He was reporting on a mystery writer’s knees-up and wrote some stuff
about controversial yet unspoken opinions among mystery writers such as
the inappropriately open membership of MWA (Mystery Writers of
America?) and how many mystery writers objected to fan fiction but were
too scared to ever say this to fans. What followed in comments was
mostly the expected back and forth between a reasonable pro-fan-fiction
writer and a crazy-arse anti-fan-fiction writer with some side comments
from other people.
But what interested me most of all was that no-one – NO-ONE – addressed
the issue of why the mystery writers weren’t going to bring the subject
up with fans they met at cons and signings and things. These pro
writers Lee references behave as though they believe that the people
who are writing the fan fiction are the people who buy their books, and
all the associated merchandise should they be so successful to justify
it, and that to alienate those fans is to kiss good-bye to income. When it comes down to the line, it’s the bottom line.
So, what do you think? Are authors afraid to speak their minds on controversial issues for fear of losing readers or awkward encounters with fans?