Caution: I’m feeling all ranty again.
So Jersey’s “Snookie” landed herself a book deal, and the world stands by with baited breath as she sets quill to paper.
Oh. Wait. That’s not quite right. Our intrepid authoress shouldn’t be expected to actually WRITE her novel about a Jersey girl who finds love on the boardwalk. No no no no no…Gawker is holding a contest where some lucky slob can write her first page.
Hey, isn’t the way all great novels are written?
So now we know. Talent is no longer a litmus for getting a nice book deal. All we need is a silicone enhanced, talentless nymph whose IQ equals my shoe size. Beagle, my Pepto, if you please.
Here’s a newsflash: THE READING WORLD HAS JUST BEEN RIPPED OFF. AGAIN. And authors? So have you. How much do you think her advance was? I’m too depressed to find out.
I know, I know, I sound hideously cranky – and I am. Book deals like Snookie and Justin Bieber are an insult to REAL writers – folks who work long hours to perfect their craft and write truly brilliant stories – and who wait sometimes years to capture a publishing contract.
Call me an idiot, but I think these deals make a mockery of literature. It’s no longer about talent and writing something important or soul-sustaining or thought-provoking. Now it’s about being a voyeur into some brain dead no talent Hollywood wannabe’s life. Meh. Beagle, forget the Pepto, fetch me my smelling salts.
“But we’re only giving readers what they want!” is the battle cry. And, sadly, “they” are right. If no one bought this drivel, publishers would no longer make these ridiculous deals.
Since I’m part of this world, I feel within my rights to metaphorically eat my young because I see how hard my own authors work for their craft. I realize there’s tons of money in these empty vessels, but geez, it’s not always about money. What about demanding more of our brains? What about quality?
Have we sunk so low on the evolutionary ladder that the best we can do is offer contests to write the first page of some talentless hack who will be washed up and washed out in three years? Holy dangling participles, Batman. Count me out.
So, to the reading public, I say this: You’ve been had.
I’ll let the big guys make their dimwitted deals with stars and starlets whose biggest worry is whether the limo will be on time and who will walk little Fifi for her morning loaf pinchage. Meanwhile, I’m sticking to my guns. Our books will always be thought-provoking works of art that challenge our readers to think while being entertained. After all, someone has to run the world, right?