Thursday, February 27, 2014

Me and J.K. in a literary storm

I had a hard time coming up with a title for this post, and you can see what I picked. Not because it's an awesome title but because it made me smile. I picture tweed-jacketed authors tutting extra loudly, indignantly overfilling their pipes. And no one outside the book world caring much...

But this little storm involves me (a little bit) and JK Rowling who has, oh, twenty three billionty fans. Including my kids.

Here's what happened. An English author wrote an editorial for the Huffington Post suggesting that J.K. Rowling shouldn't publish more books, because doing so ruins everything else for the rest of us. Her article was not well received. (A lot of the backlash is described on the BBC web site here.)

Read it here for yourself.

And this is where I came in. I wrote my second ever HuffPo article, which was published last night, as a rebuttal. It's in the form of a letter to J.K. Rowling, urging her not to quit the writing gig. You know, because she listens to my advice on a regular basis. In the editorial, I argue that Rowling makes like easier for other writers, not harder.

You can read my reply here.

I feel a little sorry for the author of the first piece, Lynn Shepherd. I'm sure she didn't expect the trashing she's received, and I'm also pretty sure she's a nice person who wouldn't really want any author to stop writing. I expect, too, she's learned that if you write an editorial for an international news service, you better have some solid evidence or reasoning behind your work. The writing game is tough, and this little episode demonstrates quite well that the best way to the top isn't by climbing all over your fellow writers.

Especially the ones who live in castles.

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