Everyone knows there's no sure-fire way of selling a debut novel, but a couple recent deals prove that it helps if the author is a famous actor's brother or a former supermodel. Daniel P. Depp, who has worked as a journalist, bookseller, photographer, and teacher, and who in the 1990s started a production company in Hollywood with his half-brother, Johnny, recently sold his debut novel to Simon & Schuster in a preemptive deal. Meg Davis, Depp's agent (Daniel's, not Johnny's) told the Bookseller in London that she expects "global" interest in the novel, which is described as "half literary, half commercial" and offers an insider's view of Hollywood.
Of course, if you're last name isn't Depp, publishers may still give your manuscript a second look if you've appeared on the covers of a stack of magazines, including the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. This Year's Model, the debut novel by Carol Alt, who was a top model in the 1980s, is being published in August by HarperCollins. On Alt's Web site, the novel is described as "the story of a young model just starting out in the world of professional modeling...based loosely on Carol's life as a successful supermodel!!"
Alt isn't the first model to pen a novel about being a model, of course. A Model Summer by Paulina Porizkova, the model who appeared in two music videos for the Cars and married the band's lead singer, Rick Ocasek, was published by Hyperion last April. The publisher describes it as "an incisive, beautifully written first novel by a supermodel exploring the glamorous, gritty, and sometimes ghastly world she inhabited."