Crossover in Reverse

An enormous flap was made when J.K. Rowling, kid’s author, made the jump to Adult Fiction. Why is the same not true for people like John Grisham, Adult Novelist, who also wrote Kids Books? Or for Jasper Fforde, of Thursday Next fame, who has written some dragon books that look a lot like YA fiction? Or for Many Other Adult Novelists who have also published for children?

Let the flap commence.



Filed under musings

3 responses to “Crossover in Reverse

  1. What about Pterry? You forgot to mention Pterry! How could you!

    Seriously, though, I don’t pretend to know… it’s like the assumption is made that if you right YA or Kids fiction that somehow this makes you sweetness and light and oh so “moral”… how DARE you write something with an adult theme (although, I’ll say that Deathly Hallows was not a comfortably YA theme, actually… what kid wants to know what it means to see all your friends and loved ones die and you have to make that sacrifice yourself?… whoops… SPOILER!).

    Anywho, it does seem to be a double standard but I think it has to do with our incorrectly perceived “innocent” view of children’s authors.

  2. I hate to betray my Tolkien-bias in a post that is (mostly) completely unrelated to Tolkien but Tolkien I think there is a lesson in the Hobbit/LOTR divide that is relevant here. The problem with J.K. Rowling is not that she switched from YA to Adult themed fiction it is that she branded herself and then subsequently violated that brand. Think of the iconic shift that Britney Spears experienced on that fateful day when she arrived to a premiere in an all leather outfit. For many readers (or more accurately for many parents) buying into Harry Potter was buying into the rags to riches story of an imaginative young woman who stood up for the whole ‘wholesome’ imaginative good triumphing over evil thing. She made a classic story arch available for another generation. It is perfectly understandable that they would feel betrayed. We often forget that public figures are dynamic real people full of contradictions and delightful twists.

    What does this have to do with Tolkien? In a world EVERYTHING. You see Tolkien stayed true to his brand while switching the audience he was writing for. This is because Tolkien in fact never ‘branded’ himself. He simply was. This is a lesson that needs to be learned by contemporary authors and by their publishers. Get out of the way and let the works stand on their own!

    Rant over.

  3. …and I should probably learn to proof read…

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