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Murder, She Published

Google bombs can be violent.

From “Hit and Run,” a Reason Magazine blog (read to the last line):

Bernie Kerik: The Gift That Keeps On Giving.

Via Drudge comes this Daily News story strongly indicating the DHS washout had post-9/11 affairs with both a Corrections officer and publishing powerhouse Judith Regan. While I hesitate to spread dirt about a public servant’s private life, this story offers a wrinkle so strange it must be made public: When I did a Google image search on “Judith Regan,” two of the first three images were of P.J. Soles (another no-shit-taking beauty from days of olde) being murdered in Halloween.

Top Ten Moments

from Vanity Fair‘s profile of editor Judith Regan:

10. Few employees have lasted more than a year. Those who have–such as editorial director Cal Morgan and managing editor Cathy Jones, who are married to each other–“have no central nervous system left,” says one ex-staffer.

9. While she professes no personal right-wing leanings … close friends roll their eyes–“She’s to the right of Genghis Khan,” says one.

8. One former friend described the chaos Regan creates around herself this way: “Judith is the sort of person who insists you stay with her, and then you arrive and find out that her ex-boyfriend is also staying in the same room, and there are no sheets, so you have to go buy them, and she tells you to get the best ones and she’ll pay you back, and then she won’t and she’ll say, ‘I’ve noticed that you let people take advantage of you.’”

7. Many staffers–and other colleagues–had epithets according to their sexual orientation or ethnicity: “I was the lesbian cunt,” says one former competitor. “Then there was the black cunt.” When she got mad, people were called “fucking retards” and “fucking idiots”; if she got really mad, she’d accuse people of being either “fags” or “on drugs” or, preferably, both.

6. “She is,” says a woman who has worked happily for other demanding bosses but lasted with Regan less than a year, “a destroyer of souls.”

5. Regan … kept photos of herself dressed as a man around the office, and has been known to shout “I have the biggest cock in the building!”

4. She left topless photos of herself in a table drawer in her office; she also stored voluminous records for her divorce in a closet where anyone could peruse them–and some did.

3. Her enemies, who are legion, say she is (as one former friend put it) “the highest-functioning deranged person I’ve ever known.”

2. At one point Regan told this particular editor, “I’m on so many hormones I could hump the doorknob.”

1. When Arsenio Hall lost his talk show in 1994, she campaigned for the slot. “When [a Fox executive] finally told her she wasn’t getting the job, we all heard her screaming in her office. ‘You know why? Because he has a small dick, and he’s afraid I’m going to eat it. And then I’m gonna eat his testicles. Then I’m going to eat into his body cavity … ‘ It was the most incredible thing I’d heard. But this was my first job out of college. I remember thinking, Huh, maybe this is the way things are in media.”

“The Craze that Changed the Publishing World”

You can’t avoid them — histories of something that altered everything for ever: cod, sugar, gunpowder. The London Times rounds up the new inanimate-tell-alls; the paper can’t avoid them, but maybe you can.

Upcoming titles include The Flavour that Changed the World, The House Cat that Changed the World, The Ping-Pong Ball that Changed the World, The Dishwater that Changed the World, and The Pocket Lint that Changed the World. Of course, there’s the possibility that the list’s a joke. This one, though, which reads quite similarly, isn’t.

Help Wanted: This Season’s Most Notable Self-Help Titles

Last week, Publishers Weekly rolled out a laundry-list of new and upcoming titles in the “self-help” genre. And, since GC’s a fan of help of any kind (…hullo, agents! ) and believes PW‘s list didn’t give its books their proper due, she’s decided to cheer along the self-help genre by awarding special (verbal) honors to this season’s most notable titles. We call it the HELP WANTED Honor Roll, and encourage publishers to contact us for publicity or blurbing purposes.

