So what beat out underpants, more underpants, dinosaurs, a robbery, a beedle, and a fowl? A vampire, of course.
Daily Archives: April 5, 2009
Alexander McCall Smith on Reader Needs and Demands
It can be very inhibiting for an author if he or she knows that what happens in fiction is going to be taken so seriously. I write serial novels in newspapers and have learned the hard way that people will readily attribute the views expressed by characters to their authors. In one of my “Scotland Street” novels a character called Bruce, a rather narcissistic young man, made disparaging remarks about his hometown. Although these were not the views I hold about that particular town, I was roundly taken to task, with the local member of the Scottish Parliament suggesting that I should be forced to apologize to the offended citizens. I pointed out that these were the views of a fictional character, who was just the type to make such remarks. That did not help.
It was very timely for me to come across this Alexander McCall Smith’s WSJ essay, “Lost in Fiction” because, after seeing the excellent first episode of HBO’s No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, I had a hankering for the books and picked up the latest. High class comfort reading, I think.