So do novelists feel they use a different part of their imagination when they switch genres? Anthony Horowitz says: “It’s about entering a mindset. It’s not about the choice of language. It’s not even about the content, although of course both of these come into consideration.
Interesting article here about writing in different genres. Of course we all know that this book by JK Rowling, her first foray into adult writing, is going to sell and will be top of the best seller lists in no time at all. As with the Harry books the advance publicity has been done beautifully, little droplets of information being leaked to the public in order to keep us on our toes. No advance copies sent out and those that have been are only allocated to the Chosen Ones and only after contracts threatening dire consequences and a visit from the Dementors have been signed. I have found the whole process rather draconian and can feel my cynical side curling a lip.
I don't know the ins and out of publishing and agents and I have never thought for one moment that JK Rowling is a pushover in any way at all, but I could not help feeling that she was being just a tad ungrateful when she ditched her agent last year and nipped across to a new publisher for this book. She said that she was making a fresh start with her first adult novel and felt a new publisher etc would be a good idea. Hmmmm....
Anyway, that is just my personal opinion and as I know sweet FA about it all, I have probably got it all wrong. I don't wish to join in the crowd of those who are already pursing their lips and sharpening their Quick Quotes Quill ready to have a go at criticising her new book.
A Casual Vacancy is set in a small, seemingly typical English village:
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?"
At the moment I have no desire to read this at all, but I daresay I shall succumb and get hold of a copy to see how JK's writing style holds up in the adult world. I have posted about her writing before and I am one of those who do not think she writes very well. I find her style clunky and sometimes her narrative meanders all over the place and needs editing (brave man who would say so though...) and her language is repetitious and misplaced at times. One page at the end of a Harry Potter had Cornelius Fudge from the Ministry of Magic speak 'blusteringly' three times in three consecutive paragraphs. Call me nit picking, and you probably will, but this stuck out like a sore thumb and I could not understand why somebody had not mentioned it. BUT, and it is a big but, I admire enormously the breadth and sweep of the entire Potter saga, read them all and loved them despite my caveat above, and can only sit back and admire how one person could create such a fantastic world of Hogwarts and Wizards et al. By the time the final book had been written we all loved Harry and Ron and Hermione and wanted them to live happily ever after and triumph over the evil Voldemort. And I also have nothing but admiration for an author who can make a child sit down and read over 500+ pages and love every word.
So I wish her well and, as she says in this article, if it is awful well it won't be the end of the world.
I do hope it isn't though.