Singing, dancing, acting…writing? Yes, it turns out many celebrities who populate stage and screen also take time to write a little fiction now and then. And there are a lot of them who have tried it out. This list only covers a few, but they are some of our favorites. Young adult, detective, fantasy- there’s a wide range of genres here, so if something sounds good, maybe give it a read. Your favorite celebrity could still surprise you.
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1 Aubrey Plaza
Perhaps best known for her role on “Parks and Recreation,” Aubrey Plaza teamed up with creative partner Dan Murphy and illustrator Julia Iredale to write “The Christmas Witch “(2021). The best-selling book tells the story of Santa’s long lost twin sister, Kristtōrn. Set in the world of fantasy, it explores the pagan origins of Christmas traditions over Kristtōrn’s epic journey across the oceans to find her brother. Adding to the excitement, a sequel is due this October, and is available for preorder now.
2 Steve Martin
Perennial funny man and “Saturday Night Live” alum Steve Martin is a man of many talents. Even if some of his older sketches might bring controversy, he remains a titan in the comedy world. He’s also a prolific writer to boot. He has written four- count them four- published books. “An Object of Beauty” (2010) charts a young woman’s quest to rise through the art scene in New York City. “The Pleasure of My Company” (2003) follows a troubled man looking for love in an increasingly isolated world and finding it in the most unusual places. “Late for School” (2010) recounts the hilarious perils that befall a young boy trying to get to school, illustrated by C. F. Payne. And fans of Martin’s movies might be interested to know that he actually wrote “Shopgirl” (2001), the basis for the 2005 movie starring himself, Claire Danes, and Jason Schwartzmann.
3 Kristen Bell
It’s no secret that Kristen Bell is the kind of celebrity who uses her fame for good. The star of “The Good Place” and “Frozen” has teamed up with Benjamin Hart to try and make the world a kinder, more accepting place in two children’s books. Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman, “The World Needs More Purple People” (2020) and “The World Needs More Purple Schools” (2022) set out to teach kids about the importance of accepting others and celebrating the diverse world we live in.
4 Macaulay Culkin
Former child star, musician, and upcoming star of “American Horror Story“‘s highly anticipated season 10, Macaulay Culkin has always astounded audiences with his dry wit and seemingly effortless charm. All of that is on full display in his novel-not-a-novel “Junior” (2006). Described as a “dizzying kaleidoscope of words and images,” the book draws from Culkin’s eventful life to comment on the pressures of mega-stardom and family dysfunction. It’s definitely one of the more unique entries on this list but richer for that strangeness.
5 Elizabeth Olsen
Elizabeth Olsen is also taking on the task of helping children through books. A collaboration with musician and author Robbie Arnett, “Hattie Harmony: Worry Detective” teaches kids about the importance of self-care. Illustrated by Marissa Valdez, the book follows Hattie as she helps her friends battle their anxieties on the first day of school and is helped by them in turn. It’s a heart-warming story about overcoming all the little worries in life.
6 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Yes, that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. NBA legend, actor, and practitioner of martial arts, Abdul-Jabbar partnered with screenwriter Anna Waterhouse to write “Mycroft Holmes” (2015). Focused on the older brother of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s famous detective, the book tracks a mysterious series of disappearance, ghostly apparitions, and blood-drained bodies from London to Trinidad across a web of dark secrets. If you’re a fan of Holmes and are hoping for a fresh take on the characters, this is definitely the book for you. And, as a bonus, it has two sequels.
7 Carrie Fisher
Yes, it seems there wasn’t much the late great Carrie Fisher couldn’t do. While she is only recently getting some of the recognition she has always richly deserved, her fans have always valued her biting wit and wise insight. Both of these qualities are on full display in her novel “Postcards From the Edge” (1987), which Fisher herself adapted into a movie of the same name, directed by Mike Nichols and starring Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid. The book tells the story of a woman overcoming addiction and looking for love in Hollywood. And finding it. Sort of. [Also, her more biopic books are worth a read, too.]
8 Hugh Laurie
Musician, comedian, and star of “House,” Hugh Laurie is a man who wears a lot of hats. He is also the author of a darkly comedic spy thriller, “The Gun Seller” (1997). We’ve actually written about how good this novel is before, and cannot recommend it enough! It’s action-packed, it’s approachable, and it’s funny. If you’re a returning fan of the spy thriller and you’re looking for something new, or someone looking for a beginner-friendly entry that respects the intelligence of the reader, this is the book for you.
9 Hillary Duff
Teenage star of “Lizzie McGuire” (which is coming back on Disney+ by the way) Hillary Duff teamed up with Elise Allen to write the young adult paranormal romance, “Elixir” (2010). It tells the story of 17-year-old Clea Raymond who lives a charmed celebrity life until her father, a world-renowned surgeon, goes missing. To make matters worse, a mysterious figure begins appearing in the background of every photo she takes. Then he starts appearing in her dreams. It’s fun, it’s mysterious, and it’s perfect for every ninth grade girl (even the ones who don’t remember denim dresses). It also has two sequels.
10 Britney Spears
By now everyone is familiar with Britney Spears, either as a performer or through her harrowing experiences trying to get her father to step down as her conservator. Long before we all became intensely aware of what kind of person her father is, Britney collaborated with her mother, Lynne Spears, to write “A Mother’s Gift (2001). It’s a rags-to-riches story about a young girl who gets famous singing and her mother who worries about being left behind. It’s not ground-breaking, but it is sweet, and many of the themes parallel the stories that Britney and Lynne recount in their later memoir, “Heart to Heart” (2010).