8.22.2006

I was young, I needed the money...

Dearest Miss Snark:

I'm working on a freelance piece about books by famous authors that they wish they hadn't written. Basically, stuff by famous authors done under pseudonyms (Dan Brown did a humor book under the pseudonym "Danielle Brown"), old random stuff by famous authors (a book on Space Invaders by Martin Amis) or just really old stuff that looks pretty foolish now ("How to Talk to Just About Anyone about Anything" by Barbara Walters.")

Any spring to mind?



Miss Snark is busy dusting her rubberplant so she turns this one over to the accumulated wisdom of the Snarklings!

Any contributions for our querier?

22 comments:

Ms. Librarian said...

The "Crusader" series, by Andrew Offutt, under the pen name, John Cleve.

Little Mr Square Eyes said...

Might be worthwhile to have a look at this article:
http://www.villagevoice.com/books/
0539,essay,68210,10.html

Busywriter said...

Lawrence Block wrote a whole ton of soft core porn books under various pen names before he became known for his mystery novels. I think he also wrote a lesbian novel.

Several other authors wrote soft core porn too before they made it big. He names a couple of them in one of his writing books, but I don't remember who they were.

Sal said...

The Space Invaders book by Martin Amis was a non-fiction tip sheet/cheat book for Atari 2600 games.

Lawrence Block early in his career "cranked out porn paperbacks, lesbian and otherwise, under assorted pseudonyms."

Mike Resnick also wrote soft porn.

(Look ... I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that ... just that they gave up the soft porn when their other writing took off, um. as it were.)

HawkOwl said...

I'm hoping Colleen McCullough is sorry she wrote The Touch. I had all the respect in the world for her before that.

Elektra said...

Northanger Abbey, by Austen.

River Falls said...

(Blows dust off MA)

Northanger Abbey is too often misunderstood and unfairly maligned. Readers of Austen's day would have recognized it as a satire of the Gothic novel and its over-the-top conventions. If you approach NA in that fashion rather than wondering why it doesn't read like P&P, you might gain a new appreciation for it.

Read Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolfo and you'll see why the genre was ripe for satire.

Elektra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elektra said...

Oh, goodness--wrote that as I was very annoyed with someone outside of the blogosphere, and it came through in my answer. I'm sorry; I didn't mean to be so abrupt.

Anonymous said...

"Amazons by Cleo Birdwell, about a female hockey player, written by DeLillo and an unnamed collaborator."
http://books.guardian.co.uk/authors/author/0,,-55,00.html

Paul Auster wrote Squeeze Play as Paul Benjamin, and kept it a secret for a while but later included it in Hand to Mouth.

Julian Barnes wrote mysteries as Daniel Kavanagh.

Gore Vidal's mysteries as Edgar Box.

sean
mitdasein.livejournal.com

Anonymous said...

Can I mention the bonuses of writing erotica or soft porn(what's soft porn, again?)? Not only do you get PAID to learn the craft, you get reader feedback that let's you know where you need to improve, and you can try your hand at nearly every genre while you're at.

I wouldn't be the writer I am today if it hadn't been for all the practice I got writing stories and novellas. Nor would I have been able to afford as many vacations. ;)

Sadly, my first story got published. My first novella, too ... and I would just DIE if anyone ever figured out my penname!

HiltonRC said...

Christine by Stephen King. :-)

The Gambino Crime Family said...

I don't know if it counts but Henry James later grew completely embarrassed by his first novel - Watch and Ward - that he liked to pretend it never existed.

Anonymous said...

Anne Rice

Jeff said...

Neil Gaiman's first book was a biography of Duran Duran.

Xopher said...

To elaborate about Anne Rice...she wrote S&M porn under the name Anne Roquelaire (spelling may be wrong). I've read it; it's pretty crappy, but not as whiny and tedious as her Vampire novels.

ksexqylm? I certainly would have qualms about having sex while on K...or doing anything in that state, frankly!

Inkwolf said...

Mark Twain wrote porn, too...

Anonymous said...

Christine rocks! What are you talking about, hiltonrc?

Anonymous said...

Michael Cunningham doesn't acknowledge his first novel (maybe called "Golden State")...

Leslea said...

Pat Boone (yes, Pat Boone) wrote a book entitled Pray to Win back in the 70s...but I doubt it embarasses him.

Anonymous said...

What if you put some recording artists in there as well? There are so many of those out there who refuse to acknowledge their first recordings. Ahh, the joys of Internet leakage!

Anonymous said...

Anne Rice also wrote as Ann Rampling. I THINK her Exit to Eden (made into a very bad movie) was published under Ann Rampling.