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Dancing With the Authors: Could It Happen?

09/02/2010 03:43 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dancing With the Stars: where a "star" can be anyone from an actor to a professional wrestler to a reality TV "personality" such as Jersey Shore's The Situation (who will be on the 11th season, beginning September 20th on ABC). Anyone can get an invitation to the dance, it seems, except for writers.

Why haven't there been any authors on Dancing With the Stars? That's the question that young adult author Ally Carter is asking on her blog and on Twitter:

I like to think that the lack of authors on that list is just an oversight--an untapped resource--and not an out-and-out snub. And, of course, I am not privy to their brainstorming sessions or wish lists.

2010-09-01-IMG_2550.JPG There are certainly plenty of authors with enough "celebrity status" credentials to be big television draws.

Who wouldn't want to see Nicholas Sparks bust a move, for instance ("nobody else does what he does")? Or Nora Roberts take a break from writing for a few weeks to show us some of those moves that have made her a legend of the dancefloor at Harlequin parties over the years (see accompanying photographic evidence)?

Maybe producers have asked authors to participate and been turned down, muses Entertainment Weekly's Breia Brissey. She asked who readers would most like to see; one commenter suggested New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Richelle Mead.

When I asked Mead if she would consider hitting the dancefloor, she laughed off the suggestion. "Sorry, I don't dance. Ever," she said. So, using a sample size of one, I'm going to assume that (some) authors don't want to dance.

EW's Brissey also proposed another theory: perhaps it's not the ABC powers-that-be or authors who are to blame. Perhaps it's our culture: "I'm not sure I'm comfortable living in a world where Bristol Palin is considered a 'star' and a best-selling author is not. And that has nothing to do with politics," she wrote.

Are bestselling authors really more culturally irrelevant than politicians' relatives and airheads with six-pack abs? Or should authors be content to sit on the sidelines?