Useful Advice from John Scalzi

Another fake memoir has been revealed:

In "Love and Consequences," a critically acclaimed memoir published
last week, Margaret B. Jones wrote about her life as a half-white,
half-Native American girl growing up in South-Central Los Angeles as a
foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods.

The problem is that none of it is true.

Margaret B. Jones is a
pseudonym for Margaret Seltzer, who is all white and grew up in the
well-to-do Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando
Valley, with her biological family. She graduated from the Campbell
Hall School, a private Episcopal day school in the North Hollywood
neighborhood. She has never lived with a foster family, nor did she run
drugs for any gang members.

John Scalzi offers advice:

You know, the rules of a memoir are pretty simple. If an event actually happened to you, you can use it in a memoir. If it didn't actually happen to you, you can't. Because then it's fiction, you see. Which is different from a memoir. No, really; you can look it up. I'm not sure why this has suddenly become so difficult for everyone to process.

I must say that this actually sounds like a good book -- he should go for it:

On the other hand, I'm looking forward to selling my memoir of my
life as a teenage transvestite in the Bogota slums, who later joined
the Navy SEALs and adopted the twin daughters of the ruthless Afghan
opium warlord whom I battled to the death using only a spoon
and 14 bars of the 1812 Overture, and then, having beaten back a
terrible addiction to khat, went on to become one of the most famous
celebrity chefs on The Cooking Channel. Because apparently this would
be at least as true as most of the other memoirs on the market today.
And, I'd wager, a great deal more entertaining. I'm waiting for my
check, I am.


  1. Doug:

    Wow! With credentials like that you could run for President in the Democrat party!

  2. Jim Collins:

    I think John Ringo already wrote that story.

  3. delurking:

    In what way is this advice useful? It would only decrease the profits from my memoir.

  4. agesilaus:

    These editors supposedly had almost daily contact with this women. Within about 100 microseconds of looking at her photo and seeing that she claimed to be half american indian I could run up the bs flag. It's instantly obvious that she has a full set of northern european genes. Was it just too politically incorrect for these idiot editors to question the incongruity?

  5. Les:

    I wonder if the rise of 'documentaries' like the ones peddled by Micheal Moore have had anything to do with the increasing prevelance of fictitious non-fiction?