Cabbages and Kings

A diary by the authors of the Louis Kincaid series

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Location: Fort Lauderdale/Elk Rapids, Florida and Michigan, United States

We are the New York Times bestselling authors of the Louis Kincaid series and other stand alone thrillers. We have taught writing at major conferences for ten years.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The real story on the fume-addled thriller writer

It was hard not to be pissed if you read this past week about Whitbread award-winner Joan Brady. The American-born author sued a shoe factory in her English village claiming that toxic fumes wafting into her neighboring home had caused so much damage to her health that she had been "reduced to writing thrillers."

There was much gnashing of teeth in the crime writers world, of course, because here was yet another literary type taking cheap shots at genre fiction. This after Brady's thriller Bleedout" became an international bestseller. Harumph! How dare she slum, snark then take the money and run!

Well, come to find out, Brady never said any of this. The fumes thing came from a London Times headline, which also juxtaposed two extracts - one from her award-winning "Theory of War," the other ostensibly the opening paragraph of Bleedout (it is actually from later in the book) under the headline "Dumbing Down."

Here's an excerpt from a more recent article, quoting Brady on the brouhaha:

"I haven't dumbed down. I never said it. That's the pure invention of the Times. They have decided that this effete literary woman has become so stupid that she can no longer write boring literary fiction and writes poorly selling thrillers instead. My mental faculties haven't deteriorated. And anyway, what an insult it would be to thriller writers to suggest that you need to be stupid to write them. It seems to me so irritating that you would denigrate a remarkable genre where much of the best writing is done. I'm a great admirer of writers like John Grisham and Scott Turow."

The idea for the thriller "Bleedout" came only because she was mad as hell after battling for years for justice: "I wanted to line these people up against the wall and machine gun them. Magistrates, environmental health officers, lawyers, shoemakers, everybody. It's amazing how violent your imagination gets. I'd never been that angry before. At least you can kill people in a [thriller]."

Kind of makes me want to go out and buy her book now.

You can read the whole article HERE.


Blogger JD Rhoades said...

Does this mean I can stop sniffing glue?

4:00 PM  
Blogger PJ Parrish said...

Hey, take a chance. You might end up winning the Booker. Me, I am going to go find some power lines to park under since I am stuck on rewrites and could use a jolt of creativity.

4:27 PM  
Blogger NL Gassert said...

PJ, now that you mentioned power lines ... I used to live next to one and, in retrospect, writing was easier then. Unfortunately, I was also overcome with happy hormones and thought I could write a romance, but I’ve since recovered. Yay, suspense/thriller writers.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I like that title: Bleedout.

I'll stick to huffing Redi-Whip cans. See how successful it's been for me so far?

1:57 PM  

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