10 fictional TV books that were actually published IRL

Kelly Woo
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

The pen is mightier than the sword, as the saying goes, so many of our favorite TV series have made writers out of their central heroes.

Take Jane Gloriana Villanueva from Jane the Virgin, an aspiring romance novelist who grew up watching telenovelas with her grandmother and mother. Or Rick Castle, the dashing mystery writer who also helped solve intricate crimes with detective partner Kate Beckett.

But these authors didn’t just write within the show; their books also got published in real life. In fact, Jane’s first novel, Snow Falling, is hitting your local bookstore this week.

Here are 10 fictional-turned-real books “written by” TV characters.

Jane the Virgin airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on the CW. Snow Falling will be available for purchase on Tuesday, Nov. 15. 

‘Snow Falling’ by Jane Gloriana Villanueva (‘Jane the Virgin’)

Jane’s soap opera-esque life inspired the character’s first novel, a thinly-veiled retelling of her own love triangle with deceased husband Michael and baby daddy Rafael. The book is set in 1902 Miami, “a time of railroad tycoons, hotel booms, and exciting expansion for the Magic City,” with the main character torn between two men. Who will the book’s heroine choose? (Photo: Amazon.com)

‘Bad Twin’ by Gary Troup (‘Lost’)

Poor Gary never got to experience the triumph of seeing his book land on the bestseller lists — he was sucked into the engine after the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. Sawyer seemed to lap up the thriller, which touches on many powerful themes, including the consequence of vengeance, the power of redemption, and where to turn when all seems lost. Unfortunately, Jack burned the last few pages, so Sawyer was left with so many questions about the ending. Sounds familiar. (Photo: Amazon.com)

‘The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer’ (‘Twin Peaks’)

Laura Palmer’s murder was only the beginning of a chain reaction that rippled through town. But her teenage diary (“found” and examined by creator David Lynch’s daughter, Jennifer) proved that Laura’s dark days started at the age of 12. In the diary, she recounts nightmares about BOB, experiences of sexual abuse, and an obsession with death. It is a haunting foreshadowing of the events of the TV series, providing new insight into the often-mysterious girl at the center of the tragedy. (Photo: Amazon.com)

‘Having It All’ by Erica Kane (‘All My Children’)

Susan Lucci also wrote her own book, but Having It All is La Kane, through and through. Erica never had problems feeling like a queen, so why not deign to impart her wisdom to lesser mortals? After all, not everybody can be a successful model, cosmetics mogul, wife, mother, and celebrity. The first step is “Self-Love” (no, not that kind). Loving yourself is key to “having it all” — and Erica was always her own No. 1 fan. (Photo: Amazon.com)

‘The Movement’ by Jack Garbarino (‘Nathan for You’)

Nathan Felder really stumbled into it with this idea — a moving company powered by free labor, who think they’re part of a new fitness movement. He enlisted Jack as the face and author behind “The Movement,” which replaced going to the gym with lifting boxes and furniture. And as outlandish as Nathan could be, it did work — even in real life! The book made it onto the actual bestseller list. (Photo: Amazon.com)

‘The Bro Code’ by Barney Stinston (‘How I Met Your Mother’)

The first, er, fourth rule of Bro Code is never talk about Bro Code. Barney has been working on his “living document” for years, and it’s swelled to 150 rules of how men should behave, interact with other men, and treat women. Parts of the code can get very detailed (like the circumstances under which a bro can cry), but in general, all follow the same formula of asking WWBSD? (What Would Barney Stinson Do?). (Photo: Amazon.com)

‘Red Wheelbarrow’ by Elliot Alderson (‘Mr. Robot’)

Elliot’s private diary from his time in prison is a trippy journey into the brilliant but often disordered mind of the protagonist. But this isn’t just an unending stream of Elliot’s consciousness; his inmate pal Hot Carla also provides commentary in the margins. There are also plenty of Easter eggs pointing to Leon’s spying and other Dark Army activities. (Photo: Amazon.com)

‘Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America’ by Leslie Knope (‘Parks and Recreation’)

Nobody loves Pawnee more than Leslie Knope, and here she recounts a lot of interesting history, from the ’70s cult that took over, to the fire that consumed the entire town, to the never-ending raccoon infestation. As she bills Pawnee, it’s “more exciting than New York, more glamorous than Hollywood, roughly the same size as Bismarck, North Dakota.” (Photo: Amazon.com)

‘Heat Wave’ by Richard Castle (‘Castle’)

Rick Castle was a bestselling mystery writer in the ABC drama, so the network gave the character a real-life shot by publishing his Nikki Heat book series. Starting with Heat Wave, the novels revolved around an NYPD detective based on Castle’s partner, Kate Beckett. The title was apt too, since their relationship definitely got heated. (Photo: Amazon.com)

‘Sterling’s Gold’ by Roger Sterling (‘Mad Men’)

As a successful ad man, Roger has seen it all through the years, so naturally he wanted to preserve his memories in written form. His memoir reflects his personality — a ton of witty quips, many inappropriate stories, and quite a few pearls of wisdom. “When God closes a door, he opens a dress.” Never change, Roger. (Photo: Amazon.com)