So that’s World Book Day/Night over and done with, then. Bang or whimper? Not sure, it was hard to tell from where I was sitting. Anyway, what I saw quite a lot of in the programmes on BBC was the literary vs genre rivalry carry-on. It’s a bit ‘playground’ really, like two children arguing over whose dad could beat up whose. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.Reading is reading, writing is writing. Why can’t we enjoy it all? Sure, there’s some crappy genre fiction just like there’s some crappy literary fition, but everyone has different tastes, right?
The Culture Show special had a literary reader sampling genre fiction and investigting why people like crime or thrillers or romance, while the following programme was all about finding literary authors . . . and what struck me is that ‘literary’ is a genre, isn’t it?
Anyway, who am I to say? All I know is that it makes me wonder where I fit in. I don’t know which box I should get into. Whose bed. You see, I’m not sure my writing adheres to any of those genres, whether it’s crime, thriller, literary or whatever.
For a moment, watching those programmes, I thought maybe I need to be more genre specific – follow the big names by inventing an action hero for a series of thrillers, or creating a cop for a series of crime novels – but the truth is that I like a wide range of books and stories and I don’t really set out to write in any specific genre. I just write what comes out and hope that it will appeal to people. The only problem for me (and my publisher) is getting people to pick the books up. If you only read crime/romance/thrillers/literary, you might not think Dry Season is for you . . .
. . .but you might be wrong.