Wednesday, December 7, 2011
No Rules: JENNIFER THOMSON
JENNIFER THOMSON'S first novella HOW KIRSTY GETS HER KICKS, will be published by Pulp Press in the UK in March 2012. It’s about, according to Jennifer, "a gutsy Glasgow barmaid who goes on the run with a safe load of gangster’s cash and a hot gun after embedding her stiletto heel in the head of one of his goons who has the crass eejitery to touch her up."
Jennifer says, "I love the ethos and energy of Pulp Press and their tales of violent comeuppance without the meandering pish where some flouncy author takes ten bloody pages to describe a bloody tree. The covers are fantastic too."
Yep, well said, Ms. Thomson.
She's currently writing DEID BASTARDS: a zombie novel with a Scottish twist where bagpipes and midges play an important part and VILE CITY, her first detective novel featuring DI Waddell and his comatose sidekick.
Jennifer blogs at Ramblings of a Frustrated Crime Writer where she insists she is normally much more polite.
I'm very pleased to introduce you to the immensely talented JENNIFER THOMSON...
Literary Snobbery Be Damned
To me the most important thing about any book is that it entertains. It doesn’t have to be a piece of great literature or be up for one of the major prizes that always go to someone hardly anybody reads until the book wins it and every person up for a bit of fakery, who wants to appear well read goes out and buys it then leaves it on their art deco coffee table for visitors to see. (Do you notice how these books are always in pristine, unread condition?)
Sadly, there are people who don’t see it that way. Hey you literary snobs, you know who you are.
I have done one writing course in my entire life. After two decades of working as a freelance writer (okay plodding away) and living on porridge and stale bread in my freezing garret (you try living on a windy Scottish island with a leaky window) I finally did an online course with Strathclyde University where over 6 weeks you critiqued each others work.
On the first week we were asked to introduce ourselves, say what authors we liked to read. When I said I was a big fan of Stephen King (if The Stand was a man I’d marry him and that’s more than I can say for my partner of eleven years), out came the wee digs.
‘I used to like him when I was younger,’ said one person.
‘His stuff’s a bit childish,’ said another.
The general consensus amongst my fellow students was that Stephen King was for weans. Why because his books weren’t entertaining enough? Nah, because they weren’t considered literary enough.
And, what exactly is literary fiction? To my mind its writing that take ages to get to the bloody point. Often its flowery and laden with unnecessary metaphors with bugger all happening.
Literary fiction is an arrogant beast that thinks it’s too good to be read by you and me and make you feel stupid because you can’t concentrate on them for longer than five minutes. Then there’s those words you’re convinced the author has made up that you need to look up because you haven’t the foggiest idea what it means.
Me? When I come across a word like that ‘I say screw this, the author’s up his own backside’ and go off and read something else.
Hey, my time’s precious. I don’t have time to indulge some author’s ego because he or she’s trying to show how smart they are and what a dumb eejit I am.
Worst of all, ‘literary fiction’ puts folk off reading anything at all and that is the most damning indictment of all. Because reading takes you to places you’ve never been, introduces you to people you’ll never meet yet who seem so alive they might as well be in the same room as you.
In my loneliest hours when I have battled depression, desperation and agoraphobia that has crippled me, books have made sure I have never felt alone. I have yet to come across a drug that does that.
The thing that really pisses me off most about these literary works that win all the major prizes where glum faced judges parade themselves on the TV making reading seem like such a bloody chore when it should be a pleasure, is that crime the biggest selling genre, doesn’t even get a look in.
I suspect that if Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle were up for prizes they’d lose out too.
Crime is considered too common, apparently because it’s read by the masses. What a crime that would be to give books that masses of people actually read the big awards.
Christ, you’d need to start giving the literary awards to books people actually read.