Maybe if a writer hears "write what you know" enough times it manifests itself into writers writing characters who are—wait for it… authors. Or writers may love being writers so much they know of no other profession they’d like to pass on to their characters. Or maybe the profession isn’t limiting so author protagonists are not written from the same pen, giving us a variety of characters to love. I mean we all love fictitious authors as much as real authors, right? Okay, good because here are 7 author protagonists and 1 antagonist—come on, there always has to be at least one—to watch on TV.
Carrie Bradshaw is the columnist turned author on Sex and the City. Carrie manages to keep herself in designer clothes by writing a popular weekly column (naturally titled Sex and the City) where she discuses her and her friend’s personal lives along with some reflections about love, friendships and NY—narrated by Carrie in the episodes. When you have the type of dating life that gets you dumped via a Post-it it’s best to share your journey with others. And if you’re column is popular enough it’ll be compiled into a book and you get to throw a fabulous book release party! Writing may not always be easy or glamorous, but Carrie has enough material to make it appear so.
Trivia: Carrie is Candace Bushnell’s semi-autobiographical character.
Hank Moody is the “tortured artist” author on Californication. Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll writing. And an epic on-again, off-again love story. Hank starts the series as the author of God Hates Us All, which gets adapted into a movie—something lots of authors would love, but not Hank. He’s livid and hates that the movie is turned into a romantic comedy. Hates it. You’ll have to watch to see how his career continues but if there’s an award for fictitious authors screwing up… well there probably wouldn’t be anyone but Hank in the category.
Trivia: David Duchovny is now also a novelist like Hank—wonder how Moody would review Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale.
Jessica Fletcher is the not-very-realistic author on Murder, She Wrote. Jessica proves that sometimes it takes a successful mystery writer to solve real murders—at least when the local police apparently can’t. And no, murders don’t occur everywhere she goes because she’s like Dexter, although with 12 seasons of murders she definitely attracts it. Jessica certainly broke some molds being an over 50 female protagonist playing the detective role and we love her for it.
Trivia: Friends was parodied in the episode Murder Among Friends.
Temperance “Bones” Brennan is the anomaly author on Bones—here’s an emotionally detached character, lacking in social skills who has made herself rich writing a best-selling crime series when writing isn’t even her day job. That’s right, Bone’s is a forensic anthropologist usually elbows deep—literally sometimes—in a murder victim’s remains, yet somehow she finds the time to write.
Trivia: Bones is based on Kathy Reich’s Temperance Brennan series and inspired by her real life.
Noah Solloway is the working-on-his-second-novel author on The Affair. He’s a public school teacher and family man—based on the title family man might not stick—with a published novel that did well enough to get him an advance for his second novel. Hope Noah has more faith in himself than his father-in-law (a rich novelist) who tells him, “Everyone has one book in them. Almost nobody has two.” That’s cold!
Brian Griffin is an anthropomorphic dog author on Family Guy. Brian is the author of the failed book Faster than the Speed of Love and a struggling writer, but persistence finally pays off—or in his case giving up and writing a self-help book—when Wish It, Want It, Do It finds commercial success. But can a book written in a day, to prove self-help books are garbage, stand the test of time or will Brian continue being a struggling novelist Stewie mocks?
Trivia: Brian appears on Real Time with Bill Maher promoting his second book.
Richard Castle is the mystery author with a copycat killer on Castle. Similar to Bones, Castle has found riches and success in writing his crime novels but in his case he decides to kill off his wildly popular main character. Then life imitates art and the plots from his books are copycatted by a killer. Who better to help assist the NYPD then the actual author of said plots with years of crime research? He continues helping the NYPD as research for his next series—it seems his new character is based on Detective Beckett.
Trivia: You can buy Richard Castle’s New York Times best-selling Heat Wave, along with the following books in the Nikki Heat series, and you can see real life authors on the show as his poker buddies.
Joe Carroll is the serial killer author on The Following. Joe is a professor of literature with a published novel, The Gothic Sea, and a serious obsession with Edgar Allan Poe. Apparently, being on death row will get your unknown novel a cult following if you gouged your victim’s eyes out in a tribute to your favorite author. What a lovely antagonist for Detective Hardy to deal with.
Trivia: Poe’s unfinished The Light-House is also said to be a huge inspiration for Carroll.
Which fictitious author’s work would you most like to read? Or want to meet at a book signing? (Please don’t say Carroll)