One publishing trend that has been gaining popularity steadily over the past few years is books written by people who rose to fame blogging, tweeting or as Youtube sensations. In the past year notable titles include Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened and the very Canadian The Best of Down Goes Brown: Greatest Hits and Brand New Classics-to-Be from Hockey's Most Hilarious Blog by Sean McIndoe.
The latest internet-star-turned-published-author is Calgary's own Kelly Oxford. Her book Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar, was released last week and has already made its way onto the New York Times best seller list. Oxford got her start as a blogger and became a Twitter phenomenon; a mom with three kids navigating all that is parenthood and pop culture. She soon had celebrity followers including Jessica Alba, Jimmy Kimmel and the late Roger Ebert. Time Magazine named her one of the Top 120 Twitter Feeds in both 2011 and 2012 and to date she has almost 500,000 followers.
I became familiar with Kelly Oxford when a publisher representative told us about her about a year ago. Since then I have been following her on Twitter and was fortunate to get my hands on an advanced reading copy of her book. While not everyone will appreciate her humour, I like that she says what most of us are thinking, but wouldn't have the guts to say out loud. And in all honesty, part of her appeal is that she is from Calgary and it's hard not to cheer for the hometown connection.
The book is a memoir of sorts; each chapter functions as an essay about an event in Oxford's life, beginning with her failed attempt at a neighborhood production of Star Wars, through to a recent family trip to Disneyland. Her unique humor is present throughout the book, but the book is also very human and honest.
My favorite chapters by far, wereTweezers (about a tenacious young Oxford single handedly launching her modelling career) and Frogger (a trip to Disneyland filled with corn dogs and Belle from Beauty and the Beast). Throughout the book she does a good job of laughing at herself and gives the impression that while she has worked hard throughout her life (starting with that Star Wars production) she doesn't take anything for granted.
Oxford and her family are currently living in Los Angeles as she works on various television writing projects. The book seems to be the start of big things for her and her family. Place your hold now on a print copy of Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar; the ebook will soon be available through Overdrive.