I was listening to Woman’s Hour this morning on BBC Radio 4 and they had a short piece on Georgette Heyer, in the light of a new Georgette Heyer Biography that’s coming out. Apparently she was quite dismissive of her fans and readers—calling them “feeble minded”—and “I shouldn’t keep writing this kind of nonsense”.
Her biographer/apologist says that she only ever does that when she’s running down her own work, but then I have to say – why did she do it in the first place?
I’m not really here to discuss what Heyer thought or said, but to discuss the matter in general. It’s all right to write “nonsense” as long as you believe in it—AND your readers.
It’s the worst kind of insult to your readers if not only do you think your work is nonsense, but that your fans—the ones who keep paying and paying for your books—are stupid for liking and buying them. I’ve seen this attitude here and there around in the blogs and posts that some people write too. Most authors don’t think this way. They love what they write, be it the fluffiest of HEA romance, the type that the mainstream press continues to have a problem with, or the most unlikely of steampunk/dolphin/squid/sloth/dragon shifter porn. There are very few people who think they are writing crap, just for the money. Or at least few people are stupid enough to say so.
I’ve seen people, who write romance, slag off the genre and say that they aren’t “really romance writers”. It’s like they are just biding their literary arses until something better comes along, or something.
Like fanfiction, I’ll never be ashamed or deny I write/wrote romance. I can see a day in the future when I don’t write genre romance any more, but I won’t hide it, any more than I would my slash-fic days.
If you are going to write what you deem as below you, then at least you should say nothing, or at least don’t slag off the people who pay your wages. I.e. the readers. Give your readers, AND YOURSELF, more respect. Because if you don’t respect your own writing, how can you expect others to do so?© Copyright 2011 Erastes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Erastes