The best of both worlds with Marianne Levy

Published on: 03 September 2018 Author: Marriane Levy

Accidental Superstar is the story of a girl called Katie Cox, who becomes spectacularly, monstrously, and most of all, accidentally famous. A friend puts a video of her singing and playing her guitar online, and within hours her life has changed, forever.

Given that this is a book about how fame infects every part of your life, whether you want it to or not, you'd think that I, the writer of this book, would hate the idea of being famous. What could be worse than losing your privacy? Wouldn't it be frightening, genuinely terrifying, to watch the world shift its shape and to know that you could never pass through it unseen, ever again?

Well, kind of. It would also be brilliant.

Accidental Superstar

That's why I wanted to write Accidental Superstar. I've always known the dangers of becoming famous. Those dangers haven't stopped me wanting it for myself. Not even slightly. I also happen to know that I'd be completely hopeless at it, and that becoming a celebrity would instantly ruin my life, so it's a good thing that I spend all my time hidden behind a computer, being as un-famous as possible.

And once I've finished lamenting that I'm not a huge celebrity (ok, maybe I'll never really be finished), I'll admit that getting to write about fame gives me the best of both worlds. I get to live my daydreams through Katie. So I've made her much, much more talented than I am; when she plays the guitar, people drop what they're doing to listen, while the few times I've tried, people have begged me to stop. Standing in Katie's scuffed Doc Martins, I can bathe in the spotlight and hear the roar of the crowd. And I can make Katie's mistakes, terrible, skin-crawlingly embarrassing mistakes, knowing that they're hers, and thankfully not mine. I've tried out Katie's life, the lows and the highs, all from the safety of my desk, before coming back to being me again.

That's the glorious thing about writing books. And it's the glorious thing about reading them. In fact, reading them is arguably even better. It's quicker, for one thing. Also, let's be honest, it's waaay less work.

Actually, at least as far as I'm concerned, readers and writers are one and the same. You can't be one without being the other. When I write my books, I'm reaching out a hand to you, even though we've never met, and I'm saying, 'Hey, do you ever feel like me?' And when I'm reading books, even though I've never met the author, I'm constantly thinking, 'Wow! This writer understands what's been going on in my head.'

Accidental Superstar isn't a true story. But everything I've written in there is absolutely 100% true to me. I've put myself in the place of each and every one of the characters in every line on every page. And if, while you're reading, you think, even for a second, 'Yeah, I've been there,' then you're the reason I open my laptop, and write.

We don't all get to live out our wildest dreams, and, for the most part, that's a good thing. But every time we pick up a book, we have the ability to step into someone else's life; to fall in love, chase shooting stars and explore every corner of the human experience. Books are precious and wonderful and extraordinary, and they're all around us. I hope you enjoy mine.