Elizabeth Gaskell. 29th September 1810 – 12th November 1865.
English novelist Emily Brontë, of Wuthering Heights fame, was born on the 30th of July, 1818.
There’s an excellent – and lengthy – interview with author Jennifer Weiner that is worth checking out over at Goodreads at the moment. She talks about her new book, writing in the era of Donald Trump, and evolving genres:
(I’m not sure if you need a Goodreads account to see it.)
Charlotte Brontë, 1850.
Interesting article over at TIME Magazine:
“…After all, writers have always turned to each other for creative and moral support. The alliance between Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth is enshrined in literary lore. A mention of Lord Byron immediately brings to mind Percy Bysshe Shelley. And biographies of F. Scott Fitzgerald are incomplete without reference to Ernest Hemingway.
But where are the women in this roster of legendary friendships? Jane Austen is mythologised as a shy and sheltered spinster; the Brontё sisters, lonely wanderers of windswept moors; George Eliot, an aloof intellectual; and Virginia Woolf, a melancholic genius.
Skeptical of such images of isolation, we set out to investigate. We soon discovered that behind each of these celebrated authors was a close alliance with another female writer. But, to this day, these literary bonds have been systematically forgotten, distorted or downright suppressed…”
Anne Brontë, painted by her brother Patrick Branwell Brontë. Circa 1834.
With the elections in the US taking place this week, I thought I’d mention Stacey Abrams, who is running for Governor of Georgia (and attempting to become the first black woman in the country to achieve such a position).
Why? Because Abrams also happens to be romantic suspense author Selena Montgomery!
The Washington Post had an interview with her a few days ago, where she discussed her books.
I have a subscription to the newspaper, but I’m not sure if you can access it without, so I’ve copied a couple of the questions here:
Q: How has writing romantic suspense novels prepared you to run for — and hold — office?
Leadership requires the ability to engage and to create empathy for communities with disparate needs and ideas. Telling an effective story — especially in romantic suspense — demands a similar skill set. Effective storytelling takes the reader into a life that is both familiar and foreign, enough of both to make space for others to feel empowered to tell their stories.
When I began writing novels, I read Aristotle to learn how to perfect structure, Pearl Cleage to sustain tension and Nora Roberts for characterization. Good romantic suspense can never underestimate the audience, and the best political leaders know how to shape a compelling narrative that respects voters and paints a picture of what is to come.
Q: Many readers find it easy to make fun of romance novels. What do you have to say to critics of the genre?
Telling a well-crafted story is hard. Full stop. Regardless of genre, good writing is good writing. Romance is one of the oldest forms of storytelling, and I’m honored to be in the company of extraordinary writers.
In the ongoing trademark wars, it seems there’s a new drama every day.
In court last week, the lawyer for trademark troll Faleena Hopkins attempted to have the real names of authors under attack made public. From what I understand, this is an ongoing dispute.
Here is one reason why it’s so awful to take away an author’s anonymity:
In 2012, erotic fiction author Deena Bright was “outed”. Her real name was not only revealed to her employer, but she was dragged through America’s national news because of the genre she wrote.
Bright (that’s not her real name) was suspended from her job as a high school teacher because of this, and subjected to public humiliation for no good reason.
Hopkins would like to do this to other authors who she sees as competition. Already, she is forcing them into the courtroom to shut down their careers (good God, her me and nobody else attitude is such a reflection of the Trump era!).
Authors use pennames for a million and a half different reasons, which I’m sure I don’t need to explain here. Add in the misogynistic stigma attached to the romance genre, and the issues surrounding the use of real names double or triple – or quadruple.
That this is an inherently petty and nasty thing to try to do to someone is obvious.
Dragging innocent names into public view to “punish” people for doing nothing wrong can seriously damage an author’s life. Especially so if she’s a woman. And especially so if she writes romance or erotica.