The old saying "you can't keep a good man down," does not apply to the author of the faux memoir "Million Little Pieces" James Frey because he is not a good man, but it is true that he can't be kept down. Apart from the obvious lying to a national audience to trump up his street cred for being a Criminal (always capital "C") in his Oprah book club autobiograpy that has been since dubbed "A Million Little Lies," he is making a sociopath name for himself by instituting the first ever (?) literary sweatshop. As reported by the Wall Street Journal:
For Mr. Frey's new venture, Full Fathom Five, the author oversees lesser-known writers as they develop fictional ideas into books that he then markets to publishers and film studios. Its first offering, "I Am Number Four," is a young-adult science-fiction thriller about an alien who comes to Earth as an Ohio teenager. It was published in August and hit the best-seller list. Michael Bay brought the project to DreamWorks Studios, where partners Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg acquired the film rights after reading the book, with Mr. Bay as producer. Starring Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron and Timothy Olyphant, the film will be released in February, DreamWorks' first offering since it severed ties from Paramount and became independent, with its movies distributed by Disney.
Full Fathom Five is already wrapped in real-life drama. One writer hired attorneys to represent him when dealings with Mr. Frey grew contentious (the dispute was settled late last month). Mr. Frey says that a disgruntled writer is working on a magazine story about him. The writer declined comment. "I go to work and try to do cool things. I can't control what people write about me," says Mr. Frey.
'Unless James is an alien, this book is not a memoir,' says DreamWorks' Stacey Snider.
Some publishers and producers are happy to look beyond his troubled past. Ms. Snider of DreamWorks is unconcerned. "Unless James is an alien," she says, "this book is not a memoir."
Mr. Frey began contemplating the operation that has become Full Fathom Five around the time he finished reading the last installment of the Harry Potter series in 2007. "Someone is going to replace Harry Potter," he recalls thinking. "Maybe it'll be me." A co-owner of an art gallery in New York, Mr. Frey imagined a literary version of an artist's workshop, where one person with a vision employs others to execute it. "I have too many ideas," he says.
To find writers, Mr. Frey trolls writing classes and other writers' gathering places. Writers contracted with Full Fathom Five earn no salary and make almost no money up front (they get $250 upon signing and another $250 upon completion of a book—"Chinese-food money," one author called it). They are promised 30% to 49% of all revenue whether it comes from videogames or publications rights.
This idea is genius. I also have "too many ideas." In fact, I also am looking for slave labor to shoulder all of the work that I will then take credit for, Jeff Koons style (also a sociopath). All interested applicants, please send a c.v. and a sample of your work to -- me at sociopathworld dot com. I'm not even close to kidding. First priority is making a spoof on the trailer for the movie "Love Actually" called "Sociopaths Actually," playing on its tagline "Love actually is all around us."