Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Stanley Morgan booked for [James] Bond event in Germany

An interesting private email came from Stanley Morgan last month. [If the link doesn't work, check the January archive for my previous blog about him on Saturday, January 13, 2007].

On 18 March – and I have his permission to quote – he wrote,"Linda and I had a most interesting weekend at the Radisson Hotel, Heathrow 2/3/4th March. We met many delightful people, most of whom are featured in the attachment. Never imagined that one day we would chat with astronauts and a Dambuster bomb-aimer."

The photo of Stanley, playing the concierge in the James Bond film Dr No, is borrowed from the Autographica site attached to his email.

His email continued, "I have enjoyed your recent blogs, particularly, perhaps, the piece about Arthur Hailey. He exemplifies, par excellence, the advisability of 'writing what you know', and of 'coming to the subject fully prepared', the theme of my offering, you may recall in Part 1 of The Boss Articles.

It did not surprise me to learn that he received cool critique of his books. No author that commercially successful could avoid the viperous vituperation of the literati.

When I first arrived in Ireland, driven there by excessive taxation, I was interviewed by the Irish press who advised me, as a successful yarn-spinner, to 'avoid the local literati like the plague, they'll eat you alive'. I took their advice, yet still managed to attract a wickedly snide piece on signing £100,000 contract with W.H.Allen.

I have just received an invitation to attend a Special Bond Event in Germany in August, linked to UNICEF. Incredibly, it has been suggested that I read from and talk about my books! I replied that I'd be delighted to do both. But doubtful sufficient interest since my books are not published in Germany. I have this awful vision of myself, on stage in a vast auditorium, with Linda in the only occupied seat."

Buying Bond books in the Fifties

I'm sure that won't happen and there will be a full house. I should love to be there. I started buying Ian Fleming's Bond books [in hardback] in the Fifties, after the first was serialised in the Yorkshire Evening Press at York while I was a YEP reporter. Another staff reporter was Vivian Brooks, who wrote detective books under the pen-name Osmington Mills.

The only information I can find about her is in her father's Wikipedia entry. She was born in 1922 and died in 2003. I remember her as a large, jolly, but perhaps sometimes lonely, woman in her early thirties who sometimes came to lunch with us. Afterwards, the three of us and her dog would walk on the nearby flood meadows beside the River Ouse. When I left the YEP, we lost touch.

Bella Andre's comment on current discussion

Commenting on the Julie Cohen/sex with a stranger discussion, Bella Andre wrote, "You said it yourself--why can't novels can be fantasy?--in your recent post about the MISERY category for new books. "Who wants to read those books?" you asked. Well, not me. And I don't want to write them either. So that's why I, too, write very sexy contemporary fiction.

And, I'm not ashamed to say, I hope you and your readers do go to my web site. A little self-promotion is not a bad thing. After all, if it gets one more reader to pick up a great love story--that, indeed, happens to begin with some extremely hot sex--then I say hooray for all of us. I get to write more fun books for Simon & Schuster and my readers get to vicariously experience fantastic love and sex through the pages of my books as well.

In fact, it's time for me to get off the internet for the next few hours. I've got a sex scene to write."

Book world equivalent of sleazy mags

I had a quick look at Bella Andre's blog where I read -
"Monday, January 31, 2005
Erotic Romance: A how-to guide
Ever thought about writing erotic romance? Me either, [sic] until I found out what a hot market it is. Which got me wondering, "Can I do it?" So I sat down one Saturday with an idea in my head about two erotica authors who meet at a writer's convention and lo and behold, three chapters flew from my fingertips. Seriously, I had written 8,000 funny, sexy words before I so much as looked up at my computer."

I have nothing against born writers writing for money rather than literary acclaim, but I don't approve of the thousands of not-born writers who are currently cluttering the market with largely second-rate stuff.

This writer also contributes to a blog called RedHotRomance described as "The best in SIN LIT from 9 red hot Bay Area writers!"

This sort of thing strikes me as the book world equivalent of writing for those sleazy magazines on the top shelves in newsagents' shops. I'm amazed that a wife and mother, which I gather Bella Andre is in her private life, would demean herself by writing borderline porn. The market for children's books is also booming. She would do better to turn her talents to that field.

More comments on your comments tomorrow.


At 04 April, 2007, Blogger Donna Alward said...

I've stayed out of this broohaha thus far, but I'm venturing in today.

Firstly, I agree wholeheartedly about Julie's diplomacy. We should all take a lesson.

In the words of Eminem, "we all need a little controversy". If the intention of your original post was to incite a dialogue, then fantastic. It wouldn't be the first time that technique has been used.

If, however, it was not, I'm very disheartened. We've never met, Anne, and I'm a relative newbie to the M&B family. What concerns me is that your post had very little to do with the writing or crafting of the story. Instead it felt like an editorial on Julie's taste and her morality. Now if you don't like her website colours, big deal. One person's garishness is another's fresh and funky. But the rest, including your response to Bella Andre, smacks of personal judgment.

It's tough enough for writers out there, published, unpublished, newly published. It saddens me when writers begin to publicly criticize other writers. We should be standing together, celebrating each other and our individual voices. Perhaps that's a rosy-hued view from a newbie optimist, but I still think the golden rule is a good one, newbie or veteran or anywhere in between.


Donna Alward

At 05 April, 2007, Blogger Liz Fielding said...

And would you lecture a crime writer on the morality of writing horrendous scenes of brutality, Anne? What is it about sex that gets people so incensed? Unlike murder, it's natural and we all do it.

And you, I know, have written some fairly hot stuff yourself.


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