When I’ve got my writing hat on then it’s very clear that authors owe their readers absolutely nothing. Do you hear me readers? I owe you nothing!
I can write about what I want, when I want, and how I want. If I want to set fire to your favourite character’s hair, push them off a cliff, and then jump on them, I can and I will, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. So nyer!
When I’ve got my reading hat on, then it’s very very clear that authors owe me exactly the book I was expecting. And Mr Pullman in particular owes me big time for the rubbish third book in the Dark Materials trilogy.1 Do you hear me writers? You owe me everything!
You owe me more books in my favourite series even if you’re bored with them. You owe me unharmed favourite characters, or at least not in a fatal way. And if you do kill them then you have to bring them back as a zombie or a ghost and they have to be sexy zombie-ghosts. Also you have to make sure you visit wherever I happen to be, and sign my books, and read to me when I want you to. You are my slave. Get cracking! I want more books and I want them NOW!
There, I’m glad that one’s sorted.
- Mr Pullman, sir? I didn’t mean it. Honest. The first two books are so unbelievably good that I forgive you for the, um, less than brilliance of the third. Okay, not less than brilliant. It’s more like it’s differently brilliant. You are a genius and I am not worthy. I tug my forelock.
Okay, shutting up now . . . [↩]