Nikki Finke, the founder of Hollywood business website Deadline.com, which she parted from in 2013, has turned a new page. She's going to write, and publish, fiction about Hollywood on the new website HollywoodDementia.com.
Finke starts out by invoking the names of famed Hollywood fictioneers -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, John O'Hara, Michael Tolkin and Bruce Wagner -- and throwing herself into the mix. "Now add my name to the list," she writes, of "knowledgeable writers [who] tackled showbiz in short fiction."
Yet it sounds, from her further explanation of the site, that it may not have much in common with the emotional creations of Fitzgerald or Wagner's imaginative descents into depravation. Here's more of her explanation:
"My website will present short stories, novellas and novel excerpts written by Hollywood insiders like myself. After 30 years as a journalist, I'm now going to expose the hard truths and gritty reality of showbiz through creative writing."
There's a bit of a disconnect there. The job of journalists is to expose hard truths and gritty realities. The job of novelists is to tell good stories.
Finke continues: "In fiction, I can be more honest than just sticking to facts."
If that sounds like an oxymoron, perhaps there's a simple answer: In fiction, nobody can sue you for libel. As long as you make sure it's fictional enough. Think: A story about a famous actor who is secretly gay -- and abducted by aliens!
Finke plans to charge her online readers $1 per story and promises to pay contributors from the proceeds. She has issued a call for people who are interested in being contributors.
"If you would like to write fictional short stories about showbiz of 2,500 to 8,000 words each for my website, please send me an email as soon as possible with your credits and job history," she writes. "I will accept submissions by invitation only because I first need to ensure you know enough about Hollywood to write intelligently about it," she writes. An email form is provided at Nikkifinke.com.