All My Ourobori
Ouroboros? Or maybe just a pretzel:
Barely two months after [All My Children's] Kendall, who is played by the actress Alicia Minshew, set down those first few deathless words, “It was one of those brutally hot, muggy days in August,” her first novel “Charm” was released in the fictional small town of Pine Valley, Pa., as part of the soap’s story line. Concurrently, “Charm” — an actual hardback with a list price of $21.95 — became available in real-life bookstores around the country.
“Charm” was published by Hyperion, which like its sister company that owns “All My Children,” Disney-ABC Television Group, is a Disney property. It has sold more than 100,000 copies and made its debut in February at No. 13 on the New York Times best-seller list. (It has Kendall’s name on the cover but the name of the actual writer is being kept secret.)
Making things even more convoluted, the Hyperion executive editor, Gretchen Young, and the publicity director, Beth Gebhard, had walk-on parts in the publishing party scene on the show, and a fragrance called Charm, which is a product of the cosmetics company in the novel as well as a plot point on the soap, will be on sale in Sears stores nationwide beginning April 14.
—Joanne Kaufman, "The Book Is Real Enough. It's the Author That's Fake," NYT