Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Show Me The Money. Or Not.

by Clare O'Donohue

Q: Is there a book you couldn't or wouldn't write - even if a good friend begged you and offered a suitcase full of money?

I'm almost surprised to hear myself say this, but yes, there are things I wouldn't write no matter the amount involved. Like Susan, 50 Shades of Grey comes to mind. I just don't think any amount of cash would make me feel better about having written something that was considered badly written even by its fans.

I wouldn't write the book equivalent of a show like Criminal Minds, which I would describe as violence-porn masquerading as a police procedural. I have no qualms against depicting the darker side of humanity, though I don't write "dark" generally. But there's a line somewhere that turns a depiction of violence into a creepy, voyeuristic, vaguely sexual act and that's when I tap out.

And in the complete other direction, I don't think I could be Nicholas Sparks either. Nothing against him (okay maybe a little) but sappy isn't my thing. I'm not a big fan of fairy tale versions of love because I think it's a set-up. Real romance, with bumps and bruises, and the dull, beautiful reality of ordinariness... perhaps I would want to tackle that. But who would read it?

Also, no self-help books - not because I wouldn't take the money, but no one with an ounce of sense would pay me to give advice.


Susan C Shea said...

Agree with you on the weird violence-porn genre. There's a lot of it so it must be making money, a sad commentary. But kind of dirty money.

Self-help books, though? You might be just what that genre needs - someone who talks about relationships as they really are! Hold that thought for a rainy day!

Unknown said...

Ha! I don't think there's any money in talking about relationships as they actually are. Sappy violence porn with a touch of 50 Shades bondage.... that's a money maker.

Robin Spano said...

LOL at your last line. I like your answers, too. This question is a good one for conversation!