Thursday, February 2, 2012

A WINNER & A Question...

HAPPY GROUNDHOGS DAY! It's Phyllis' big day today and in honor of that we are giving away a signed copy of her book, written by Susanna Leonard Hill!

And, I know Phyllis really didn't want to see her shadow this morning, but unfortunately she did... meaning we have 6 more weeks of winter. *sigh*

But, we still have reason to celebrate! So here is the moment you've all be waiting for...
The WINNER of this wonderful book is:

(Congrats Julie! I will be in touch!)

I know you will love this wonderful story, and I would like to thank Susanna again for being willing to do this giveaway with me.
*****
How about a question today? I'm sure you guys constantly think about the world of possibility that can happen when you get published (or now that you're published!) Some of us are more modest in our expectations than others (taking a realistic view, I think they call it) while others shoot for the top of the iceberg, realizing they may not completely reach it, but that's what they want to shoot for. Either way... I think you can answer this question.
Let me start with an example. A LOT of the writing community talks crap on Stephanie Meyer and her books. Right? I know I'm not the only one who has heard it. While others aren't afraid to admit that they love the books and they are what inspired them to write. Yet- who hasn't heard of Stephanie Meyer ~ or at least Twilight? Honestly, the books, the movies - they're everywhere! People are waiting at bookstores for parties at midnight for the book's release. They're huge! (and we're not going to tap into the fact that she completely opened up a whole new love for paranormal - so keep that out of the question, okay.)

So... my question is:
Would you rather write a book that the literary world loves and praises but isn't widely read. Probably isn't best seller, but the literary world sings its praises (maybe it wins some kind of award)...

OR
Would you rather write a book that readers love - that people wait in line for - and go crazy over... even if the literary world talked a lot of crap about it?

And NO - you don't get to pick both! Of course we all want BOTH! Hmmm. Yeah, this has had me thinking and I wonder what your thoughts are on this.
Honestly, I have always been a pretty good judge of a "good book." Yes, this is all subjectional, but I get it. I enjoy reading and twisting plot lines, character traits and conflict. BUT... I know I am more critical of books now that I have learned more about writing. It makes some books harder to enjoy. It bums me out sometimes. But the truth is, that the majority of the people that will read your book, know nothing about writing. They just want a book that flows smoothly with a great story. Maybe it means something to them or maybe it's purely for entertainment, but they will never be as critical as other writers.

Do you ever think about this? I'm interested to hear your thoughts and feelings on the matter. If you wish to elaborate on what choice you made in the poll, please do so!

28 comments:

S.P. Bowers said...

I didn't vote on your poll because I couldn't answer. I could do either as long as I had stayed true to the story I was writing and done my best. If those two conditions are met then there is nothing else I can do and the world can do what it want's with it.

Christa said...

I love that every single person has chosen for the readers love, literary crap talk so far!!!
Of course we want people to read our book. Of COURSE.

Cristina said...

I want to write book for readers, because that's what I am, a reader!

But I also think that you can have excellent writing that appeals to the masses... I mean, look at Laini Taylor.. she's spectacular! and she's not writing for the scholars. She's writing for the "common people"

Laurel Hawkes said...

I've never been particularly impressed with some of the literary top picks. I'd much rather have someone read my book and have them feel uplifted, even if they don't remember all the details. I want them to hear my name or a title of my book and smile.

I didn't care for Twilight, at first. I read it so I could share something with my nieces. I ended up loving it more with each book. Breaking Dawn is my favorite. What impressed me the most was that Stephanie took a genre and made it her own. She offered the world a different view of vampires. THAT is something truly amazing.

Angela Cothran said...

I'm writing for me and not for any literary types. I find it so interesting that there is such a disconnect between the masses and literary community. I don't get it.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Hmmm. I can't vote on this because you needed to include "be an utter sellout and make buckets of money but care less if you are actually read". That would be me.

Emily R. King said...

If I could write a classic, I'd choose that. But most people who wrote a classic didn't do it with that in mind. They wrote for the people, and the people heard them!

Ruth Josse said...

I don't like when any author is put down. The thing about Stephenie Meyer is she wasn't always a best seller. She wrote a story she loved in hopes that it would be published. Don't we do the same thing? Taste is subjective but credit should be due to anyone who finishes a book whether it makes a lot of money or not.

