A novel idea: “The Hills: The Book Series”

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The young adult fiction market is a hard nut to crack, but I’ve been working on a novel that will surely blow agents away. I call it The Slopes:

So, OK, one time there was this girl named Laura, and in high school she starred on a reality show with, like, all her BFFs. After high school, Laura moved to Los Angeles to make her name known in the fashion industry. With no experience whatsoever, Laura got a job working at Teen Runway Magazine. (I know, right? Flipping sweet.) Laura was so great that she introduced her best friend to this guy named Sinister Rat, and he, like, ruined everyone’s life, and MTV totes followed everyone around while this was happening, and Laura had, like, a hundred boyfriends, and the whole thing was just crazy awesome. And this is totally Laura’s story…

Would a publisher bite on that idea, or what? No? Oh, well what if I told you Lauren Conrad, star of MTV’s scripted reality series The Hills, was going to write the book?

Yes, just when you thought you would gouge out your eyeballs to plug up your ears if you had to watch or listen to another thing about Spencer Pratt, HarperCollins’s young adult division signed Conrad to a three-book publishing deal.

Conrad told People magazine:

It is definitely influenced by my own life. The books are about a girl who moves to L.A. and stars in a reality show, so obviously there are some similarities. I’m not trying to do a fictional story based on all my friends in my real life because their stories aren’t really mine to tell. Some of the characters may symbolize people in my life, but it is in no way calling anyone out.

I’ve got a pretty strong feeling that none of Lauren Conrad’s friends will have to be called out. They star on a reality television show where their asinine hijinks are broadcast for all the world to see. (Asinine hijinks, I might add, that my best friends and sister TiVo every single Wednesday night.)

Conrad is not the first to try her hand at profiting from that old fiction facade, the roman à clef. Lauren Weisberger made millions and millions of dollars on her memoir about her time at Vogue magazine, working as an assistant to Anna Wintour. Oh, I mean on her fictional story, The Devil Wears Prada, about Andrea Sachs who worked for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine.

Maybe I’m being too harsh on Lauren Conrad. Surely her stories won’t be any worse than the Gossip Girl books, which give us such literary gems as:

Nate noticed Jenny’s chest. Man, was it ever huge. He couldn’t let her get away, not without Jeremy and the other guys getting a chance to check it out.

And:

Dan inhaled too quickly and nearly coughed up a lung, Then he lit another cigarette with the one he was already smoking. He was going to chain-smoke until [Serena] showed up. He might be dead when she got there, but at least they’d be together.

Conrad’s first book, L.A. Candy, will be out next summer, which means you’ve got, like, 12 whole months to petition your library to buy a copy! I’m telling you now, if the entire book is written in text message-speak, I will burn HarperCollins to the ground. (Kidding. Sort of.)

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