Actress Joely Fisher will reveal the painful struggles and glorious highs that came with being a child of Hollywood royalty in her upcoming memoir, Growing Up Fisher: Musings, Memories, and Misadventures, which she was inspired to write following the unexpected death of her sister, Carrie Fisher.
“I’m a storyteller and everyone in this family expresses themselves through writing to get through life’s milestones,” the 49-year-old told PEOPLE exclusively about her decision to write the book, which comes out Nov. 14. (See below for the exclusive cover reveal.) “[The book] was of course instigated by the loss of my sister… It sort of poured out of me. It wasn’t hard. It was cathartic.”
Fisher said she first began writing the book at night in bed and organized it as a series of essays. She’s the daughter of actress Connie Stevens and singer Eddie Fisher. Her book will delve into life on the road with her mom and younger sister Tricia, growing up with older half-siblings Carrie and Todd Fisher, her relationship with her famous father, and her romance with husband Christopher Duddy with whom she has five children.
She will also explore her own rise to fame. Fisher proved her prowess as an actress while starring in the 90’s sitcom, Ellen, and in numerous appearances in films, other TV shows and on the Broadway stage.
“It’s a big introduction to what I have done in my life, how I have navigated growing up in what I call the ‘Fish Bowl’ and how wonderful that can be and how hard it can be,” she said.
For Fisher, the most difficult aspect to write about was loss.
“It’s loss of trust in people, loss of people in my life, revealing stuff about hard times that throughout my life have been covered up with, ‘Put on your lipstick and put on a pretty dress and make believe that everything is okay.'” she said.
She will also delve into her financial struggles, which she described as a “devastating story” that she wants to share so others don’t repeat her mistakes.
But, at its heart, Growing Up Fisher is a story about family. Fisher said she’s already shared some chapters with her mother, Connie Stevens.
“She looked at me and she’s like, ‘Joely, it’s really great.’ And then she was like, ‘But do you have to talk about [that]?'” Fisher recalled with a laugh. “When you read the book there’s always a disclaimer from Connie. Sometimes I’m just a little bit too real for her, but I like that we have that repartee. She genuinely complimented me and I saw the light in her eyes.”
Her mother has seen some of the family photos Fisher plans on including in the book — many of which have never been released to the public.
“I found a bunch of pictures of myself with my father and I included them in a little slide show when he passed away,” Fisher said. “[My mother] said to me yesterday, ‘You know, I didn’t realize how close you and your dad were. You spent a lot of time with him.’ I don’t think she was upset about it. I think she was happy about it. It brought her joy to know that I had a relationship with Eddie.”
Fisher added that her mother also wasn’t aware “to what extent I wanted this big sister [Carrie] to be everything for me.”
While the book honors the memory of her belated sister and delves into her relationship with her famous parents, Fisher emphasized that Growing Up Fisher is firstly her story — and that Carrie would have loved it.
“First of all, she’d say, ‘You’re welcome’ and I think she’d be a little tongue in cheek that she fell on the proverbial sword for me,” Fisher said. “I can hear her say, ‘Write a book. Write a book.’ in that tone we all [know]. I think [Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds] would have been thrilled for me. I hope they would have been.”