I keep hearing so many people whine and moan about how JK Rowling disappointed them with her new adult book. It’s got sex and violence and swearing! One mom bought it for her daughter’s birthday (without even bothering to read the back) and was appalled when her daughter read it! The outrage!
Please. If you bought a book thinking it would be filled with wizards when the cover indicates nothing of the sort, it’s YOUR fault. And if you don’t like a book, guess what? You don’t have to read it! Isn’t that wonderful?
I studied Stephen King voraciously when I was a teenager because I pretty much wanted to be him, and his editor was afraid he’d be typecast as a horror writer when he followed Carrie with ‘Salem’s Lot. Did King care? I don’t think so, because look at his career. Any of his devout fans can tell you that his drama is just as amazing as—often even more so than—his horror and we’d buy anything he writes. But if you want to be scared and you read the back of, say, On Writing, you don’t have to buy it, do you? I don’t think I’ve heard anyone boo and hiss over Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption or On Writing, for that matter. My favorite King film is not Pet Cemetery or Misery (both wonderful films, no doubt!) but Stand by Me, after all.
Are you really upset because JK didn’t write you another Harry Potter book? Is that it? Did you get all hyped up about a new book from her even though she warned you that it would be nothing like the series? Well, get over it. This is her career and her decision. If she wants to publish a grocery list it’s her right.
As I write supernatural romances right now, I wonder if my work gains a readership, if that readership will feel betrayed when I switch to horror—as I intend to do—or steampunk or mysteries or general fiction. I, for one, pledge to support any genre-breaking authors and their work not just for myself, but because it’s the right thing to do.
Writing is fun, no matter the genre—and no matter the feedback. So is reading—and you can choose what you read. So instead of whining about how Ms. Rowling didn’t make you a sequel about Hermione’s adventures as an Auror, why don’t you just make better reading choices? Besides, there’s always fanfiction.
Oh, and do you really think that during the great Wizarding Wars, there was no violence, sex, or swearing? Given the epilogue, wouldn’t you say there was plenty of at least one—and war itself is nothing but violence and swearing. And it was intended for children, not adults! Read before you buy, people!