Authors I Love, Books I Love, Reading Fun

Are you Kidding Me?!#$@%

Author Lynn Shepherd recently posted a blistering, vindictive, jealousy infused blog on Huffington Post saying JK Rowling should stop publishing books.  (Click here to see original article.)   Seriously, my screen was leaking envious, small-minded vitriol.  I needed a lot of napkins to clean that mess up.

Normally, I like to stay out of the fray, keep this site focused on the books.  But this post was so horrendous, it’s impossible not to comment.

In essence Miss Shepherd argues that JK Rowling, who has built a phenomenal worldwide following of dedicated readers, should stop writing books because her books are taking up shelf space that could be used by other authors, more deserving authors.

WHAT?!$#!

If anyone has earned her shelf space, it’s JK Rowling.  She was writing the Harry Potter series as a single mother with the baby in the carriage next to her.  She struggled and she made it.  Boy did she make it!

But more than the sour grapes that Miss Shepherd has so clearly displayed, are the disturbing ideas about what people should read.  Reading should be enjoyable.  Yes, reading should broaden your mind.  But being some lengthy tome on modern economics or adult focused plotline does not guarantee a broadening of the mind.

Reading books from the YA market or even earlier are also an important reading subject.  They remind us of the innocence of childhood.  They remind us that sometimes problems are just black and white and the solutions are clear.  We, as adults, are just muddying up the problem with all our adult concerns.

Books aimed at the younger generation remind us why we read:  We read to be entertained.  We read to jump into a different world.  And at times, we read to escape our adult lives and responsibilities.

Everyone should read Harry Potter.  I personally have read the whole series.  Three times.  Because you need a little dose of clear cut good verse evil every once in a while.  You need to root for the underdog and you need the underdog to win.

Right now, Miss Shepherd is the underdog.  I checked her out on Amazon and she is being slammed with one star reviews.  (In her post, she critiqued Rowling without reading a word of her work.  People have taken her approach to heart.)

I suppose if I take a page from the Potter series, I should be hoping for some sort of redemption.  But I can’t quite bring myself to root for this underdog.  Not yet, at least.

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7 thoughts on “Are you Kidding Me?!#$@%”

  1. She may be an underdog, but one far more successful than many other underdogs. She really should have thought through her actions before writing and posting something like that.

  2. It is difficult to imagine why some people take the actions they do. I haven’t read the article, but can’t help feeling Ms. Shepherd is jealous. I also wonder if she is aloof to writing that engages so many readers of all ages and feels hers is superior to Ms. Rowling’s. We all can fall in love with our stories and prose, but the writer who can step back and compare it to the masters such as Ms. Rowling, and strive to improve theirs, are writers to envy.

    I hope someday Ms. Shepherd is writing articles tearing apart my writing.

    1. You have a good heart, Dana. It’s just unusual for people to put their jealousy out there in such a public way. I’m not familiar with her works, there not a genre I generally read, but I hope she can come back from this a better person. Time will tell. And I still think the old saying applies even more so in this digital age: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Thanks for stopping by!

      – R.D.

    1. I completely agree. Any author that has the ability to get children (and adults!) excited about books she be lauded and begged to continue writing. JK is truly a treasure. Thanks for writing!

  3. Regardless of the situation, I think it’s incredibly unfortunate when someone feels they have to bring another down in order to build themselves up.

    As you pointed out in your blog, of all the authors she chose to pick on for success, she chose one who is well-known for her fight to get to the top. Although I didn’t finish “Casual Vacancy,” it was completely due to the amount of reading time available to me when I checked it out from the library – it was a great read in its own right, not just because it was written by “that gal who wrote the Harry Potter books.” And yes, I have read each and every one of those as an adult, some multiple times, and will likely read them aloud to my own children someday (perhaps even soon, now that I think of it, since I enjoy using chapter books instead of children’s books for bedtime stories).

    I wonder if Shepherd ever stopped to consider that price-point may be an issue? Out of curiosity, I checked her books to see how they were priced or if I’d ever picked up a freebie without even realizing it. I thought it would make an interesting topic for my own blog to compare her works to Rowling. I must say, I suffered a bit of sticker shock (and, conversely, I’ve seen Rowling’s titles up on the special buys lists a number of times since I got my Kindle for Christmas).

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