Insight, Please?

  • Hi,

    I've been considering writing a biography about one of my favorite actors. I've found a lot of good information, but I'm not sure whether it would be a good idea to write this book or not. Could anyone offer some insight on whether this would be a successful undertaking? I came up with the idea after realizing that no one had written a full bio of him yet. I feel like I could offer a new perspective on certain aspects of his life.

  • You would need his permission; otherwise he could sue you if he didn't like it.

  • Good point. The actor I wanted to write about is dead. One of the reasons I wanted to write the book is to address some of the things that have been said about him after his death. But, there could be issues with his family or perhaps friends. I did consider the possibility of getting sued if there was anything someone thought was objectionable. Another issue I was thinking about is getting permission to use stories or photographs. One could get in a lot of trouble there. I've heard stories of people who were sued because they didn't have proper clearance.

  • Yes. You would need permission in writing from his family for all this.

  • OK. At first, I was thinking that it's easier to write a non-fiction book. While it requires some degree of creativity, there's a lot of info that's provided already. But, with all the legal considerations, writing fiction seems easier. Every once in awhile, you hear about an author being sued because another person had the same idea for a short story or novel and they think their ideas were ripped off.But, it's much more common to be sued when writing a biography of someone. I'd want to be further along than I am before contacting any member of the family. Families can be divided about how they feel about something like this as well. I don't know any of them personally, but his children seem quite divided on what kind of person he was. I've read some pretty trashy things about public figures that are from questionable sources. I was going to try to avoid all of that in my book.

  • To continue with what I wrote, some of the less flattering things were written by members of his own family. I wanted to bring balance and perspective to his life and paint an overall picture of him. Right now, reading what's out there might lead one to conclude that he really wasn't a very good person. I also feel that it overshadows his career, which is really a shame. It seems like it's been hard on his youngest son, reading such things about his dad. He seems to have different memories of him than his older brothers.

    Also, even though someone who has passed can't sue, I do feel like it is important to get a dead person's blessing to do something like this. I'm trying to make sure this is something he would want. It bothers me a little that members of his family waited until after he was dead to say some of the things they have about him. Of course, it's their right to do that. And it's easy for fans to get starry eyed about a famous person and write pages and pages of how great someone was. It can be hard on someone who knew the person and didn't feel that way. I'd have a difficult time writing about someone like Bing Crosby because fans saw one side of him and his kids saw another. I was glad that I didn't uncover anything that bad about this actor.

    One of the more unusual things that I read about this actor is that he never crossed over and may be earthbound. Supposedly, the apartment where he lived (and died) is haunted. What seems odd is that a psychic advised the new tenants to let him be. I'm unclear why, as usually the advice is to encourage the spirit to cross over. From what I've read, he has gone out of his way to make his presence known. Lights have turned on, seemingly by themselves and things like that. One person said he has actually seen him. I don't know whether I'll get a chance to visit the apartment, but I'm definitely intrigued. The family has never addressed this. I'm unsure what their beliefs are about it.

    Sorry for all the rambling. I do have a follow up question, though. If he is still earthbound, why do you think someone would advise not to bother him? My understanding is that earthbound spirits usually want to be acknowledged. It doesn't sound like these tenants want his spirit there.

  • Sometimes when people are famous, there is a tremendous amount of love and energy for that person remaining on the earth plane from all the fans. It can be hard for them to move on from this attractive loving energy. I believe Elvis I believe may still be earthbound too, and Princess Diana. When this occurs, the spirit can linger for a while despite all attempts to move them on. It's only when the loving energy dissipates as their fans forget that they can finally go 'home'. But I believe they are not unhappy while they are lingering, surrounded by all this feeling their fans still have for them. Eventually every person moves on - some of the famous people just linger longer than others because of this energy that sort of traps them here - but not in a painful way..

  • Thanks for that insight, Captain. I've been reading a lot about ghosts of famous people. That makes sense because it seems like there are so many stories of famous people that linger. It doesn't seem that they are vengeful or angry. And they seem well aware that they are dead.I just thought it was odd that someone had said "Just leave him alone" when it seems like he wants people to know he's still there. The people that live in his place now put up a picture of this actor. It was supposed to let him know that they acknowledge his presence. Whether it worked or not is unknown. Obviously, if a spirit is causing harm that has to be dealt with. But, celebrity ghosts often become an attraction. I think people are reluctant to get rid of them. And anyone who was publicly admired is going to be reluctant to disappoint fans.

    I've thought about writing a book about celebrity deaths or celebrity ghosts, but there seem to be so many books on that already. There are tons of stories out there.

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