Remember that curious mini-trend of mogul wives and their literary ambitions? Not everyone has the talent to make it, despite their connections. A tipster forwarded us the manuscript for a chick-lit novel of dubious quality by actress Leslie Zemeckis—wife of Oscar-winning producer and director Rober Zemeckis, who's responsible for Back to the Future, Polar Express, and Forrest Gump. Leslie's manuscript is about "3 friends and their schemes to get on, stay on and survive the red carpet." But: the reader's report from this particular publisher says, "The writing that underscores Walking the Red's derivative plot and characters is cliched and unpolished. Grammatical errors appear occasionally. Zemeckis' obsessive cataloguing of the designer clothes her characters wear and the expensive things they own quickly grows exhausting, as do her attempts at name-dropping..."
"Additionally, the author doesn't really have the vocabulary she needs to write a frothy book like this. She frequently uses dated words like "bod," which makes it sound like she's mimicking a writing style that she doesn't completely understand. There are a few problems with the plausibility of her story as well. Why are these vastly different women friends in the first place? Why doesn't anyone in this hyper-fashionable world notice that Meghan's husband, Tom Ford, has the same name as a famous designer?"The book begins a little like this:
"Natalie sat on her six-foot long magenta sofa surrounded by the latest issues of People, US and Glamour. Entertainment Tonight blared from the flat-screen TV in the darkened room. On the plush carpet the color of cotton candy, next to the freshly delivered pizza box, lay three new pairs of Jimmy Choos; gold open-toed stilettos, fuchsia silk pumps and calf-high brown suede boots..."(A good collection of FM shoes to add to her already expansive collection.) If she was going to be hiding out she was going to do it armed with new loot, junk food, trashy magazines and television. "Shit!" A dime-sized drop of marinara sauce dripped down Nat's all-white cashmere Juicy's. She dabbed at her top, brand new from Neiman's not three hours old. A half dozen shopping bags lay tossed across the carpet. She'd had a very good day. Done over $8,000 damage – and that was just in an hour. Yoyo, her personal shopper at Neimans, was an overly hip Korean woman with purple streaks in her hair and the clout to get Natalie most anything she wanted to fit her size 2 bod. Yoyo had wanted her to buy a fox fur trimmed trench coat. "Armani's for older women," Natalie protested, which saved her another $9,000. Or rather saved Nick, her father. All personal credit card bills were sent directly to his business manager as part of Natalie's allowance. A mere "pittance" she complained. She'd been trying to squeeze more money from her trust fund to no avail. "If all the papers call me a trust fund baby," she'd argue with Nick, "shouldn't I have the spending power?" "Baby, don't I take care of you?" he'd say, still keeping the purse strings tight. He had changed in the past couple months. Sure he had bought her the condo in Westwood recently in addition to her annual new car, but all of a sudden he'd become tight with cash. Why wouldn't he front her a few thousand? She didn't understand this sudden change of heart. "You'll get all those millions soon enough," Nick assured her. And she would, when she was thirty – six long years away. Peeling off her top she revealed a new black lace La Perla push up. She didn't mind not having much of a chest to push up. Nat knew she looked hot. Hot enough to regularly make the papers. Though this week she would rather they write about Lindsay or Jessica or Rosalee St. Cyr."Whispers our publishing elf, "There are 408 more pages of the same." We're waiting for all those pages to print out.