I mentioned, in my last blog post (circa yesterday afternoon), that I had discovered Emily Gould, a young writer who became notorious for her work on Gawker, a website that provoked a lot of controversy by promoting “celebrity stalking”–wherein people could post celebrity sightings (sometimes instantaneously) as well as slanderous information about famous people (because Gawker didn’t fact-check anything posted onto its site, and readers found that exciting and fun).
Ms. Gould was publicly eviscerated for assisting Gawker in its blogosphere heart of darkness in a video interview on Larry King, in which she was brought to task by Jimmy Kimmel, who had some harsh things to say to her about the slander and celebrity stalking taking place on the website she helped run.
As I’d never heard of any of this controversy before yesterday, imagine my surprise this morning, when, reading through The New York Times Book Review, I found a new article about Emily Gould, published June 20, 2014 (circa yesterday afternoon)– all about where Emily Gould is right now in her career, and how she is still trying to recover from the fallout of her position at Gawker.
This New York Times article, titled “Reinventing Emily Gould,” states that Emily Gould is currently trying to reimagine “her brand. She is working, she said, on developing a moral compass, creating a persona that is the circumspect, do-the-right-thing of the Emily of Gawker infamy.”
Here is one of the photos from the article. Emily Gould looks pretty laid back in this photograph, no? Like, “Hey, it’s all good, I got this, no worries.”
I hope that’s the case for her, as this all seems pretty agonizing to me. I don’t even have a brand to begin with, so inventing a new one just seems really painful.
How is Ms. Gould planning to reinvent herself? For starters, she published a memoir in 2010, which she received a $200,000.00 advance for (a windfall!)– but the book sold less than 10,000 copies. (Meaning it didn’t earn back the advance, or make the publisher any money– to put it bluntly, it bombed.)
(By the way, I would love to sell 10,000 copies of one of my books. That would be awesome!! That would be beyond awesome!! But then, no one gave me $200,000.00 for one of my books, either. So my standards are totally different on this.)
With the bombing of her memoir, Emily Gould is now writing fiction, and her debut novel, Friendship, will be published next month. This novel features a main character based (loosely) on herself.
I think the cover is beautiful:
It’s black with ’80s colors, like the friendship bracelets I remember making at Girl Scout camp. I dig it.
There’s another cover for the book:
which was featured on a page with a book review for Friendship (which you can read here)– but I don’t like the bird cover. The black cover seems to suit Emily Gould and her style a lot more. The bird cover seems much too “women’s fiction” and “literary” to me.
In addition to writing fiction, Ms. Gould is employed at 29th Street Publishing, a company that “creates cross-platform content for new magazines and websites.” And she started an e-book venture called Emily Books, which “resurrects cult favorites, out-of-print works and others by mostly female authors.”
And she’s getting married in October. (She is 32 years old now, by the way… which makes me wonder, as many people probably wonder, if she and her husband plan to have children or not. There is just something about that number– 32 — that makes it seem like they have a big neon sign of swaddled infants flashing over their heads– one that says, “Babies! Babies! It’s time to have babies!”). It’s the sign everyone else sees, no matter what comes out of your mouth, and I’m grateful the interview didn’t go there. Because it’s super annoying, of course.
I have mixed thoughts on reading Emily Gould’s novel. To quote Ms. Gould from the article, talking about her new work of fiction and her own fixation on money: “I was obsessively thinking about it [money] every day that I was working on the book,” she said. “I saw sex through the lens of money, and marriage though the lens of money. You can buy a lot of power in your relationship if you’re the breadwinner.”
No offense to Emily Gould, but this novel, written while she was fixated on money, doesn’t sound very appealing to me.
Which seems odd, as my second novel deals with that very issue– the power in a relationship that being the breadwinner can give you– but maybe it’s because Emily Gould’s protagonist is solidly middle class, and perhaps a Boomeranger as well, the kind of Boomeranger Lena Dunham writes so effectively in her HBO series Girls— and maybe the middle-class/boomeranger category is also part of my disinterest in the topic of Ms. Gould’s novel.
I don’t know. But maybe I’ll read the first chapter online, and get hooked on her book. I find myself rooting for her, I just wish she wasn’t writing a memoirish-novel. I wish she was breaking away, and writing something from the deepest wells of her subconscious.
And speaking of Girls— I watched the pilot for Girls last spring, but it just made me want to watch Sex and the City again. Sometimes I feel like a lobotomized elephant, lumbering along through my life, because I don’t watch Girls and blog about episodes of the show, like a normal human.
I spent my afternoon working on Chapter 8 of Mark of the Pterren, the most difficult chapter rewrite I’ve undertaken so far. Which is why I’m writing another blog post today. Because avoidance.
But now I know all of this interesting stuff about Emily Gould, and her new book, and how grateful I am not to be reinventing a brand.
Except I need a brand to begin with… but I’ll just kick that can down the road for now. I like the sound of the hollow aluminum alloy bouncing over the rocks of a lone gravel path… which is the sound of desolation from my lack of marketing skills.
Though I’m not completely hopeless– I do have 28 reviews for Wolves on Amazon now– which is like being an ant at the base of Mt. Everest, with a mini-tank of oxygen strapped on my back. “Me, too!” ant-me cries. “Me, too! I will hike to the top!” I’ll sell the 10,000 copies that will launch me into beyond awesome— maybe not with Pterren, but someday, someday it’ll happen.