Celebrities don’t like to limit themselves to just one — or seven — talents. The famous ladies and gentlemen of today have record deals, movie scripts, fashion lines and even children’s books.
When I heard that the Spice Girl known for her dirty jokes, “girl power” shouts and red mane had evidently picked up the writing bug, I was pretty shocked. When I found out it was a children’s book about a brassy, sassy 9-year-old girl, it began to make a little more sense.
Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell always had a reputation as the fame-addict of the Spice pack. For years, she had to be the star of the show, ultimately quitting the band and starting a solo career in 1999. Nearly a decade later, with a Spice Girls reunion tour and a baby girl under her belt, Halliwell has chosen a quieter way to make her buck.
Last week, British book retailer WHSmith hailed her the “most successful celebrity author” in the UK. Not bad for a girl known mostly for her tiny, Union Jack-emblazoned dresses.
Halliwell’s heroine, Ugenia Lavender, is based on Ginger herself, and the series follows Ugenia and her friends through various adventures, generally resulting in the learning of a lesson.
“She’s a rebirth of Girl Power. It’s like handing that baton on to a different generation,” Halliwell told The Guardian before the book’s release.
Some of the lessons Ugenia learns are listed on the book’s website: “Careful what you wish for,” “Everything happens for a reason,” “The truth always comes out in the wash,” and “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” All are words of wisdom from Ugenia, my mother and Joni Mitchell.
While I doubt Halliwell will be handed a literary honor anytime soon, parents (and crazed Spice Girls fans) are evidently flocking to buy the books. Six Ugenia books have been released since May, and they’ve sold more than 250,000 copies in Britain alone.
In true Ginger fashion, Ugenia’s success has prompted even loftier expectations for Halliwell — last week she told UK tabloid The Sun she just finished writing a screenplay.
“It is pretty incredible to finish it — the first draft,” she said.
She didn’t elaborate further on the project, and I’m not quite sure what to expect. I certainly wouldn’t mind a Spice World 2. The original had such brilliant dialogue:
“It must be so hard for you, Victoria. I mean, having to decide whether to wear the little Gucci dress, the little Gucci dress or the little Gucci dress!”
I might go pick up some Ugenia books after work and add them to my Spice shrine. I bet they’ll be worth money some day.