Hope Roberson said...

My friend went to see her at a book reading, she took some students along, with her and the kids there were maybe 15 people there. That was her first book. Goes to show what writing for readers will get you :) I just would like to find out that I can actually write an entertaining story that people want to read, so I'm writing for the reader :)

Cassie Mae said...

I'm a reader, and I write for me. :D (That answers it right? ;))

Donna K. Weaver said...

Congrats to Julie!

I have no delusions that I'm writing great literature. But I hope I'm writing stories that can touch people in some way. If I succeed in that, then I've succeeded. Period.

Good question.

L.G.Smith said...

Um, what was the question? I seriously got distracted by that eye candy to the right there. Ahem, where was I?

Oh, yes.

This question hurts my brain. I want to write something that would be well received by the literati but I also would want it to sell and find a wide audience. Do they have to be mutually exclusive? I think I'm going to reject your reality and substitute my own. I want both. :PP

Kelley said...

Yup. I write for me. For readers.

I'd like to think there's some literary appeal to my writing, but perhaps that's just wishful thinking :)

In the end, I just want to transport people to a different place and give them something that will bring them great entertainment. Which they hopefully will want to reread over, and over and over again :)

David P. King said...

Is it possible to be somewhere in the middle? I, like anyone, would be thrilled if my stuff became a major hit. At the same time, rising so quickly has it's drawbacks. A lot of people didn't know what twilight was, and you know how people like to poke fun at things they don't understand. :)

Jolene Perry said...

I'm all about a story that sucks me in.

Now that I know more about writing, I see what people get annoyed about with meyer, but i still LOVE those stories.

At the same time - I'll happily read a book about almost nothing if the "voice" is good enough.

Guess I'm really on the fence...

Jolene Perry said...

Also - books that the critics rave over are usually depressing.
I see enough depressing.
I read for escape.

Sarah B said...

I've had this discussion several times. (PS - I love Stephenie.) In the end, I want something I love, and most of the time I like the literary stuff more.

Amber said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog, but I thought I'd chime in:) I honestly loved the twilight series. I couldn't put it down and it flowed beautifully....I'm curious to go back and re-read since I've started writing. Would it be the same for me now?

The last book I picked up, I read only one chapter and put it away. It was so littered with fragments and poor grammar that the 'writer snob' in me came out. I would rather the public enjoy my story than 'writer snobs' like me :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey,

Know what my writing dream is? To get on a bus one day and sit opposite this tired-looking woman who's on the way home and pulls out a dog-eared copy of my book....I'm writing for her....

Tara Tyler said...

for some reason i can never see your polls to vote.

i would rather be liked by regular readers, my peers. i'm not literary... but i dont need to be a bestseller either.

somewhere in the middle =)

Claudine G. said...

I voted for literary love and was surprised by the poll results (didn't think the difference would be so far apart)! No wonder no one around me knows some of my favourite literary authors. Their works are brilliant and are praised in the literary circle, but they aren't well-known. Still, I hold them in the greatest respect, for what they wrote helped and comforted and encouraged me. To me, they rock.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Readers, readers, I want readers!

And honestly, I don't know why people talk crap about Stephenie Meyers so much. Obviously she did fabulous things, or people wouldn't be so crazy about it! People should look at wildly successful books and see what they did RIGHT, not bash what they didn't excel at, whether it's their type of book or not.

Talli Roland said...

Interesting question! Definitely reader love. Not even close.

Patricia T. said...

I seem to get your blogs in my e-mail 18 hrs after their published. I voted, but it was tough. I write for myself and I want to know it well-crafted. Of course you want to write a book that sells. You want the literary world to take note -- but with so many books it takes a while to get their attention. And, don't always agree with their picks. I may like a book, they don't. I think readers are pretty good at choosing what they like.

Iain said...

My main drive is to send people on a fun journey. If I get that right, and they enjoy it so much that they are eagerly waiting the next release, then I’ve got it right. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

clarbojahn said...

I want readers. My Annie book is littered with inconsistencies and is not an award winner but I would love readers. I hope people enjoy it enough to tell someone else about it. I hope their children want to re-read it over and over.

Leslie Rose said...

This was an easy one for me. I adore the bubbly reactions of my teen beta readers. They are the heart and soul of why I write YA.

eva fhadilah said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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