Friday, September 28, 2012

J.K Rowling and The Casual Vacancy

I took the time to check out reviews today for J.K Rowling's new book. First of all let me say that I haven't read the book. I have read a great deal about it and I also picked it up and browsed through it in a store yesterday to get a feel for the writing. I plan to read it when I am not so engrossed in trying to finish two of my own stories before Xmas. It was obvious to me instantly that Ms. Rowling has developed herself some serious writing chops from the brief exposure I had to her newest offering. But that is not what this post is about. I wanted to tackle the fact that most reviewers really took her to task for daring to write something so different from what they were used to from her. I don't have to mention her last effort here for anyone to know what I am referring to so I won't.

Rather, I want to say emphatically that I completely understand her need to write something different at this point. As someone who writes, I can empathize with any writer needing to keep the inspiration and imagination fresh. I haven't achieved one millionth of the success that Ms. Rowling has and may never (but i'm not believing that), but for those of you who have not considered her reasons for endeavoring to jump all the way out of the box many have placed her in as a writer, you have to realize that she absolutely and unequivocally had to in order to give you what you want from her down the road. Stagnation is a writers worst curse and when you have achieved what J.K. Rowling did with that one mega-million selling series, no matter how much you love your muse, firing up that wonderful imagination that she possesses means taking a risk; burning down the box; and departing from what everyone else expects, etc. As I said, I will read the book, and even offer a review for what it's worth. But I will also judge "The Casual Vacancy" on its own merits.

One more thing I do have to do is mention that My own novel,"Simeon's Promise," is a departure for me as a writer. There is profanity, sex, and some intense dialogue and interaction because that is the world of the characters that are featured. Convicts do not as a rule speak in colloquial, high-brow English so I did not depict them that way. In fact, it was my reviewers that directly told me that the original language used by some of my characters wasn't realistic. Most asked me to make it more real! I added all this to point out to anyone that might pick up "Simeon's Promise," you will encounter the aforementioned reality. The books overarching theme, however is forgiveness. Sometimes that means that the characters might be profane, nasty and downright unlikable, kind of like real life. Which is my point for anyone that has a problem with J.K. Rowling keeping it real so to speak. Nasty human beings use nasty language and do nasty things to one another. But you all knew that.

Still, and forever loving everyone,
Lewis


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