So Justin Bieber's memoir is coming out in October. He's 16.
For the uninitiated, Bieber is a Canadian pop singer with shaggy hair and a very high voice. He's rather adorable, with catchy pop songs (I'm a sucker for a good pop song) and street cred thanks to his mentor, Usher. And, as one can tell from the lyrics above, his depth is well beyond his years. But a memoir at 16?
The fabulous literary agent Nathan Bransford tweeted yesterday: Justin Bieber is publishing a memoir. HE'S 16. How would your memoir have read at age 16?
The responses were quirky, lovely, and charming:
@KitchPantrySci Kansas winters.California summers.My life was a John Denver song.
@thmafi ate a few crayons and realized granny smith apple is not a flavor.
@clairehennessy Writing. Angst. Reading. Angst. School. Angst. Nerd camp. Angst. Fannish nerdiness. Angst.
A way to numb the shock, perhaps, of a memoir from a child whose voice still hasn't changed. But, as my mother commented on my Facebook page yesterday*, "At least they're reading something." That's why I won't slag off little Justin and his 16-year-old take on life, literary-style.
First of all, the kid is huge. He commands legions of police to keep the peace in airports and hotels around the world. He's got 4m Twitter followers. He's probably lived more in his 16 years than many of us in our 30s.
Second, it's these huge books that keep publishers flush. That means that peons like me can maybe get a shot at publication. Publishers would go bust if they only sold literary fiction, or poetry, or books of short stories. It's great when one of these is a runaway hit, but a book like Bieber's is a sure thing.
My life at 16, in 140 characters: Writing, acting, studying, singing, driving, nerding, wishing I were elsewhere, dreaming, making mix tapes, wondering where life will go.
*Yes, Mom's on Facebook, more often than I am.