Friday, 15 August 2014

Girls Don't Spoil It. Others Spoil It for the Girls.

It speaks to the child in us all
I recently read this thought-provoking article by Kelly Jensen about "Girls Ruin Everything: Stephenie Meyer, Lois Duncan, and Childhood Nostalgia".  You need to read it too.

She opens with reference to some others' opinions about Stephenie Meyer producing films of other author's work, those opinions being that Meyer's "reputation" will "ruin" the works.  Jensen disagrees with them and so do I.

Really, people?  Honestly? Meyer's reptuation is so bad it will ruin another author's? Are you serious? Or are you just being stupid?

I've seen quite a bit of Meyer hate being flung about the past few years, but not from me. Never from me. I'm no Twi-hard; I confess I'm rather indifferent to her books (maybe one of the few people in the world who is), but I admire her as a fellow author who managed, much to the surprise of her critics, to influence a surprisingly high number of reader.

That's cool in my books.

Sometimes I wonder where all this vitriol comes from? 

Is it because she writes YA?  (There's a bit of a YA kneejerk movement going on in some obscure corner of the Internet. They just don't get it.) 

Is it because she's a woman who's going about empowering other women's dreams?  (You know, that whole feminist thing is pretty scary stuff.  And Meyer comes from a culture with a two hundred year history of feminism.) 

Is it because she's a Latter-Day Saint (aka Mormon)?  (Just ignore the fact that Mormons tend to be highly-successful people on the whole with a reputation for generosity & honesty who tend to live about ten years longer on the average.) Personally, I'm rather fond of Mormons.

Is it because she's a successful author? Quite probably. Jealousy often brings out the worst in people, sometimes without them realising it.  Is she hogging the limelight?  Heck, no! Just like JK Rowling isn't hogging the spotlight (despite the fact that others have accused her of that, and suggest she should back down and let others "have their chance").

That must be it. After all, the publishing industry isn't exactly a meritocracy. It's an industry of sheer dumb luck. So Meyer hit the market at the right time and right place with the right product.  If anything, her success is evidence in my eyes that Rowling wasn't a Once-in-a-Lifetime miracle.

If Meyer can do it after Rowling did it, maybe I can.

Okay, the reality is I'll end up as a midlister with a small core of rabid ne'er-say-die fans whom I'll love to bits, but because lightning's struck twice, that gives me hope.

Some day I'll be one of those household name authors (shh... let me dream) and when I am, I, like Meyer, will take my earnings and turn them to the benefit of others. She's producing movies. (I watched Austenland and enjoyed it.)  Me, I'm going to hit the crowdfunding sites and hand out scholarships. I'm going to hit the microloan sites and fund worthy causes.

And when I do these things (make it big and dole out cash), am I to be the target of disgruntled green-faced people with no sense of nobility and too much time on their hands?


Just letting you know now it's them, not Meyer, not Rowling and not me.

Her Grace might not hit it that big, but she will still find a way to fund scholarships.

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