One World Did Everyone Have an Imaginary Friend (or Just Me)?: Essays
One World Did Everyone Have an Imaginary Friend (or Just Me)?: Essays

Did Everyone Have an Imaginary Friend (or Just Me)?: Essays

By Jay Ellis


Publication Date: July 9, 2024

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Star of HBO's Insecure Jay Ellis tells the story of growing up with an imaginary best friend you will never forget—part Dwayne Wayne from A Different World, part Will Smith from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—in this hilarious, vulnerable love letter to only children.

What to do when you're the perpetual new kid, only child, military brat hustling school-to-school each year and everyone's looking to you for answers? Make some shit up, of course! And a young Jay Ellis does just that, with help from every child's favorite co-conspirator—their imaginary best friend. Born in the perfect storm of especially ferocious rain and a sugar-fueled imagination, Mikey, his imaginary best friend, steps in to figuratively hold Jay's hand through various youthful shenanigans. 

A testament to the importance of imagination, trusting oneself, and making space for your creativity, Did Everyone Have an Imaginary Friend or Just Me? is a memoir of a 90s kid who confided in his imaginary sidekick to navigate everything from parallel pop culture universes, like watching Fresh Prince alongside John Hughes movies or listening to Ja Rule and Dave Matthews, to a lifetime of birthday disappointment (being a Christmas season Capricorn will do that to you) and hoop dreams gone bad. Mikey also guides him through greater tragedies, like losing his teenage cousin in a mistaken-target driveby and the shame and fear of being pulled over by cops almost a dozen times the year he got his driver's license. 

As imaginary friend morphs into adult consciousness, Ellis charts an unforgettable story of looking within yourself for guidance to some of life’s biggest (and smallest) challenges, told in the roast-you-with-love voice of your closest homie.

Story Locale:Throughout the U.S.

About the Author

Born in Sumter, South Carolina, to a military family, Jay Ellis spent his childhood inventing new personas for every town he landed in. After college, he decided to take his one-man show to Hollywood, where he got his start in a recurring role on BET’s The Game. Now an accomplished actor, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, Jay is best known for his role as Lawrence on HBO’s Insecure, for which he won an NAACP Image Award. He appeared alongside Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick.

Author Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Author Hometown: Throughout the U.S.

Format: Hardcover

Length: 288 pages

Publisher: One World

Publication Date: July 9, 2024

ISBN: 9780593243190

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