Anyone who has ever read any Tom Robbins – he of giant thumbs Even Cowgirls Gets the Blues and the body of Jesus Another Roadside Attraction – will be amused about his quote in a front page Sunday NY Times story (NYTimes 4-1-12 Young Writers Dazzle Publisher (Mom and Dad)) about young self-published authors being delusional. Tom who can craft a simile as complicated and obscure as any professional author in the business placed himself in the unenviable position of criticizing teen authors saying “What’s next…kiddie architects, juvenile dentists, 11-year-old rocket scientists? Any parent who thinks that the crafting of engrossing, meaningful, publishable fiction requires less talent and experience than designing a house, extracting a wisdom tooth, or supervising a lunar probe is, frankly, delusional.”
Well, as I remember, Tom got lucky a long time ago and found an agent who took his crazy ass stuff on and that being a time of counter-culture found an audience. I wonder how he would do today in this publishing environment and might not he be joining the indie ranks if he ever wanted to be published.
Seeing yourself in print, or the prospect of seeing yourself in print, has a way of sharpening your attention to your writing. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these young authors went on to be fine writers — if they aren’t all ready. While I won’t be reading any of them, I don’t begrudge them or their parents putting their work out there.
Oh and Tom, careful what you say. Remember the old adage – my enemy, may he write a book.