I have a confession to make: I'm a geek.
A Star Wars card-carrying, Dr. Who lovin', Star Trek (TNG, po-LEASE!) watching geek.
|This man ruined me for all others|
|Except maybe him|
THIS IS MY WRITER CRUSH:
|Not Stephen King. This is his son, Joe Hill, who is also a fine writer.|
|But you can see why people get them confused.|
|IS THIS NOT THE MOST TERRIFYING PICTURE EVER?! Googling SK is hazardous!|
But I digress.
I have a long time obsession with these guys:
which only increased when The Walking Dead came on AMC. I seriously love stories where people have to figure out how to survive without modern conveniences, using their wits and skill. The Swiss Family Robinson (book, not movie/TV) fascinated me as a kid, and are the current crop of post-Apocalyptic books any different? Tossing in a few flesh-eating monsters is just icing on the cake.
Why is someone who wrote/writes in the Romance genre going here, you might ask? I really do have a point to make, about readers, writers, and judgements.
Yesterday, a new short story by Stephen King and Joe Hill ("In The Tall Grass") came out. Having the self restraint of a chipmunk on crack, I immediately walked my little fingers over to Amazon and bought it. I gobbled it down greedily, loving every deliciously disgusting mouthful of words by two talented writers. It was touching in parts, stomach-churningly gross in others (I imagined them, heads together and giggling as they wrote one particularly vivid scene involving a doll leg that is not a doll leg. I'll say no more.). I savored being able to tell one writer 'voice' from the other, and picking out the scenes written in tandem (I hear King's writer voice in my dreams and in my head all of the time. He's amazing at dialogue and characterization. When it comes to dialogue, my mantra is "W.W.S.K.D.?").
I was giggling gleefully to my older son about the squicky parts, then sighed and pulled out a new book that I've been asked to review, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. The Boy glanced over, then did a double take. 'You're reading that next?', his eyes clearly said, though his mouth said, "Mom, you're weird."
But aren't we all a little weird, in our own ways? And how weird is it, really, to enjoy good writing in any genre? I love books. I love words, and sentences, and nuance, and emotion, and all the timy little things that can create a world in my brain, and I bet you do, too.
I've been doing this writer thing for a while, skating around blogs and Twitter, and I've noticed a trend amongst readers of 'literature' to denigrate readers of romance or fantasy, and amongst those two groups to tear each other down, and maybe look down on YA/NA.
I propose something different: how about we celebrate each other, and the persistence of literacy in our world? It's a wonderful thing to find a mindscape where you can lose yourself, isn't it? So encourage each other to read. Read everything; read anything; just read.
But do it quietly. I'm going to finish Patient Zero (more zombies, heh-heh-heh), and then I'm going to watch Moulin Rouge!.
Because that's the way I roll.