Millie Bobby Brown did not write debut novel, Nineteen Steps, herself. Instead, it was ghostwritten by author Kathleen McGurl.
The Stranger Things star, 19, told her fans ahead of her book release that it was based on a true story, and it “means so much” to her. The debut novel, which released on September 12, is inspired by Brown’s “own family’s experience during World War II and is also a story of love, longing, and loss".
Despite having a personal connection, Brown played a minor role in contributing to the storyline of the book that boasts her name. Moreover, McGurl’s name does not appear on the first page.
Describing the writing process in a blog post, McGurl revealed, “I was sent a lot of research that had already been pulled together by Millie and her family, and plenty of ideas, and we had a couple of Zoom calls.”
She continued, “And then I knuckled down and wrote the first draft, while Millie continued sending more ideas via WhatsApp. The book went through several drafts since then, as we refined the story.
While Brown did not hide the fact she hired a ghostwriter, she also posed with her during the book launch. However, many fans noted that when the Enola Holmes actress appeared on The One Show, she made no mention of anyone else behind it.
There’s been vocal backlash against the book – partly due to Brown’s outsourcing, but also for its quality.
“No, I don’t need to relax. This book will outsell books by real authors because her name is on it; she will get acclaim she did not earn,” wrote a writer Claire G. Coleman. “It’s not even an autobiography, I understand getting a ghostwriter to write your biography but this is a novel.”
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