By Dame Toni
I try not to be a snob.
I have no reason to be one. I come from a family that had at least as many blue collar workers and tradesman as white collar professionals. I didn’t go to a distinguished university. I drive a car older than my neighbor’s teenage kids, and there’s a blue tarp on the roof of my house.
But I have had the privilege of being exposed to some things that some people might consider high-brow. Grand Opera. Haute couture. Gourmet cuisine. Superb wines.
In almost every case, my brushes with the trappings of the elite were due to being in the right place at the right time. They are not evidence that I am morally, intellectually, or biologically superior to people who have NOT tasted perfectly prepared foie gras or listened to Leontyne Price singing an aria. And, it should be noted, the fact that I’ve eaten (and enjoyed) Sevruga caviar while sipping fine champagne does not mean that I have lost my taste for a lovely, crispy Buffalo chicken wing washed down with an ice cold Miller High Life. Consumed while listening to Hank Williams sing Lovesick Blues, preferably.
On top of that, not only I can actually AFFORD to enjoy chicken wings and draft beer on a semi-regular basis, but I can think of at least five places within seven miles of my home where I can get them. They’re accessible.
Okay, so maybe I’m a little hungry (and thirsty) while ‘’m writing this, and that may be why it’s taking me so long to get to the point. But I’m actually writing about writing. Specifically, writing popular fiction.
All of the Dames write popular fiction. I don’t think any of us would describe ourselves as “literary” writers. We work our fannies off producing stories that are accessible. But, just because our books are not the literary equivalent of Grand Opera, there are always going to be those who take a look at the covers (and no further) and say, “Oh, that’s what you write. I don’t read those kinds of books.”
It’s really hard to remain gracious with book snobs. Oh, I do–I can be the very soul of diplomacy when it’s appropriate. But one of these days someone is going to catch me on the wrong day, and I’m going to grab Mr. or Ms. I-only-read-novels-nominated-for-a-Pulitzer by the too-stiff neck and…and…and…
Well, what am I going to do to them? I mean, I want to punish them, but I also want them to learn that they’re wrong about popular fiction.
I know! I’ll lock them in a room let them read all of the books in a really good Urban Fantasy series EXCEPT FOR THE LAST INSTALLMENT. When they ask me what happens next, I’ll shrug and give them a copy of The Corrections instead.
P.S. So, which series should I give them? I’m open to suggestions.
P.P.S. Okay, so I actually liked The Corrections, but I listened to it as an audio book during a time when I had a very long commute. The reader was so good that I didn’t realize that the print book apparently has sentences that last for several pages. Eek!