of Luck.
Lauren Conrad drew on her own life experiences in “L.A. Candy.”
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The former reality star has had a hand in what feels like every industry, from media (remember her internship at Teen Vogue?) to fashion and everything in between, and publishing is no exception. Her novel “L.A. Candy” mirrors her own early experience in the spotlight as Conrad tells the story of a 19-year-old intern who was spontaneously pulled into the Los Angeles celebrity scene when she is cast in a reality television show.
Macaulay Culkin poked fun at his childhood stardom in “Junior.”
As a former famous child actor, Macaulay Culkin is as self-aware and as self-deprecating as it gets, and his unique humor is on full display in his novel “Junior.” It’s a combination of styles, from satire to personal anecdote, all told by its central character “Junior.” Much like the other celebs who qualified this list, Culkin’s storytelling is based on his own experience, but he’s also acutely self-aware, which sets it apart from the others.
Isla Fisher wrote young adult romance before switching over to children’s books.
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At the very start of her acting career, a young Isla Fisher briefly established herself in the young adult scene with two romance novels: “Bewitched” and “Seduced By Fame.” The two books were released in 1995 and 1996, respectively, and Fisher took a hiatus from authorship for 20 years until releasing the first installment of her children’s book series, “Marge In Charge,” in 2016.
Ethan Hawke opted for drama and romance during the height of his acting career.
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Back in 1997, actor Ethan Hawke published his dramatic and romantic novel “The Hottest State” chronicling the life of an up-and-coming actor who becomes entangled in a love affair. He’s also published a couple other novels over the years: “Ash Wednesday” and “Rules For A Knight.”
Tim Burton doesn’t just bring his quirky side to his movies.
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Director Tim Burton is known for his creepy and quirky movies like “Edward Scissorhands,” “The Corpse Bride,” and “Sweeney Todd,” but he’s also brought his unique style and vision to his 1997 novel “The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories.” The book is a collection of fictional stories that follows some outcast and strange children, not unlike the crop of his hit movie characters.
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