Friday, October 06, 2006

Oh, I think I feel a rant coming on...

So I'm going to try to not let it out of my system here. Because that'd be flushing a perfectly good column down the tubes.

But I *am* feeling a solid, angry, teeth-grinding kind of rant coming over me. And it's aimed at a 50-ish British children's novelist named Geraldine McCaughrean. Here's a quick bit of bio courtesy of Wikipedia.

Geraldine McCaughrean (pronounced "Mc-cork-ran")¹ is a British children's novelist. She was born on June 6, 1951 in North London, and took an education degree, then worked in magazine publishing for ten years before becoming a full-time writer. She now lives in Berkshire with her husband John and daughter Ailsa.

She has written more than 130 books, and won numerous prizes.

Okay, first:

If you've written more than 130 books, and you're not 75 years old, you're not trying hard enough. That they're children's books isn't any fucking excuse for writing them fast. Put your head in the adult world for awhile. Tackle some difficult topics. I don't think that everything you output needs to be a contender for the Pulitzer Prize, but anything more than two books a year is a serious indicator that you really don't give a damn.

And second: If you really don't give a damn, then you should not be comissioned to write a sequel to a classic story like Peter Pan.

And third: If you are commissioned to write a sequel to Peter Pan, and you do give a damn, you should turn that job the fuck down, immediately, without a second's hesitation. Because it's a story that is not only beloved by generations upon generations of people, it is a story that is likely beloved by its creator. And that creator is likely spinning in his grave right now, because it meant something to him, it was a story he cared about, and to you, well hell, it wasn't much more than a paycheque, was it? I mean, who cares about history? Who cares about respect? Who cares about letting someone's work stand alone as their work?

But then, if you're pumping out more than two books a year, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the paycheque is all you care about, should I?

And yeah, damn it, a good chunk of this rant is probably going to end up in the column too. Because it came out on the blog better than I thought it would.

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