The Accidental Bestseller

The Accidental Bestseller

by Wendy Wax

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From the USA Today bestselling author of While We Were Watching Downton Abbey...  
Once upon a time four aspiring authors met at their very first writers' conference. Ten years later they're still friends, survivors of the ultra-competitive New York publishing world. Mallory St. James is a workaholic whose bestsellers support a lavish lifestyle. Tanya Mason is a single mother juggling two jobs, two kids, and too many deadlines. Faye Truett is the wife of a famous televangelist and the author of inspirational romances: no one would ever guess her explosive secret. Kendall Aims's once-promising career is on the skids-and so is her marriage. Her sales are dismal, her new editor detests her work-and her husband is cheating. Barely able to think, let alone meet her final deadline, Kendall holes up in a mountain cabin to confront a blank page and a blanker future. But her friends won't let her face this trial alone. Together they collaborate on a novel using their own lives as fodder, assuming no one will ever discover the truth behind their words.

No one is more surprised than they are when the book becomes a runaway bestseller. But with success comes scrutiny and these four best friends suddenly realize how little they've truly known each other.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780515148077
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 05/25/2010
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 4.30(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

Wendy Wax, a former broadcaster, is the USA Today bestselling author of ten novels, including Ten Beach RoadThe House on Mermaid Point, and Ocean Beach. The mother of two college-age sons, she lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband, and is doing her best to adjust to the quiet of her recently emptied nest.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Wax sheds insight on the writer/reader relationship and nurtures this invisible bond throughout. Sure to appeal to fans of women's fiction and aspiring writers." —-Library Journal

