I’m not a hundred percent sure why I thought on my topic for this week but I wanted to have a wee look at book snobbery.
Should Ian Rankin have less status than Homer? The character of ‘Rebus’ is fascinating and he’s the star of twenty novels. (So many crackers but ‘The Falls’ was superb). And what does it say about popular culture when there are more results for Rebus than Homer in Amazon. And the icing on the comparison cake, if you type into the internet the word ‘Homer’, it is Mr Simpson who pops up before ‘The Iliad’?
What is a classic? Do we go back to ‘Don Quixote’? Do we count Dickens, The Bronte Sisters? Is Shakespeare the obvious choice? What about Kazenbach or Harold Robbins? (Mind you he could be classed as educational. I learnt more about sex reading ‘The Lonely Lady’ than in any biology class!) Where does Stephen King fit? We can ask all these questions and compare thoughts and argue! I really do enjoy The Classics except for a few issues: Lack of profanity / Lack of language I can understand /Sex references I can understand / Plots I can understand / Plots I can relate too and most importantly, something that doesn’t make me want to cut myself!
I met an elderly, for want of a better word, gentleman, who, during conversation was appalled to learn that I enjoyed horror books. He proudly proclaimed that he would only ever consider reading biographies. That is his choice. But I would state a biography can be written by anyone. It epitomises a story by an author with no imagination. He could slag me off for reading Laymon, Herbert, Koontz and King but I think I could have bombed him out the water by mentioning Katy Price, Dale Winton and ‘One Direction’! Oh and this was the same old stocking who said that only people with mental health problems would use a credit card to buy food and there should be sterilisation for drug addicts and people who weren’t in work. Social problems seemed to have escaped him. But, I suppose him only reading ‘Mr McPriviliged’s Utopia Of Success’ may have affected him. I pointed out desperation and need but he was having none of it. He probably returned home to read Adolf Hitler’s page turner, ‘Mein Kampf’. Sorry, I’m getting a bit off topic.
There is no such thing as ‘A Classic’. It is all about preference, if it is a classic to you, then enjoy!! Don’t slag off anyone’s choices…Unless it is Romance! Do you know that if you read a Romance backwards very slowly, you resurrect Barry White? If you do it quickly, you raise a ‘Love Devil’ to deflower your daughter. (Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods, someone like that.)
My Brother-In-Law enjoys wine. It has to be a specific wine and a specific vintage. The wine is Lambrini and the vintage is the day that he buys it. My point is, he enjoys it. Books are the same. Take out what you can and enjoy what you read. Be proud to say ‘I don’t care what you think, I love whatever I love! But be prepared for some narrow minds, ridicule and some crap biographies.
I would like to mention something before we go onto this weeks stories. We have three authors who have accepted suggestion and advice and resubmitted. We have said time and time again, we are not professional editors and never claim to be. But we have read hundreds of stories and are now over a million words so if we individually comment on a common issue, it normally means that the issue is justified. Suggested revision is nine times out of ten simply something that the author hasn’t considered. We would like to tip our hats to these authors for being courteous to our thoughts and open to suggestion. They have worked on their stories and re-submitted. We thank them for that!!
A few folks have not taken too kindly to suggestion. That is completely up to them. No matter who says what, your story is your story, do with as you will. But sometimes it is an idea to listen.
OK, onto Monday!! Paul Thompson who is a fine example of a writer with a work ethic sent us the thoughtful and slightly disturbing short ‘The Island’s Of Bluebell Meadow’. We initially commented:
‘A really good story’
‘I liked the coldness to this.’
As well as Paul, we had another new writer in Michael Glazner who, on Tuesday had his ‘Dead Man’s Last Home‘ published.
‘Spooky and weird but I loved Kevin’
‘My imagination has been put through a ringer with this one’
You could read this a number of times and come to a different conclusion each time.
Wednesday is still the middle of the week and we had another writer whose determination shone through. ‘Imaginary Friends’ was Julianne Carew’s story.
‘Good flow and pace.’
‘The characters are well drawn.’
I forgot to mention the new writers to the site and Josie Myres joins them ALL this week. ‘Go Time’ was her offering on Thursday.
‘Something about the writing that transports me into the scene.’
‘Right to the end I wasn’t sure if he’d jump.’
‘Thoughts on who you are and what you are capable of.’
And as always, we came to Friday. This was the end of a great five days for new talent. We were all pleased to see Mira Taylor finish off the week with her Gothic tale “Kensington Gore”.
‘This is back to an old fashioned vampire story’
‘I loved it!’
‘Atmospheric and rich.’
That’s us for another week. Have a think on Homer versus Rankin. And if you want to be accepted in certain circles, read certain books. On the other-hand, why not just enjoy what you like!!!