Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sneaking In The Back Door?

As a writer of licensed property tie-in projects both famous (most recently Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar: Back 2 Africa), and obscure, I find the tone and quotes in this article insulting (please click the link and go read before continuing to enjoy my rant).

"Sneaked in the back door of publishing as a writer-for-hire," is how Judy Blundell categorized her career as an author before the publication of her first non-licensed novel. I'm not disputing the merit of the book (after all, it did win the National Book Award for Young People's Literature), but apparently she doesn't look upon the 100 or so books written up to this point favorably, choosing to use a pseudonym instead of her own name to sign the work.

I imagine doing so has hurt me at times, but I've always used my real name on projects. The only time a pseudonym has been on the cover of something I've written is due to the publisher (as in the case of the Deathlands novels I wrote under the house name of "James Axler"). I do agree with Blundell about "losing your writer's voice" by continually toiling in the creative houses of licensed properties, but I hardly see shame in the work done there either. Good work is good work, and should be recognized as such.

3 comments:

thrdgll said...

I don't disagree with your view, especially seeing as I wouldn't know how to write a Star Trek or Spongebob book to save my life. But it does make me curious: If you had an offer like her's, to write whatever original work you wanted, what would it be?

POP CULTURE DEBRIS said...

Hmmm ... good question. If left to my own devices, and presented with such an offer ... I would go with a modern Catcher in the Rye vibe via a young adult novel (if writing for teens), a modified version of my comics series Explorers for young kids (again, if for younger readers), and for adults ... probably blackly humorous Southern fiction with a slightly mocking tone featuring folks from the Carolinas. Of course, this is just off the top of my head late at night - tomorrow, the answers might be completely different!

thrdgll said...

... probably blackly humorous Southern fiction with a slightly mocking tone featuring folks from the Carolinas.

Yes, please.