September 26, 2012

Doogie Howser to pen an unconventional memoir


Actor Neil Patrick Harris’ “interactive, nonlinear” memoir will be out in 2014.

Onetime child actor and current star of How I Met Your Mother Neil Patrick Harris announced this week that he’s signed a deal to write his memoir, an unconventional “work of imaginative nonfiction.” GalleyCat reports that he signed with Crown Archetype, a Random House imprint dedicated to publishing “branded authors, celebrity and pop culture books.” They recently published biographies of Michael Douglas and the Redgrave family, not to mention a memoir by a cast member of Jersey Shore, so … Harris is in decidedly mixed company there.

Of the book, his publisher said:

As yet untitled, Harris’s book will be a work of imaginative nonfiction that delivers an interactive, nonlinear reading experience that breaks the boundaries of conventional memoir. An accomplished amateur magician, Harris will draw upon his love of adventure and surprise in creating the book, as well as upon the many roles he has played in his life and career—from being a child star to coming out, and from acting on Broadway to becoming a proud father.

I’m particularly curious to see exactly what they mean by “interactive;” will fans be invited to interact with Harris online? Does the nonlinear aspect come into play as a choose-your-own-adventure element that lets the reader decide whether to relive Harris’ childhood days on the set of Doogie Howser, M.D. or his manic cameo in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle? The mention of his love for magic and surprises leads me to hope that the physical book will include some kind of magic trick, an exploding page or something equally impractical. I expect I’m imagining something much more outlandish than the publisher intended, but until the memoir comes out in 2014, I’ll continue to hope.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.