Hello all - how's your week been? Working hard on rewrites here, so why not put your feet up and I'll pop the kettle on. Tea, coffee? For some reason I was thinking about the Irish coffees Dad used to make this time of the year - hot, sweet, lethally laced with scotch and topped with thick cold cream. Can I tempt anyone?
I couldn't figure out why there had been a recent spike in visitors to my own blog recently - until I noticed Jordan had a new series out 'What Katie Did Next'. There must have been a lot of disappointed horny teenagers hoping to google the buxom one who ended up with a crabby old bag wittering on about juggling writing and family. A cup of strong coffee over a messy rewrite at the kitchen table is about as glamorous as it gets here - no sequins and spandex catsuits I'm afraid.
There does seem to be a backlash against these sleb writers. Perhaps Jordan's pubescent acolytes trashed Smiths in the Metrocentre, and Ant & Dec scored £2.5 million for a ghosted bio, but finally real writers are beginning to speak up. Lynda La Plante made an impassioned plea to publishers at a recent awards ceremony, Joanne Harris has said sleb books are 'depressing beyond words' and Tracy Chevalier has said it is 'all rather tacky'.
I had an interesting chat with the creative writing professor at Winchester University yesterday - he was saying they prepare their writing students by finding other avenues for their creative skills than traditional publishing. Getting a novel published is the holy grail - about as likely as finding a unicorn hiding at the bottom of your garden. Again, at the recent People's Author show, talking back stage to one of the authors judging, he said publishers are looking for something they can market.
So what do you think? How can 'real' authors compete against this? If you're just a normal person - not a soap star turned 'writer' (shudder - has anyone read the sample chapters of Martine McCutcheon's debut?), how can you get publishers to take a chance on you? Does good writing even matter any more? Perhaps I will go for that Irish Coffee after all ...