Ideas! New Pop Lit is first and foremost a project of ideas. In a period when the public is demanding populist change, we advertise ourselves as literary change agents.
Toward that end we’re offering an essay by Samuel Stevens about publishing, outlining how writers who seek to change the literary art– who offer new aesthetic ideas– have often faced difficulties.
The critics of the day repudiated authors with mountains of literary criticism about them now. Names like Hemingway, Pound, Joyce, Eliot were at one time the enemy. Hemingway’s friend, the memory-holed author Robert McAlmon, published Three Stories and Ten Poems; the New York world wasn’t interested in the young Hemingway’s work.
Sam Stevens is included in our first “Lit Question of the Month” feature at our Extras!/Interactive blog, along with twenty-three other writers. The response was such– the answers uniformly terrific– that we’re likely to try the feature again. The list includes DIYers– bloggers, self-publishers, zinesters; those changing the literary product– but also status quo reps, from university professors and creative writing instructors, to long-time award-winning story writers Kelly Cherry, T.C. Boyle, and Madison Smartt Bell, to best-selling novelist Scott Turow. Among their number is possibly even a member of the dreaded literary establishment!– if that animal can be credibly identified. We thank them all for the generosity of their time and their minds. Read the answers here.
We ask readers to join the conversation. What’s your favorite answer? Your least favorite? Take a minute and tell us in the Comments section.
NPL is excited to interview author Sue-Ellen Welfonder, who also writes under the name Allie Mackay!
Sue-Ellen is a seasoned storyteller and a USA Today Bestselling author; she’s built a following with her fun, Scottish-themed historical romances and light-hearted paranormal stories. Today she shares her insights about engaging readers and weighs in on the Amazon/Hachette debate. Enjoy!
Readers have embraced lower-priced books. Many people are struggling these days and reading is an ideal escape. Easily accessible books at reader friendly prices are the books readers want and will buy. Independent publishing allows authors to offer such titles and I love that. It’s good for writers and readers.
Karl and I caught up with Scottish thriller author John A. A. Logan, who offers up some thought-provoking insights to the recent skirmish between Amazon and Hachette in this week’s interview. John shares his publishing experiences, current projects, as well as reflections on what it means to be “literary” and “popular”. Enjoy!
I find authors who might be described as “literary-by-stealth” quite interesting – authors who seem to write popular genre titles, but whose style is so well-written, with a “voice” that might be called literary. Peter Straub’s Ghost Story seems to fall into this category. Or Harvest Home, by Thomas Tryon. Or Jim Thompson, known as the “dime-store Dostoyevsky”. Or James M. Cain, author of The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity etc.
With these authors the style and theme are popular and accessible, but there is a depth there that gathers in upon the reader, as the story continues.
Happy New Year readers!
We’re starting things off with an interview from an author who has mastered the art of self-publishing and working with traditional publishers: Elizabeth S. Craig.
Elizabeth shares some of the knowledge she’s learned from her publishing experience, including the importance of genre in writing and what challenges authors should expect from both forms of publishing. She also fills us in on upcoming books. Enjoy!