The meme all started on a Tuesday, when Prof. Rory Turnbull tweeted: “Hello, I’m a professor in a movie, I only reach the main point of my lecture right as class is ending. Then I yell at students about the reading / homework as they leave.”
Twitter was soon awash with “Hi, I’m an X in a movie.” Naturally, these included tweets from novelists, critics, editors, and agents.
A number of writer tweets focused on how a-m-a-z-i-n-g literary events seem in the movies. Like, first off, there are always people in attendance. In the movies, novelists never end up at literary events with just three lonely souls in the audience.
My favorite book-event-in-a-movie was actually on TV. It’s the reading that comes late in Haunting of Hill House. If I remember correctly, people pay $30 to come see Steven Crain at a bookstore. $30! Plus, instead of reading from his book, Steven mostly argues with his sister Nell. And the whole bookstore is filled entirely with Steven’s books! They don’t even stock anyone else’s books.
Also, of course, there are fancy cardboard cutouts. Cardboard cutouts are a big thing for novelists in movies.
The Amazing Book Events
Hi, I’m a novelist in a movie. I work on my book for years in plush apartments and remote cabins without any other source of income, and when the book’s done I go on a multi-city tour with big cardboard cutouts of me and sign hundreds of books at each stop.
— Kyell Gold (@KyellGold) January 4, 2019
hi I'm a writer in a movie there are always people in line when I sign books
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) January 4, 2019
So, okay, Steven Crain did have that one wildly successful book. Off its back, he not only sponsored his own lavish lifestyle, but that of his sibs. This is a trope many meme authors noted.
Little Writing, Lots of $
Hello, I’m a novelist in a movie. I have a big home in a nice LA neighborhood despite being a barely functioning alcoholic who hasn’t been able to publish a book for 8 years.
— The UnIntelligentsia (@THOTCrime) January 4, 2019
Also: Novelists are not only super-rich, but they also solve REAL crimes.
Hello, I'm a novelist in a movie. I sold my first novel, despite only having it half-finished. It became incredibly popular and made me millions of dollars. I am very famous, and sometimes, I help people solve murders. Or commit them because of my devious imagination.
— A. Lee Martinez (@ALeeMartinez) January 4, 2019
While not actually writing, movie novelists do seem to occupy their time with shenanigans.
Hello, I'm a novelist in a movie. I am in my mid-40s, ruggedly handsome and haven't had a successful book in years but occupy myself by sleeping with my creative writing students and arguing with my exasperated agent. My ex-wife rolls her eyes at my antics. https://t.co/fkG9ad3Fcz
— Gareth Rubin (@GarethRubin) January 4, 2019
And as Dr. Claire notes, many movie authors also seem to write REALLY BAD PROSE.
Hello, I'm a novelist in a movie. I still write everything on a typewriter. I wear horn-rimmed glasses and look pensive a lot. Voiceover reads out my really quite dreadful prose as I type. I apparently have no job and yet live in the coolest loft apartment known to man. https://t.co/dS982HEykn
— Dr Claire Askew (@OneNightStanzas) January 4, 2019
The Editor in the Movie
Being an editor in a movie isn’t nearly as fun as being a novelist, unfortunately.
Hello, I’m an editor in a movie. My office is enormous. I have a poster-sized mock-up of the cover for some reason. Everyone—even my boss—treats me like a celebrity, but I still harrumph around in a bad mood all day. I’m an unkempt white man or a glamorous white woman.
— jackanape (@jackanape) January 4, 2019
The Literary Agent in the Movie
And who even knows what a literary agent does all day. Drink cocktails, probably.
Hello, I'm a literary agent in a movie. No one seems to understand that my job is different from being a book editor. I seem to have a client list consisting of one author, whom I visit a lot and also take to lunch/dinner on a weekly basis. I wear a ton of statement jewelry.
— Ginger Clark (@Ginger_Clark) January 3, 2019
The Writer in Peril
It seems Max has watched only that one movie.
Hi, I'm a novelist in a movie. I just got my ankles broken by Kathy Bates, probably https://t.co/4kzqecZLFT
— Max Gladstone (@maxgladstone) January 3, 2019
The Freelancer in the Movie
Sadly, I never appear on the silver screen.
Hello, I'm a gigging writer-editor-translator-instructor in a movie. Hahaha just kidding we don't appear in movies.
— M. Lynx Qualey (@arablit) January 4, 2019