You’re a writer, you have worked hard on developing a plot for your young adult, fictional novel. You have created a character you love and you know will reach out to your readership. The excitement builds as you get a call from a literary agent who says they love the book but… for the manuscript to be more palatable to the publishers they want you to write out the black character and make him white. The outcry would be huge, with such an idea hitting the six O clock news. Yet it was only twenty years ago when children’s author Malorie Blackman was asked to do just that.
So when she was told that last week, two American writers, Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown, were told by a literary agent that their young adult, post-apocalyptic novel, Stranger, was of interest, but only on the proviso that they re-wrote the gay characters as a heterosexual couple; her adamant response was, “Are we still not over this nonsense? Read more
The 18th Century saw the birth of novel. There was already a readership for autobiographies, journals and memoirs; however, the novel brought a new style to the emerging middle classes. Daniel Defoe is credited as the founder of the English novel, with Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Moll Flanders (1722). Both novels were written with a sense of realism and human dilemma which proved extremely popular to his readership.
By the middle of the 18th Century Horace Walpole, a keen fanatic of all things Gothic, published The Castle of Otranto (1764). In the first addition Walpole clamed the story was a translation based on a found manuscript dated from 1529. Once the Novel was received positively, Walpole would confess that the work was from his own imagination. Read more
Laden down with books, we hit the town, ready to give, give, give. First off we hit Brighton Pier; being a bit of a damp March evening, it was quiet, quiet but everyone we stopped and asked if they would like a book were really pleased we had done so. (BTW, If you have found my web page via getting a copy of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, hello, please have a read of my other articles.)