Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I Was A Literary Snob

By Hannah Reed/Deb Baker

Remember this 1981 movie with Candice Bergen and Jacqueline Bisset? It’s a great story of long-time friendship between two women. One becomes a ‘serious’ author of literary fiction. The other writes bestselling 'trash' for the masses.

I loved Rich and Famous! It still resonates with me.

Because, you see, once upon a time I was a literary snob, reading high-brow literature, determined to write the next great American novel. But when I sat down to accomplish my goal, a little feisty 66 year old woman from the Michigan Upper Peninsula started telling her story. She ripped the keyboard right out of my hands and took off with her whacky and weird adventures.

At first I was embarrassed. This wasn’t part of the big plan. Yet she wouldn’t quit talking to me, and so Murder Passes the Buck was born, along with three more Gertie Johnson novels plus a Christmas short story.

Since that first book, I’ve readjusted my attitude, thanks to my readers. They tell me how much fun my stories are. Emails come from some who are facing life-threatening diseases. My books make them feel better, at least for a little while. Now I write for real people, to entertain them, make them smile, improve their day.

As Hannah Reed, I'm proud to pen the Queen Bee mystery series. I hope my books bring smiles and the occasional snort of laughter.

From my lofty perch on high, I've fallen back to earth.
And it's exactly where I belong.

Literary success? Or commercial success? Which would you pick?

10 comments:

Paws with Iona said...

Oh I'm all for what makes me a happy reader, and lately it is nothing serious or "high brow". Great blog, will have to see movie again now. My mother (prof of 51 yrs) was a literary snob, mostly about Dante & Boccaccio though. Maybe that is why I tend to like the trashy.

Thanks!

Aurian said...

I think I remember that picture, so perhaps I have seen that movie. I think you should write what makes you happy, and if you can make money doing that, you really should.
If I read an interview with an author who writes romance, and reads only literature herself, I really am not going to read her books, as indeed I think her a snob, she is looking down on her own work and the woman who read it.

So, go for it, and write many more mysteries for your loving fans!

Lori Cimino said...

I read what I like, whatever suits my mood. I am not much for high brow reading. Altho those types of books have their place too.
Mostly I read to be entertained, to get out of my own head and space for a bit.
and now I want to see this movie again. I have vague memories of it.

LD Masterson said...

Why are literary success and commercial success mutually exclusive? If you write something and it moves, touches, pleases a reader - that sounds like literary success to me.

Mary Beth said...

I did a MA in literature and it ruined pleasure reading for me, for many years. Now I read whatever strikes my fancy in the "new" section of the library and who cares what the label says. life is too darn short.

Shirley said...

I took lots of literature college classes and enjoyed them, discovered books and authors, including Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy I had never heard of, great series! Now read whatever I want.

Love your books, keep them coming!

Sparkle Abbey said...

Had forgotten about this movie!
We're with Iona, we tend to both look for entertaining reads. Life is enough reality...we're generally looking for a fun escape. :-)

Christine said...

Great movie. I love the Gertie
series, I found it looking for a
read in between my long running
series at the time and was hooked. I
love to laugh while I read and enjoy
sharing with others when the want to
know what is so funny. Keep them
coming, can't wait for the next one.

Ashley J said...

My friend got me hooked on the
Gertie Johnson series and I love them (wish there were more). I now so love the Queen Bee series, you can't write them fast enough for me.
You are a great write and I so have fun laughing along with Story at her crazy town of people.

Tressa Armstead said...

Whatever stories we have in us are what we are supposed to provide for the world!

Gertie was begging to come into the literature sphere, and God chose you to get her there :)

He chose me to write the story of my friend Marsha's death, and I'm proud of it, no matter what other people call it. Keep writing! We love it.