The Guardian has an interview with Stephenie Meyer about Twilight, The Host, true love and feminism among other things. It’s an interesting interview – pity about the positively hateful comments. However, what bothers me a little is that Stephenie continues to peddle the “I’n just a mother and housewife who never took a writing class” line, when that’s not the whole story. According to Dave Farland, she was one of the students in his creative writing workshop.
Talking of writing advice, Steve Hockensmith, author of several of those “classic literature with zombies mash-ups”, states how Elmore Leonard’s (or any author’s, really) ten rules for writing only teach you to write like Elmore Leonard. Which is okay, if that’s what you want. But if you want to write like yourself, you will have to find your own path and your own rules. This post really resonated with me, because I’ve always found Elmore Leonard’s much quoted rules problematic and for much the same reason as Steve Hockensmith. I can’t even read Elmore Leonard (sorry, but he does nothing for me and I tried), so why on Earth would I want to write like him?
Lady Business has a lengthy post with lots of data about a topic that regularly comes up once a year or so, namely the continuing gender gap in reviews (here of SFF books), since more books by men than by women are getting reviewed. Lots of good stuff there, including debunking the usual “I only read good books” (which just happen to be written exclusively by male writers – duh) arguments that tend to come up in these discussions.
It appears there is a bit of a backlash against the current trend of bloggers, usually male, reenacting cover poses, usually featuring female characters and often on books by female writers, at least going by this post by Arnie Fenner at Muddy Colors. Considering I have issues with this cover reenacting trend myself (I was going to write a longer post, but didn’t get around to it yet), I’m glad to see a dissenting post. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun the first time around, but by now it gets somewhat annoying, especially since the targets are almost always urban fantasy novels, overwhelmingly written by women. And the last thing the SFF genre needs is more vitriol poured out over an already marginalized subgenre. Never mind that recasting a subgenre that is largely written and read by women and features plenty of female main characters as a hotbed of sexism, just because you don’t like the covers, is problematic. And for the record, I like lots of urban fantasy covers, including some of those singled out for the cover reenactment treatment.