Authors Answer 53 & 54

One thing about doubling these up is that you miss the titles. For this week they are, respectively, Jumping on the Bandwagon and Torturing our Characters. Maybe I can mix that into Jumping on the Torturing Bandwagon?

Maybe not, before people start thinking I’m a Trump sympathiser.

I must say that I do really like the two questions for this week. They’re both quite thought-provoking. This is the full question for AA53: There have been a lot of trends in literature, such as zombies, sparkly vampires and so on. Would you jump on the bandwagon and write a novel with a trendy subject?

My gut reaction to this is ‘no way’, but that’s my gut reaction to the zombies and sparkly vampires. I’m no fan of gore, so zombies are really not my thing, and the less said about sparkly vampires, the better. But what if the trend was elves or half-elves? I’d be all hipster and could legitimately claim that I was doing it before everyone else.

So the obvious and truer answer would be that it would depend entirely on what the trend was. If it’s steampunk, I’d be all up for that. In fact, the truest answer would be that I don’t really care about trends, and certainly wouldn’t write about a trendy subject just because it’s trendy, but if it were something I hadn’t thought of myself before, and it appealed to me, then why not? I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to not write about it, just because it’s trendy.

For others’ views on this matter, check out the original post on Jay Dee’s blog.

On to AA54. I’m guessing this wouldn’t have worked even if I had done this on time, but hey: It’s Friday the 13th. Horror is a popular genre. Could you torture one of your characters?

Let’s tackle these in turn: it’s not Friday the 13th, it’s Monday the 21st. Sorry, had to get the pedantery out of the way.

Horror is a popular genre? Maybe, but not with me! I’m a dyed-in-the-wool wuss.

Could I torture one of my characters? Honestly, I’ve never really tried, but I think that I would have real difficulty doing so. I have lamented before how much I love Fitz from Robin Hobb’s novels, and how I have shed copious tears for the horrific things he goes through in the course of said novels. I admire Robin Hobb’s courage in being able to do that to her character, and I don’t think I could do it myself. The worst I’ve done is give one of my protagonists a repeated rape in his past, and that’s haunting me enough as it is.

Look, I’m not just a wuss for myself, okay? I’m a wuss for others as well.

So here too I’m not saying I’m never going to, but I would need a very good reason for doing so, and I’d probably try to keep it as moderate as possible. A good beating-up maybe that really hurts, but won’t traumatise for life.

See how hard-hearted others are in the other original post.


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