Tag Archives: publishing

Gran Lit. Are you serious?

How very dare you? You mean, it’s only for Grannies?

Nonsense. Hilary Boyd writes for people not for bookshelves. (My words)

Don’t call it Gran Lit

I’m so heartened by her attitude to publishers’ need to classify fiction into genres.

“Bollocks,” she said when the Gran Lit classification was first suggested to her.

Gran-Lit writer

photo by Quercus

Oh, Hilary, please come to France and be my honorary sister. Who says people don’t want to read about older women?

Not me.

Who says you can’t have romance and sex with older characters?

I didn’t say that.

I’ll tell you who said it: Publishers. To be exact, their readers. You know, the ones who hold back the gates from the likes of aspiring novelists such as you and me. They are the ones who are in charge of the slush pile. They pass on to the people who really make the decisions only the books that excite them.

But they’re all teenagers, darlings. They only know about fantasy: werewolves and vampires and robots and spies and spaceship ghosts and the like. They also read those books with photographs on the front of men (boys) who are built of muscle and iron and their women nearly wear red or black satin. Or else they read titles like Carlotta’s Christmas at the Cup-Cake Café and the cover looks good enough to eat if you’re into sweet and sickly Candy Floss.

See? Fantasy. Do I sound full of sarcasm? Of course I do.

When they’re older, they’ll get a life. In the meantime, I mustn’t be too hard on them. They got it SO wrong, didn’t they?

Who makes up the majority of the reading population?

Boomers.

We’re still here. We’ve had our kids and years of sleepless nights. We’ve looked after ageing parents during their last days. We’ve lost sleep all over again when the grandchildren were unwell. We’ve had our own illnesses and close shaves. We’ve had a life. And, let me repeat myself, we’re still here. And we’ve got a little money to spend on small treats like a damned good story to read.

We’re old enough and wise enough to read all manner of different kinds of books. We have open minds. We’ll read about police detectives, little girls in France, 6ft 5″ ex marines on a one man mission to rid the USA of scum bags, widows with autistic sons, kids in a fight to the death struggle – you understand me – and once in a while, we want to read about people with whom we can identify more closely.

See, the young readers employed by the publishers couldn’t possibly understand that because they haven’t got there yet.

So it’s hats off to Quercus for publishing Hilary Boyd in the first place and having the nous to put her out as an ebook.

The Boomers have spoken. Gran-Lit? Bah, Humbug. It’s L.I.F.E., darlings. People get older. Even publishers. And now they’e having to get wiser, too. Go Hilary.