Imagine that you are the author of one of the most successful franchises of children's books in publishing history: To date, nine books and three movies, and more to follow. You're happily married, raising your kids in a small New England town. So what do you do next with your life?
On the last Saturday in February for the last seven years, I and my friends, family and strangers around the world have been bringing a book to bed. I probably don't have to explain why I chose cold and dreary February to create a holiday where you spend the day reading in bed, do I?
I adore my agent. He's one of the wisest and nicest men I've ever met in my life and I trust him completely. Still, I was nonplussed. Why shouldn't my book start with the point of view of a woman in her fifties?
None of this misogyny rings true for a contemporary fourth-grade boy. Fourth-grade boys in 2013 know better. First-grade boys do. My own son knows that girls can do anything boys can do. It's not even a question.
All authors like fan letters. But indie authors (what we who are not published by the six big behemoths of American book companies call ourselves) love fan letters. It means that we somehow got on someone's radar and that makes us blipping happy.
Reluctant readers, it seems, like fart jokes. They also seem to like gross food, nonstop action, and the occasional illustration. For those not in the business, the term "reluctant reader" tends to be a synonym for "boy."
What is the future of criticism in the world of the internet? Will the younger generation need to be addressed differently or will the old verities do? Read on, to find out what these significant voices in American criticism have to say.