So the front page of yesterday’s Guardian tells me that Barak Obama has written a children’s book. What is going on, people? And where will it all end? We’ve had Steven Hawking, Katie Price (if you don’t mind my putting them in the same sentence), Jay Leno, Madonna, Paul McCartney.
What strange by-product of global warming or the birth-control pill in the drinking water has convinced 9/10ths of the known universe that whenever they have a spare moment, the thing to do is pen a book for children. I don’t decide to become ruler of the free world when I have a spare afternoon, explore glitches in the space-time continuum while waiting to hear back from my editor, or take off most of my clothes and prance around on stage simulating sex with my back-up dancers when I can’t get my plot moving. What is it that makes everyone think that a classic children’s book is as easy to produce as a cupcake?
Enough already. A few years ago, a woman I vaguely know with certain illustrious family connections heard that I’d sold my first novel for a six figure advance. She wrinkled her nose and said, “That’s interesting. I’m thinking if all else fails, I’ll write a children’s book too.” All what else? I wondered. You don’t even have a job.
I love and admire Barack Obama. And Steven Hawking (well, admire at least). But I wish they (and all their famous cronies) would stick to the job at hand. And leave writing books to people whose day job does not involve achieving world peace or proving that the universe is shaped like an eskimo pie.