Saturday, September 29, 2012

Escapism or Realism?

I’m off to the theatre in Edinburgh today to see one of my favourite shows, Phantom of the Opera. I loved the music long before the first stage production and I’ve seen the original and updated DVD versions, but only managed to catch one stage show way back when it first came to Edinburgh. This is a special early birthday treat from my grown-up daughter, so we also get to enjoy some lovely mother-daughter time together.
Since I love the drama, passion and romance of the story so much (never mind the music!), I was quite surprised to find it down the list of other people’s favourite stage musicals. Most prefer something like Les Miserables or Blood Brothers and it reconfirmed that my taste is for escapism, whether in books, film or TV drama. So I expect to be every bit as overwhelmed by today’s live show as that first time and I have no doubt it will spark my own imagination for writing romantic fiction.
On a loosely similar theme, I watched a half hour interview with JK Rowling on our UK TV the other evening, the day before her new novel for adults, Casual Vacancy, was released. Being a huge fan of all the Harry Potter books and films, I was very interested in hearing what her new book was about from the author herself. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. JK was as interesting as ever, and is an articulate speaker with a highly developed social conscience – partly because of her own background when she suffered a few years of poverty.
My main concern was the subject matter of the new novel, and the level of cursing obviously contained within its pages. I admire her desire to highlight some of the worst aspects of life in certain areas of Britain for a percentage of its people. I can read of these things in the daily newspapers and watch them on the TV news if I wish, but when choosing a novel I’m looking for a story that takes me out of every day life and leaves me feeling better for having read it. I can't comment on the writing since I probably won't be reading this novel, and I only hope that none of her younger fans see the JK Rowling name and assume it’s a fantasy. Maybe it's just as well we all have different tastes!
Rosemary (Romy)
Dangerous Deceit, Champagne Books and Amazon
Summer of the Eagles, MuseItUp and Amazon


Big Mike said...

Interesting assign on Rowlings. Did you know that she used JK as her moniker from the beginning because her promoter felt the intended audience would not relate to a female writing in a male dominated genre. Once she was established, it no longer mattered.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I share your "vices." I love Phantom of the Opera, music and story. And, I do not seek evil.

In fact, we've had a belly full here in the States and I finally, after years of listening to my husband yell, "Cut off the money!", have persuaded him to watch Fox News, a conservative, but not fanatical view of our circling of the drain.

January Bain said...

Well said, Rosemary, Mike and Julie. I've worried about the "circling of the drain" for a long time.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for the comments - I loved the show!

Yes, I knew that, Mike - I guess she can now write whatever she likes.

Interesting to hear that, Julie.

Thanks for that comment, January.