The Duke of Sussex’s much-talked out autobiography has now been officially released, leaving readers able to pore over every word.
Many fans gathered around midnight hoping to purchase Prince Harry’s memoir Spare, with queues seen across London bookstores.
The bombshell book reveals intimate details of Harry’s life and upbringing and discusses his thoughts on war, love, the Royal Family and the loss of his mother, Diana.
But with many of the passages only adding to the controversy surrounding the Prince and his wife Meghan, some are wondering about the person who actually wrote it – widely reported to be the author and journalist JR Moehringer.
Who is Moehringer?
The writer first began his Journalism career as a news assistant at the New York Times. In 1994, the author then made his move to the Los Angeles Times and in 1997 became an on-the-scene reporter.
In 2000, Moehringer received the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing for his article Crossing Over, about the lives of the descendants of slaves in the US Deep South.
Moehringer’s writing continued to flourish as he released his own coming-of-age memoir in 2005, called The Tender Bar.
The book was turned into a movie, directed by George Clooney and starring Ben Affleck as his influential uncle Charlie and Tye Sheridan as Moehringer, released in 2021.
It is reported to be Clooney who introduced his friend Harry to Moehringer.
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The Tender Bar explored the author’s childhood, as he was raised by a single mother and sought out a father figure in his life.
His actual father, a Rock & Roll DJ in the early days of FM radio, had abandoned the family.
Touching upon this in an interview with NPR, Moehringer was asked what it meant to listen to his “absent” father on the radio.
He replied: “It was surreal because, as I say, his voice was spectacular. He just had these beautiful pipes. I might not have been so inclined to romanticise him if he hadn’t sounded the way he sounded.
“But it was so frustrating to be a little kid. I didn’t have a relationship with him.”
Another piece of work he did, an article for the Lost Angeles Times Magazine based on a homeless man who claimed he was ex-heavyweight boxer Bob Satterfield, was also adapted into a film called Resurrecting the Champ, starring Samuel L Jackson, Josh Hartnett and Alan Alda.
After the success of The Tender Bar, Moehringer went on to ghostwrite tennis player Andre Agassi’s memoir in 2009 called Open: An Autobiography.
In 2012, Moehringer then released his novel Sutton, based on the life of a bank robber.
The writer’s successes later saw him collaborate with Nike co-founder Phil Knight on his autobiography, published in 2016.
What is Moehringer’s process for Ghostwriting?
In a 2012 interview with NPR, the novelist discussed the differences between writing for others and for himself.
He added that when writing Agassi’s biography they “did a lot of things together. And the first thing that we did was we started a long really wonderful conversation about his life. It worked like therapy. I sat in a straight back chair and Andre sat on a couch and I had a pad in my lap and he really, he dug deep, and together we found patterns and themes in his life.”
“You try and inhabit their skin, and even though you’re thinking third person, you’re writing first person, so the processes are mirror images of each other, but they seem very simpatico,” he told NPR about his process for Agassi’s Open.
What is Ghostwriting?
Ghostwriting is when one person writes in the name of another person, group or company without receiving a byline or public credit.
There are various ways in which ghostwriters work with their clients, but often it involves conducting lengthy interviews and then writing up the subject’s words into fluent prose. In most cases, the person whose autobiography it is will retain full control of what is included.
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How much did Moehringer make?
In return for his services he received $1m (£820,000) to ghostwrite the book, according to Page Six in 2021.
The Duke of Sussex
Spare is now available to buy, with those first in the queue saying things like they “want to hear from the horse’s mouth” and that Harry is “incredibly courageous and brave” to share his story with the world.
In the book, Harry reveals many private moments and also admits to taking cocaine, smoking cannabis and trying magic mushrooms.
He writes of his experiences as a teenager: “Of course I had been taking cocaine at that time. At someone’s house, during a hunting weekend, I was offered a line, and since then I had consumed some more.
“It wasn’t very fun, and it didn’t make me feel especially happy as seemed to happen to others, but it did make me feel different, and that was my main objective. To feel. To be different.”
It is predicted that the memoir will dominate best-seller lists, through presales alone, and has now been listed number 15 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases In Books.