Huda is well aware of my fascination with the Kaavya scandal. Kaavya got a $500,000 contract to write two books and a movie deal to boot. As she stood on the precipice to become the next”it” girl, and her first book hit the bookstores, news exploded that she plagiarized. At first it was just Sloppy firsts she “borrowed” from and the publishers were just going to revise and repackage but now now glaring knock offs from the works of Salman Rushdie to Princess Diaries have been discovered and the book is out of print.
Here’s what gets to me: Kaavya had no book when it all began. Her wealthy parents wanted their snookums to go to Harvard and hired a firm that specializes in kids to get to the school they want (services run upwards of 30,000). Write a book? Yeah that might get you in. So the firm hooked her up with Alloy publishing which helped her create the concept, outline the entire story and co-write the first four chapters. None of this would be known if it hadn’t been for the scandal. Why would they hold her hand, you ask? It had nothing to do with writing but everything to do with image. Indian-American teen writing prodigy! How exciting and exotic! She will sell many many books! I feel duped. I would have read this book thinking “wow so young and such writing” when infact it wasn’t her at all. Granted she must have had some talent but more important was the marketable image. Is book writing now like the singing/acting industry? As a wanna be writer I wonder if I’m going about this all wrong, instead of manuscripts I should be sending a cute picture of myself hoping a publishing agent will say “wow she’s marketable” and then hope they’ll hold my hand and babysit me through writing the book. Bitter? just a tad I suppose.