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Accidental Bestseller 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
BANCHEE_READS More than 1 year ago
Wendy Wax has written a book chockful of interesting characters -- from Kendall, the empty nester who leaves the conference early only to find that her husband is having an affair; to Tanya, my favorite character, the hopeful trailer park dweller who hopes to write her way to a better life; to Mallory (whom I didn't care for so much) who appears to be patterned on Judith Krantz with her romantic clothes, fistful of bestsellers and seemingly perfect life. Finally, there's Faye Truett, the pastor's wife who writes "inspirationals" and the lowly editorial assistant who is much wiser and more savvy than her uninspired boss, Plain Jane. In some ways, the whole premise and set-up reminded me a bit of David Lodge's books about academia, in which there are a number of memorable characters whose stories intersect, weaving back and forth between them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read Wendy's newer books (Ocean Drive and Ten Beach Road-which I enjoyed); however, missed this one and could not put it down. I lived in Atlanta for 17 yrs, so always nice to hear from Atlanta author - read about the familiar places and things in the area and North Georgia (which I love the mountains) as it definitely gets the creative juices flowing as loved Dillard, Clayton, Highlands, Cashiers and Big Canoe. She has a way of bringing BFFs to a new level. I particularly loved the publishing and writing aspect (as I was a publisher for many years in Atlanta and NY-for commercial real estate and finance), so the editing and publishing was great as there is always lots of drama and deadlines; however, would love to be an inspired writer (only write for websites, design, and articles, blogs), but always an inspiration for a novel one day! The characters were raw, and full of personality and you fall in love with each one of them, as hard to pick a favorite. Great writing - would love to see a sequel here-look forward to reading some of Wendy's older books! Highly recommend!
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
It's a dog-eat dog out there in the publishing world! Success can come and go in a whiff of hot or cold air, and an author must deal with the vicissitudes of a very unpredictable trade. Every author's nightmare is losing the Muse, the days hen not one word will come, no matter how disciplined a writer may be in insisting on writing for a certain time every day, so many hours, so many words, whatever it is! So we meet Mallory St. James, a well-known successful writer who seems to have it all in the bag and is helping her friend, Kendall Aim, write her last book for a publishing company determined to dump her because of declining sales. Add to that a revelation from a family member that will add to the devastation. But that's what true friends are for, especially when those friends are all relatively successful writers. The other two friends are Tanya Mason, working two jobs for two children and an alcoholic mother who is not a very nice lady for sure, and Faye Truett, a preacher's wife, who sees her writing success as an extension of his ministry with her beloved inspirational novels. Are all the men in writer's world so selfish or are there a few out there waiting to truly appreciate the person behind the bestseller? When these three friends come to Kendall 's aim, not only do they create a unique, riveting story but all secrets are out and the really astounding story of each gradually emerges, along with some spicy romance along the way! The Accidental Bestseller is a sure-fire, summer bestseller that readers will love and other writers will pore over with more identification than most readers will ever know. Are bestseller's accidental? You decide with this one - this reviewer is calling it a summer romp to be seen by many pools and beaches this year! Great story, Wendy Wax!!! Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on May 28, 2010
January_F on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting read into the process of writing a book and the publishing industry. It was very 'meta' to read a book about writing a book and the fiction book that was being written was the book you were reading. The characters were interesting, and it was easy to relate to them and feel their pain. A good read.
readingrebecca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m not sure what I was expecting when I picked up The Accidental Bestseller, but whatever it was, I got so much more! This book is just fantastic. It¿s really a story about friendship among women, courage, living up to your true potential, and honesty. It¿s a page turner¿I just couldn¿t wait to find out what happened to the four remarkable women in the book.This is the story of Kendall who is a mid-list author with failing sales, Mallory who is a well known New York Times bestseller list author, Tanya who writes romance novels and Faye who is married to a televangelist and writes inspirational novels. They¿ve been good friends for 10 years, having met at a writer¿s conference, hitting it off immediately. When Kendall¿s life starts falling apart¿she finds out her publisher is dropping her as soon as she completes the last book in her contract, at the same time finding out her husband wants a divorce¿she scurries off to her mountain retreat to hide out. Her three friends come to her rescue to help her get that book written.The story of getting that book written and what happens when it¿s published is just incredible. I loved every page of this book and could hardly wait to find out what was going to happen next. There is great character development making each of the four authors very easy to visualize. These were women I wanted to know, wished that they lived next door to me. Wendy Wax has written a wonderful book about the strength of women¿s friendships and I hope she writes a sequel to this story. Ms. Wax writes with great insight into the publishing industry, not always a pretty picture. Each chapter begins with a quote from an author about the hard work involved in writing. Some of these quotes are laugh out loud funny, but all are interesting. One of my favorites: There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ¿W. Somerset Maugham. While I was reading the book, I kept talking about how great it was so when I finished it, my husband asked to read it. He¿s never read women¿s fiction, so I handed it over with some trepidation. But he liked it too and also found it to be a page turner. Now we¿re both looking for more books by Wendy Wax.
whitreidtan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Opening at a writer's convention, Kendall is hoping to win a coveted Zelda award. Instead, her publishing company drops her and even her three long standing writer friends can't keep her from fleeing to her home where another bombshell drops on her. Her husband has been gone all weekend and Kendall must face the fact that he has been cheating on her and wants a divorce. In short, her life is falling apart around her ears. Fleeing for a second time, she high tails it to the cabin in the North Carolina mountains that she has always loved. It is here that Mallory, Faye, and Tanya ultimately find her, hiding from the world, completely emotionally paralyzed, and unable to write. Her three friends decide to help her write the final book of her contract so she can get on with her life. But when they do this, they expose the long buried secrets they've kept from the world and from each other. Even worse, this book that was supposed to be ignored, a chore to be gotten through before Kendall can move on to other things, becomes a bestseller and opens all four of the writers and friends to the scrutiny not only of the world but to each other and to their loved ones.An interesting premise, this does share a bit of the seamy side of publishing and exposes a fickle and subjective profession. It also gives a few insights into some of the ways in which writers write and how they feel about their chosen profession. Mostly though it is intended to be a book about friendship and secrets. The characters are quite different from each other and their secrets are mostly fitting given their personal lives. But the bond of friendship between the women needed a bit more development to be completely believable. It can be hard to balance an ensemble cast in a novel, making certain that each character receives enough time on the page and enough development to feel authentic but Wax does manage that balance here, telling each main character's story by turns, allowing the reader to understand each home life and a bit of why the secrets are so important, even potentially devastating. The secondary characters, the children and men in the womens' lives, were quite flat and undeveloped but necessary to the plot. But this was a minor weakness. While the women could be frustrating and some of the secrets were a bit much, this was mostly a likeable piece of chick lit.
