I feel a rant coming on.
I recently read a snippet of a blog or facebook post that said something about the writer coming to terms with being a cozy mystery writer. Or maybe just a cozy mystery writer. I didn’t even read the whole blog, it might have been just the title of the piece. I don’t know. But those words stuck in my head.
Coming to terms with being a cozy writer.
I’m getting just a bit tired of the snobbery that inspires that kind of comment. Writing is damn hard work. I don’t care if you write thrillers, hard-boiled detective, romantic suspense or cozies. It takes time and effort, as well as a good deal of hair pulling. Hard work, dedication and willingness to put up with lousy reviews written by ungrateful slobs that couldn’t push out a synopsis to save their life. A novel? Fuggedaboutit.
Okay, that last thought was rude. I know it and I’m leaving it anyway. I’m damn tired of always being nice.
My point is this: book snobbery is only good for making one human being feel superior to another. Readers and writers. What does it matter if you only read “literary fiction?” Do you think that makes you better than someone who only reads romance or mystery. How about fantasy or science fiction? I’m telling you, saying that one genre is better than another is a bunch of bullcrap.
Sure, you may like fantasy better than any other genre. I certainly have my favorite genres. The stuff I like to read usually makes me laugh. That’s my criteria. But do I try to make my choice superior to those who like to read things that make them cry? No. Why in the world would I want to impose my taste in reading on someone else? To what purpose would I say comedic mystery/sci-fi/fantasy is better than tragedy? It is to me, sure. And here’s the rub – just because I like it better doesn’t make it intrinsically better. Saying the fiction I like is better than the fiction you like is tantamount to saying I am better than you. Which again, is a bunch of bull pucky.
Life is tough enough without creating false divides.
If you enjoy writing cozies, then go for it. Own it. Revel in it. Be fucking proud. (Sorry, potty mouth me.) If you read fantasy, mystery, thriller, sci-fi, romance, erotica, fan fiction, you name it, don’t let anyone tell you that those forms of fiction are any less than any other form. For gods sake, you can find poorly written drivel in ANY genre. You can find fantastic books in ANY genre.
Readers have different tastes, thank god. That gives us writers something to shoot for.
But for a cozy writer to have to “come to terms” with what she or he writes? That’s just a load of crap. Not that person’s feelings, you understand. But the fact that our current state of literary snobbery makes that person feel less than for what they write. That bloody steams me.