I am the most beautiful woman alive.
The now infamous Samantha Brick didn't write that sentence. Had she done so, her words might well have provoked an even more negative reaction than the one she actually received. As it is, the original 'I'm so beautiful' feature article unleashed an unprecedented tide of fury and vitriol and, almost overnight, achieved international notoriety for its author.
One can only assume that the writer's motives for this and subsequent articles in the same vein, were to further her career. Nothing wrong in that. In today's highly competitive climate, writers need to seize any opportunity for publicity. Anyone who is serious about getting published should be prepared to use contacts, appear on chat shows and leap onto the back of any news story with a link - however tenuous - to their subject matter. These days, if you want to succeed as a writer, talent is a useful commodity, tenacity is essential and marketing and PR are vital. (The editor of a modern Charles Dickens would certainly have required the author to spill the beans on his father's debt ridden decline and eventual imprisonment.) It can also be helpful to have the kind of rhinoceros hide which easily deflects the kind of reader comments often found underneath online versions of national newspaper articles.
Having penned a string of provocative features and made an appearance on Big Brother, Ms Brick's position in the public eye now seems well established. She has earned herself a place in trivia history and her outpourings have sparked much and many a debate in both tabloids and broadsheets. I don't know if she has managed to secure herself a book deal yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. 'Beauty the Brick way,' perhaps.
Self promotion is an art, and one which any writer can aspire to and learn. How far they choose to go in the pursuit of it is their own business - and, to some extent, that of the publication that gives their work a platform. The catch of course, is that the writer may fall prey to undue pressure from an editor, so that the end result reflects the agenda of the publication itself.
Some call this wolf fodder.