I’m going out on a limb here, but is everyone on social media reading and writing awkward, difficult, challenging stuff? Does no-one read or write for pleasure or entertainment unless it is something dire, straight out of a dark, foul-mouthed dystopian world view?
And does ‘literary’ fiction always need to be so intellectually challenging or eye-wateringly ‘experimental’?
I have to ask because well, I’m wondering if that is all publishers want just now? And if it is, do they not know there are readers out there like me who want to dive into a book or a story purely for entertainment, without having their eyes gouged out or their soul tormented into insomnia? Can we not be allowed to enjoy whatever goes on in our so-called comfort zones?
It’s not that I don’t have issues to write about (who doesn’t?) and it’s not that I don’t know what goes on in the big bad world out there. I have opinions, experiences, relationships.
But I write mostly for escapism, not for any desire to wallow in misery and despair (well, not all of the time), and I certainly don’t want to give you warped, graphic accounts of the seedy side of my life. And cursing and swearing? I know all those words, I expect my readers do too, so I’ll let them (mostly) go figure. Same with the sex and violence. It’s to do with having a vivid IMAGINATION.
I know, it’s a gift.
I can guess what you’re thinking. White, straight, middle class, privileged.
Does that mean I have nothing to say? Or just that you don’t like what I’m saying because I’m somehow not entitled?
Actually, FYI, I was born into a working-class family living in a council house, but my father (a second-generation Italian immigrant) had ambition and a late-in-life thirst for education which took him places. These days, I’m an immigrant myself, living in a country not of my birth. And I might not be from an ethnic minority, but hell, I was a ginger child in a family of red-heads. Do you have any idea?
Anyway, just so you know I can play dirty when I want to (and have double standards) here’s a free read. Crushed Velvet a story by Louise G Cole is a piece of happy-go-lucky (not!) fiction about motherhood, despair and… well, read it and see what you think. It could be described as a challenging subject, but I’d like to think the story is well written. No bad language or graphic sex. No fluffy bunnies or beautiful sunsets either, but hey, that’s entertainment for you. Enjoy!