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16 Celebrities Who Have Written Books Other Than Memoirs

Their writing chops may surprise you. Plus they look pretty damn good posing with books.

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1. James Franco

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He's had formal training: Franco is currently a PhD student in English at Yale University. He got his undergraduate degree in English from UCLA in 2008 and an MFA from Columbia in 2010.

James Franco on his book of poems Directing Herbert White (pictured below): "I know that my life as an actor obviously casts a shadow over what I’m doing with the poetry, but it allows me to get readers that maybe normally wouldn’t read a book of poetry."

3. Steve Martin

Penguin Press / Via

Steve Martin on writing: "Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol."

Apparently his writer's block is under control, as he's penned numerous books including novels, plays, songs, children's books, essays on art, and even a book of his tweets. His novella Shopgirl was made into a movie starring Clare Danes, and his novel An Object of Beauty is also going to film starring Amy Adams.

4. Gwyneth Paltrow

Mario Testino/Vogue / Via

(Above is Paltrow's photo shoot for Vogue).

Gwyneth Paltrow reacts to her cover photo for It's All Good (pictured below): "I look a mess, no make-up and my naturally frizzy hair un-brushed. But it was taken while we were cooking for real and I thought, “'this is me, this is how I am'."

Paltrow's site Goop is where food, shopping, and mindfulness collide. Launched in the fall of 2008 out of her kitchen, Goop was originally conceived as a weekly e-mail newsletter.

5. Henry Rollins

Chapman Baehler / Via

Henry Rollins sits in front of his personal book collection (which includes Tolstoy, Twain, Rimbaud, Proust, Capote plus book on Sinatra, Encyclopedia of 60s Jazz as well as Iggy Pop and AC/DC; take a closer look at all of the titles here).

Henry Rollins on writing: "I have burned more hours than I would like to admit in slow agony, ransacking my brain for an idea to write about...The first draft is handwritten and then, often moments later, is rewritten into a computer for the second draft and worked on from there. When I am off the road, this is often my big Friday night out."

In addition to publishing books, Rollins writes for the LA Weekly.

6. Hugh Laurie


Wary of becoming another "celebrity author," Hugh Laurie initially submitted his The Gunseller manuscript under a pseudonym, (after it was accepted, he put his real name on it).

The Gunseller was slated to become a movie, but the screenplay was scrapped by John Malkovich's production company reportedly due to the terrorism aspect in the story.

He has talked of writing another book entitled The Paper Soldier which is yet to be published.

7. Lucy Liu


Lucy Liu is an accomplished painter and published the book Seventy Two with reproductions of 72 of her paintings.

She wrote a short meditation for each of the 72 images, "for those who wish to further contemplate and engage." Liu told The Guardian: "Writing these meditations was one of the most difficult parts. You don't want to be too esoteric but you want to help take the ideas and the thoughts you have when you think of the title and focus them."

8. Madonna

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In 1992, Madonna released her extremely controversial book, Sex, which sold over 150,000 copies on its first day of release and topped The NYT Best Seller list. It's become one of the most sought after out-of-print books of all time.

Since then, she's written numerous children's books including The English Roses Series and Five Books for Children Series.

9. Ethan Hawke

American Library Association / Via

Ethan Hawke on getting encouragement to write: "At a real pivotal moment," he said, "if the right person literally stops you and tells you that you're good at something, you kind of believe them. And then you pursue it."

(He had once bargained with his high school English teacher that if he wrote a short story she liked, she would give him 100 percent average in her class. She liked the proposal and she loved the story).

10. 50 Cent

Rob Kim / Getty Images / Via

Playground is told from a bully's perspective. 50 Cent admitted he used to be a bully and said: "To know now from an adult's perspective and be able to write things, I can look back on those actual situations and say, 'That was completely wrong.' But I know what was motivating it now."

11. John Waters

Cindy Sherman / Via

John Waters is pictured above in his home library.

John Waters on writing: "I write every day, five days a week in the morning I write something. That’s how I make my living. I’m writing new speeches, journalism, books or something. Every morning, Monday to Friday, eight to 12."

12. Carrie Fisher

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Carrie Fisher on writing: "I wrote from when I was 12. That was therapeutic for me in those days. I wrote things to get them out of feeling them, and onto paper. So writing in a way saved me, kept me company. I did the traditional thing with falling in love with words, reading books and underlining lines I liked and words I didn’t know. It was something I always did."

Her bestseller Postcards from the Edge was made into a movie starring Meryl Streep.

13. Macaulay Culkin

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Macaulay Culkin has said: "The funny thing is, I’m not really a big reader, not a big fan of books in the first place.”

NY Magazine's David Amsden described Junior: "A postmodern mishmash filled with drawings, epistolary fragments, personal manifestos, and public diatribes, the book is best appreciated as a piece of conceptual art rather than a legitimate novel."

15. Nick Cave

BBC and Flavorwire / Via and

Above is Nick Cave's handwritten dictionary.

Nick Cave on not listening to music while writing: "I find it very distracting and it would also impose moods on your writing and influence your writing and that is not a good thing... There is no visual imagery around, there is no window to look out and there is certainly no music."

16. Lauren Conrad

Paul Froggatt / PR Photos / Via

Lauren Conrad on writing: "I like to write at night when my cellphone isn’t ringing, my roommates are asleep and all is quiet. I always start with a detailed outline and then flesh out the story I want to tell from there. Once I share this outline with my editor, I begin writing… My favorite part."

Check out her online book club where there's even a live chat discussion.

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