James Frey wrote I Am Number Four and The Power of Six along with Jobie Hughes under the collective pseudonym Pittacus Lore. After the departure of Hughes, Frey continued to write the series under the same pseudonym (Pittacus Lore) with at least one unknown ghost writer.
In 2009, Frey formed Full Fathom Five, a young adult novel publishing company that aimed to create highly commercial novels like Twilight. In November 2010, controversy arose when an MFA student who had been in talks to create content for the company released her extremely limiting contract online. The contract allows Frey license to remove an author from a project at any time, does not require him to give the author credit for their work, and only pays a standard advance of $250. A New York magazine article entitled "James Frey's Fiction Factory" gave more details about the company, including information about the highly successful "Lorien Legacies" series, a collaboration between MFA student Jobie Hughes and Frey. The article details how Frey removed Hughes from the project, allegedly during a screaming match between the two authors. In the article, Frey is accused of abusing and using MFA students as cheap labor to churn out commercial young adult books.The Rise of Nine, hinting that he was the new ghostwriter of the series.
Scandal and 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'Edit
In 2005, A Million Little Pieces was selected by Oprah Winfrey for her monthly book club, causing it to become an overnight triumph with over two million copies sold. The hype surrounding the book led to increased scrutiny over its contents, most notably by The Smoking Gun, which released a report discrediting Frey and the book in 2006. The investigative web site reported that much of the book had been fabricated, including critical details about Frey's criminal record and rehab experiences. He received a lot of controversy for deliberately lying to his audience, after being loving to his book "A Million Little Pieces".
Frey first denounced The Smoking Gun and defended his book, but as the accusations began to escalate, he was forced to make a televised apology on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Nan Talese of Doubleday also admitted that her company failed to check the veracity of the memoir before publicizing it as such.
- An Easter Egg in the I Am Number Four novel includes "James Hughes" and "Jobie Frey" as fake ID names for Number Four, created by Henri.
- Frey officially revealed himself as Pittacus Lore, the writer of the Lorien Legacies, in January 2015; around the same time he announced there would a seventh, in the previously six-novel series, as well as the title for the sixth installment.
- He is a drug addict.
- He knows Mario Franco