How to Be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life (Dutton, Sept., $17.95)

Book Most Likely to Anorexi-Size Teen Girls
The Pleasure Revolution: Free Yourself to Live the Life of Your Dreams — A Mother and Daughter Journey Toward Self-Discovery (Free Press, May, $25)

Worst Decline in Quality of Title, Post-Colon
Fat, Stupid, Ugly: One Woman’s Courage to Survive (HCI, Sept., $12.95 paper)

Worst Gift Book Idea
Dante’s Path: A Practical Approach to Achieving Inner Wisdom (Gotham, Sept., $14 paper)

Book Reference Most Likely to Lower Your Term Paper (>) a Full Grade
Cracking the Coconut Code: 7 Insights to Transform Your Life (Hay House/Princess Books, Jan., $14.95)

Most Life-Irrelevent Dilemna
The Last Self-Help Book You’ll Ever Need: The Bliss and Benefits of Embracing Your Guilt, Repressing Your Anger, and Throttling Your Inner Child (Basic Books, June, $24)

Most Likely to Have a Disappointing Sequel
Shining Through: Switch on Your Life and Ground Yourself in Happiness (RED WHEEL/WEISER CONARI Oct., $12.95 paper)

Most Pointlessly Extended Metaphor
Cleaning and the Meaning of Life: Finding Happiness Through Simplicity, Cleanliness and Comfort (HCI, Apr., $12.95 paper)

Most Threatening Lifestyle Title
Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life — Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy (Gotham, Jan., $25)

Best Misreading of an Eastern Religion
Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out (HCI, Jan., $12.95 paper) Worst New Lingo

un·der·state·ment: “Disney saw that possibility far sooner than we did.”

The New York Times reports on the runaway success of Peter and the Starcatchers, the first of a three-part prequel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson to J. M. Barrie’s classic, Peter Pan.

The importance of the Disney marketing machine cannot be underestimated either. Start with the book itself, which was published by Hyperion Books for Children and Disney Editions, two of the company’s three children’s book imprints. The book’s handsomely illustrated cover is embossed with gold-foil lettering, while the text carries lively black-and-white illustrations by Greg Call. The pages are heavy-stock paper with those jagged right-side edges that signal “important book.”

As a franchise, Mr. Pearson said, “Disney saw that possibility far sooner than we did.” Already, plans have been broached for a stage play based on the series. Character tie-ins are certain to come. For now, the company is focused on promoting the book to schools, librarians and teachers, through personal appearances, readings and the like.

The article, though, goes on to note that Peter and the Starcatchers “cannot be published anywhere in the European Union,” since J.M. Barrie donated the copyright of the original Peter Pan story to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in Britain in 1929.

Mr. Barry professes unconcern about the copyright questions. “The good news is the sick children will get none of our money,” he said last month – jokingly, of course. And he professes full faith in the Disney lawyers: “We figured the people who will kill you if you use Mickey Mouse without permission would be the best ones to figure it out.”

Submit to Her Authority

False encouragement, like fiction, relies on lying convincingly. And MFA students, if they’re decent and ambitous, try to learn the art of both — while hoping, privately, that their hammy classmates submit work to Fiction Bitch, fiction’s online dominatrix.

The Fiction Bitch doesn’t want to encourage new writers. She wants to weed out terrible writers before they go on to bore millions of innocent publishing house interns to tears. If you suspect you are a lousy writer, the Fiction Bitch can remove all doubts, thus freeing you for other, more productive pursuits.

Masochists, or sadist classmates: submit stories here.

Related Reading:
Learning to Translate Workshop-Speak

Submit Your Manuscript … to a Bestseller List.

While reading is still considered a relatively private and intellectual endeavor, national book clubs seem to drive up sales by ensuring books’ social currency. Reading no longer needs to be the artsy equivalent of solitary confinement; instead, it can be a ticket to a group event, as well as an affordable emulation of a beloved celebrity’s habits. Consequently, if you think literary culture is suffering for lack of readers, you probably see some good in TV shows’ book clubs; and if you think literary culture is suffering because people no longer like to think — at least, for themselves, that is — book clubs may seem like its death knell (and here comes the grim Ripa).

Unsurprisingly, the success of TV books clubs in the U.S. has vaulted the trend across the pond: earlier this year, Richard & Judy, Britain’s most popular morning talk show hosts (think a younger Regis, and a mumsy Ripa), introduced the R & J book club and bumped sales of its selected books up by, in one case, 871%.

Originally inspired by “the Oprah effect,” the R & J book club is now moving in Oprah’s opposite direction. According to Book2Book, a UK book site, the British duo has launched a first novel competition, with the winner set to recieve a publishing deal from Pan Macmillan and a £50,000 advance.

In other words: the book clubs of the future might not just read books, but write and market them.

(Here’s daring anyone to submit to J & R‘s competition a slightly altered and double-spaced copy of Twenty-Seventh City…)