If you’ve paid any attention to the news in the past few days, then you would know that novelist Lynn Sheperd wrote an article for the Huffington Post UK in which she asked famed author J.K Rowling to stop writing for adults.
So this is my plea to JK Rowling. Remember what it was like when The Cuckoo’s Calling had only sold a few boxes and think about those of us who are stuck there, because we can’t wave a wand and turn our books into overnight bestsellers merely by saying the magic word. By all means keep writing for kids, or for your personal pleasure – I would never deny anyone that – but when it comes to the adult market you’ve had your turn. Enjoy your vast fortune and the good you’re doing with it, luxuriate in the love of your legions of fans, and good luck to you on both counts. But it’s time to give other writers, and other writing, room to breathe.
The article in question, “If JK Rowling Cares About Writing, She Should Stop Doing It,” drew a firestorm from fans. Why should an author stop writing after being successful? In that case, Stephen King should have been done a long time ago. And Charles Dickens? Well forget it. He should have stopped at The Pickwick Papers. Sheperd’s assertion that Rowling’s success takes away from other writers is absurd. There are plenty of books and plenty of readers to go around. There were blockbuster writers before Rowling and there will be blockbuster writers after. In fact, I think Rowling should continue writing. Love them or hate them, the Harry Potter books got a whole generation of kids to read. Rowling’s name brings instant attention and sales. Sheperd should be happy that Rowling is still writing. The attention she brings to the publishing industry is indescribable. How many books have been published because of Harry Potter’s success? Would Twilight, The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson be here if it wasn’t for Rowling’s epic tale?
And Rowling writing for adults can only be a good thing. I’m not a huge fan of crime fiction, but because of The Cuckoo’s Calling, I have decided to give the rest of the genre a try. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next year or so, we see a spike in crime novels on the market.
Though I am not yet published, I think dissing another writer because they are successful is pretty shameful. We should wish each other the best. The publishing industry is a hard one to break into. How would Sheperd feel is she was a blockbuster author? Would she stop writing because she sold millions and millions of books? Doubtful. I know I wouldn’t. I’m not in the field to make money or become a best-seller. While those are bonuses, I am a writer because I love it. I love to tell stories.
If Sheperd desires Rowling’s success, then she should stop writing for the Huffington Post and start focusing on writing novels that sell. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy Rowling’s work, and the work of other authors as well.