Cats57 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy WaxWow! Just wow! I just this moment finished this book and I¿d like to say to Ms Wax BRAVO! If you are a published author, you will appreciate the insiders look at some of the quirks of the industry and perhaps you will even recognize someone you¿ve had to deal with in the past. If you are a pre-published writer, you may appreciate the look into what other authors have to do to get over those dry spells. If you are simply a book lover like me you will appreciate everything about this book. And if you are a woman, you will appreciate the author¿s views on best friends who will help you out when life seems to be too much; no matter what it costs them. And in this book they all have the potential of loosing it all.Years ago four women from varied back rounds met at a writer¿s conference and formed a bond. None of them had been published, but they sure hoped to be one day. Well that ¿one day¿ happened for all of them. Each woman writing a different style of books: Faye writing Inspirational Romances, Tanya writing contemporary romances books for a Harlequin-esque company called Masque; Mallory striking, confident and very prolific with her novels. Yet as successful as they are on the surface, each one holds a secret close to their hearts. And then there is Kendell.Kendell is having problems in the literary world and has tumbled into mid-listdom, not only that, a new book deadline is quickly approaching with nothing yet written, and to add insult to injury her husband has left her for a younger woman.Kendell is the main protagonist of this book, or is she really? We find her escaping to the mountains to lick her wounds. And of course Kendell¿s BFF¿s come to help her through this rocky time and hope to kick-start the creative juices that seem to be missing from Kendell¿s messed up life. I won¿t spoil anything for you more than has been already, but a plan is hatched, goes into effect and they collaborate on a novel using their own lives and unfortunately their own writing voices.What no one would fathom is the book becomes ¿The Accidental Bestseller¿ (literally) and true to life - what may go well one minute, collapses the next.We learn the secrets behind each of the masks each one wears and I found my stomach in knots praying that this would work out well for at least some of them in the end. But I¿ll leave that up to you to find out.Very fast paced, deeply absorbing, well plotted and written. It has finely drawn characters that you can imagine as your own bet friends. Do not by any means mistake this as a ¿chick-lit¿ genre book, it most certainly is not. This book is unique and a breath of fresh air . Something that you will not regret spending your hard earned book buying dollars on. I know that I haven¿t.I think this book will be putting Ms Wax on the best sellers list.
quzy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mallory is a workaholic whose novels support her & her husbands lavish lifestyle. Tanya Mason lives in a trailer, juggles 2 jobs, two kids and an alcoholic mother, Faye is the wife of a televangelist and author of inspirational romances, and Kendall has a career heading down the toilet and a cheating husband. But the one thing positive in all of their lives is their friendship with eachother. They all met at a writers conference when they were all unknowns and starting out. They've grown as writers as well as grown close as friends. The only thing these women have in common is their love of the written word, but we see the beauty and depth of the friendship they share and how no matter what they will always have eachother. This story is wonderful. Wendy Wax has created characters that you would love to be friends with. That you could relate to, that would react to their situations just like you would! Her writing is wonderful too! And I enjoyed taking a peek at the behind the scenes of the publishing industry and am happy that authors go thru all that stress to bring us an escape from our daily lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wendy Was gives the reader a good story, while portraying the strength of women and the strength of friendships and how friendships enrich life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the inventive story in this book. Great characters, interesting premise. Great story of friendship and support.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the one to read!
nanax3 More than 1 year ago
This book is too drawn out and goes on and on about the same stuff. I gave it a chance and 3/4 into it decided not a good read. I like a page turner and this is not one. It truly is an "accidental" reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
With titles like Leave it to Cleavage what better way to sell her latest book than to advertise the obvious taboo world of her craft? Speaking to a majority female crowd at the Margaret Mitchell House on June 2, Wendy Wax shares her thoughts of her latest book, The Accidental Best Seller. With her real family in tow, she was careful not to talk too much about S.E.X (spelling out each letter loudly). Heaven forbid her children would know anything about that. As comedian Chris Rock states in a bit about his parents, "I know my parents are cool once, I'm here! They had some loving in them." Candidly speaking about the writing process, Wax is constantly working on her books. "When you have a 400 page project due, you got to work on it a little everyday, break it down" exclaims Wax. Being a natural morning person, Wax does most of her writing early in the morning. Most of her books center on women dealing with a life changing issue. Fortunately Wax sends the characters a life line made up of a circle of friends that help her protagonist deal with life's endless stream of challenges. Wax kidded that one of the reasons she chose to go to the University of Georgia was her love of Gone with the Wind. "Most of my female leads are a modern Scarlet, except for the lack of a Civil War or other southern icons", confessed Wax. The Accidental Best Seller, centers on the premise of a writer, Keller Aims, who is tapped out of the creative process. Aims is simply spent and cannot write. Quickly to the rescue come her three best friends, who happen to be writers, to help save the day. Full of suspense, S.E.X., and twist this book should be on the top of your summer's reading list. In concluding her remarks Wax recognize her strong writer's support group that were in the audience that night and stated that her inspiration is other writers. "Only writers understand the solitary world of being a writer, I celebrate them." shared Wax.
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Amanda-J More than 1 year ago
I wanted to like it and there were parts when I really did, but overall I found it predictable and uninspired. I think the "book within a book" made it worse, because the book the women were writing was THIS BOOK. And I just couldn't believe that this would ever be a bestseller.
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WINDIE More than 1 year ago
Loved the book. It is all about frienships, marriage and a little lying. It is about those who help you through tough times and the secrets we all keep from each other.
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