I logged in to Twitter today to see a load of abuse being fired at Joanne Harris for allegedly attacking JK Rowling. Articles such as this one in The Telegraph give the impression that Joanne is jealous of JK Rowling’s wealth and implies JK is to blame for the financial struggles writers face. A quick Google of this story leads to other articles which lean slightly more in Joanne Harris’s favour, such as this one in The Independent. Unfortunately, if people have read a negative twisted-the-truth-just-to-sell-papers version of events, they probably won’t look any further. My take on it is this – Joanne Harris expressed an opinion that I happen to agree with. She was in no way attacking JK Rowling’s talents or wealth. She was expressing the opinion that famous authors such as JK Rowling (who make trailer-loads of cash from the their writing) are not the norm. Most writers will not make £560 million (and counting) from their writing. This is not a comment arising from jealousy, this is cold, hard truth. Joanne Harris was urging people to re-assess their thinking. She was not trying to deter people from writing and she was not bashing JK Rowling – she was basically telling people to get real. If you want to write, write but don’t think you will necessarily become a millionaire.
I fail to see what is difficult to understand about what she said. I’m sure that JK Rowling won’t have taken offence at her comments.
See the difference?
It seems that the more prominent a writer becomes, the more people see them as a target. Back off trolls. Back off hack journalists. Joanne Harris was attempting to impart advice to people who probably appreciate it because it is coming from a successful writer. JK Rowling is successful and rich – so what? She deserves to be. Both women are hugely talented writers and this should be applauded rather than people trying to pick them apart. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and if you don’t like their writing, that’s fine but assassination of character is something different all together. Well done to Joanne Harris for presenting the facts. I for one appreciate it. To everyone that believes the papers to be gospel, remember the saying – never let the truth get in the way of a good story. At least Joanne Harris admits to writing fiction.