Q&A: Raise Thy Nose (Literature / Fantasy)
It’s actually rare that we get crossover questions related to our old days in college and university. Considering we’re both old English majors, both who taught for a while, it’s possible we get such questions a bit more than some writers. We actually don’t think about it much, but…
Q: Do you find it frustrating that so much excellent work is currently produced in SF & Fantasy but that by and large it is still ignored by the literati?
Barb: Oh, goodness no. I feel so sorry for writers who care about such things. We are writing for an audience of readers, and our readers seem to love our work on the whole. J.C. and I are both ex-academics, so we were surrounded by intellectual snobbery all the time. We fit in when we need to, but it’s always a relief to get away from it. We want to engage and move and entertain our readers. That’s fun, and for us, there’s no better profession for this.
JC: I was a little more involved in the literary writers’ community than Barb, though not much. Pretentious snootiness exists there among those who like to make judgments as what is or isn’t “literature.” But it’s not quite as pervasive as some think. Not all therein were that way. I met good, bad, and in-between.
In the end, there is only one worthwhile seal of approval for whatever I write: pure readers (not writers or critics) found it worthwhile. They’ve got the only opinion that matters. Any writer who ignores them in favor of the lauds of their peers is… well, someone who puts on a blindfold when they step out of their citadel so they don’t have to see the jungle outside. Giving such people credence through concern is just following that blindfolded fool.
You get a name for that in the jungle: lunch.
I don’t bother, ‘cause I like the jungle. It’s where I’m most at home.