Thursday, August 1, 2013

I Applaud J.K. Rowling

With the publishing world like the weather these days, (wait five minutes, it will change), the hubbub over J.K. Rowling's apparent try for anonymity is lessening.

I for one applaud Ms. Rowling's attempt at gaining another name for herself and her work. I mean, if you're one of the most famous authors in living history, (next to Stephen King), no matter what you write will be scrutinized down to the last undotted i.

Look at what happened to CASUAL VACANCY. Panned by the critics, nothing she could ever write would compare to Harry Potter. I'm sure she knew that going in, and for God's sake, CV was an adult book. It wasn't meant to compare to HP. But everyone did it nonetheless.

I maintained that she should have found herself a pen name for that book. But, not knowing her on an intimate basis, I couldn't tell her that.

I'm glad she tried to do it with A CUCKOO'S CALLING. I'm sorry it didn't work out. I would have liked to have read it without the notion it was written by J.K. Rowling. No matter how we say we wouldn't compare, deep down I know I probably would have. But then again. Maybe not.

I think I've read two of the Harry Potter books. Yes, they were entertaining. Yes, they were very well written. But they were also out of my genre. I don't read paranormal kid/tween/YA lit. If that's even the genre classification they are. (Truthfully, I think they're their own genre now.) But with HP, Rowling could do whatever she wanted. It was her world, her characters, she could create at will, the more fantastical the better.

With her two adult novels, she needed to stick with what adults know. Contemporary world, with contemporary characters. No pulling ghosts out of picture frames, or griffins, or magic.

However, if I read CUCKOO'S CALLING by Robert Gailbrith and I liked the book, then I would have liked the author. If I found out later it was actually written by J.K. Rowling, I would have thought she was a good writer regardless of what her name is.

I don't blame her for wanting to find out if she was a good writer. Or that she could make it in the publishing world without the use of her real name. People do it all the time.

I know a woman who writes erotica. She's a stay-at-home soccer mom who goes to church every Sunday, assists in her kid's classrooms, and does volunteer work at the old folk's home where her grandmother resides. Do you think for one second she wants people to know she's really a mass producer of triple xxx porn? Okay, tasteful sex-capades. There is a "story" behind her erotica. She's not just writing sex for sex sake.

And although J.K. Rowling is famous for Harry and friends, why should she submit herself to the scrutiny of the public eye when she wants to write something else?

I mean, how do you know if you're "good enough"? And I believe that's all she wanted. Was to find out if she was good enough. Sure she didn't sell many books, most first time authors don't. But she did get some good reviews out of it. So there was something.

When I first published REMEMBERING YOU, it was under my Anne Gallagher name. Everyone was aghast that I, as a writer of sweet Regency romances, could drop the F-bomb (in Italian mind you) so many times. I received one review (that was very good) but it was from a friend, so that was to be expected.

I decided to republish it under Robynne Rand. I now sit with 7 reviews (4 and 5 stars) from people I don't even know. Naturally, I'd like more because I love that story, but hey... the only way to do that is to publish another book and I can't do that right now. Too many other things keep me from writing.

I hope Ms. Rowling tries to write another book. Under another pen name. This time I hope she self-publishes it. Better chance of making it than through a regular publisher. Then she'll really be anonymous. And she'll be able to find out if she's good enough for the masses. And the critics.

Then again, she's the richest woman in the world (next to Oprah) so she can do whatever she wants with her writing. Even though A CUCKOO'S CALLING wasn't selling, as soon as it was revealed she wrote it, the book hit the best-seller list.

So, if you're listening J.K. try it again. This time self-publish. You'll never know who you really are until you do.

Robynne Rand (c) 2013


Rula Sinara said...

Really interesting post! What's in a name, right? I love the Harry Potter series but I haven't read her other books (yet).

BTW, love the cover of Remembering You!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I tried publishing under I. B. Rowling but those pesky attorneys!

People are cruel and jealous and petty. It's a wonder we have killed ourselves long ago.

I hope JK does what you suggest -- after all, she can afford to self-publish with all the bells and whistles!

Robynne Rand said...

Rula -- Thanks. I only read 2 of them and then they started making the movies, so I watched the movies instead.

Roland -- I.B. Rowling. lol that's funny. I feel bad for J.K. She made a name for herself and now everyone just wants her to write more HP. and I don't blame her for not wanting too. I know I want to write other stuff once I get my Regency series finished.

Liza said...

I read all the HP books and I read CASUAL VACANCY. All I can say about CV is that it was very well just happened to be a grim story that ended on a grimmer note. The writing however, was excellent. She can write, there's no question. I like the idea that she wants her words out there without the name. No matter how rich she is, she's a writer like any other and wants to be accepted as one. With all the HP success, how can she ever get objective criticism? More power to her I say. I hope she keeps writing under any name she likes.

Robynne Rand said...

Liza -- Exactly my thoughts. She's a writer first.

Nicki Elson said...

Oh yeah, I totally thought it was wise of her to release anonymously. Would've been even cooler if she'd gone on longer as a no-name, but I'm sure no publisher would've stood for that. So I 100% back you on the self-pub. Hear that, Ms. Rowling?