Dear Lynn: It’s not JK Rowling, it’s you.

Another weekend, another writer blaming somebody else for their lot in life and doing their level best to convince me never to read their work.

This time, it was Lynn Shepherd explaining that if JK Rowling cares about writing, she should stop doing it.

I didn’t much mind Rowling when she was Pottering about. I’ve never read a word (or seen a minute) so I can’t comment on whether the books were good, bad or indifferent. I did think it a shame that adults were reading them (rather than just reading them to their children, which is another thing altogether), mainly because there’s so many other books out there that are surely more stimulating for grown-up minds.

She didn’t mind somebody else doing something that had nothing to do with Lynn Shepherd?

Magnanimous with a capital M!

I am also very pleased that someone  concerns themselves with the calibre of the books that I read, and I am ashamed to have disappointed her. It is comforting to have an independent arbiter of what is suitable and, erm, stimulating for my adult brain.

It wasn’t just that the hype was drearily excessive, or that (by all accounts) the novel was no masterpiece and yet sold by the hundredweight, it was the way it crowded out everything else, however good, however worthwhile.

Sure am glad that I wasn’t one of them!

Remember what it was like when The Cuckoo’s Calling had only sold a few boxes and think about those of us who are stuck there, because we can’t wave a wand and turn our books into overnight bestsellers merely by saying the magic word.

And then we get to it: Won’t you please move over and let the rest of us have a chance? We’re not as fortunate as you.

By all means keep writing for kids, or for your personal pleasure – I would never deny anyone that – but when it comes to the adult market you’ve had your turn.

Again with the Magnanimous … wait … what’s that?… Hey!

Wait a minute, Lynn Shepherd, we see what you did there.

So, JK Rowling “had her turn” at the adult market, but has not “had her turn” at the children’s market?

How does that make any sense?

It doesn’t.

Lynn Shepherd is “willing” to let JK Rowling write, just so long as it doesn’t interfere with Lynn Shepherd.

This is nothing but more whiny nonsense. Everything is so unfair! Greedy publishers, elitist agents, popular writers, clueless readers!  Waah, waah, waah!

About the only thing that Shepherd gets right is that there are so many other books and so many writers who are stuck at “just a few boxes.”

I’mma go read one of those … just not one that was written by a pretentious, book-shaming ass.


Addendum: One thing I am NOT going to do (and neither should you!) is run off and post one-star reviews of Lynn Shepherd’s work on GR or AMZN. People are doing that and it’s bullshit.


  1. I JUST wrote about readshaming last week, LYNN SHEPHERD!

  2. […] Dear Lynn: It’s not JK Rowling, it’s you. […]

  3. So, couple free lessons here – they’re wrong, not all notice is good notice (no Lynn Shepherd for me) and people still call #$%#@ what it is. Nice. Hey, btw, it’s OK with me the Rowling married. Just saying…

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