I was reading an interesting interview with a best selling author.
The best selling author told the journalist that her success is owed to LUCK and to BRANDING.
All sorts of images came to mind.
– A hefty cowgirl being singled out of the pack, tossed to the ground and branded with a red-hot iron. ‘Romance Best Seller!’ – Right on her plump rear.
– A woman wrapped in shiny cellophane, with heart-shaped pink labels advertising romance stuck in strategic places, a bright smile firmly pasted on pink lips. (not too much lipstick – we said romance, not erotica.)
– Betty Crocker. (All right, silly, I know, but whenever I think of branding I think of Betty Crocker. This time she’s not holding a cookbook, she’s holding a romance book, and she’s wearing rhinestone-festooned glasses.)
The author went on to say she never gave an opinion on anything, and she made sure she was only associated with her books. What? You can’t express any opinions? And you must be careful not to project any other image except that of your books?
(Already I’m starting to feel schizophrenic – I write erotica, mainstream, and YA fiction, science fiction, high fantasy, contemporary, urban fantasy, historical and paranormal…what on earth kind of brand would I get? I’m guessing it won’t be pink and heart-shaped.)
I have strong opinions about things. I’m also open minded and can be swayed by a good argument. I love a good argument. But that’s not the point of this blog. You can’t really have a good argument on a blog – you can only post your opinions, get misunderstood, get into hot water, and decide it’s better to stick with recipes by Betty Crocker.
But the best selling author did have a point when she insisted on having a good image. I just suppose that the last thing I want (sorry) is to be branded as a romance writer. It’s too limited for me. For one thing, I do many things better than writing romance, and other things are more important to me.
I put so many things before my writing that it would really bother me to be branded. Think of me as one of those old steamer suitcases which has traveled all over the world, and has stickers in all sizes, shapes and colors from everywhere, in different languages, all over it. That’s more like it.
As for the LUCK part – well, that’s out of my hands, isn’t it?
Jennifer also writes as Samantha Winston
And here is my favorite fish chowder recipe – enjoy!
Onion, new potatoes, milk, 1/2 cube chicken bullion or 1 cup clam juice (optional), bay leaves, salmon, cod, smoked haddock, sweetcorn(canned, frozen, or fresh cut off the cob), spring onions, parsley or dill.
Peel and roughly chop an onion, put it into a large deep pan with a little butter and fry till golden. Scrub 400g potatoes, then halve or quarter them depending on their size. Add them to the onion then pour in 500ml of water and 500ml of milk. Bring to the boil, with a coarse grinding of pepper and a couple of bay leaves.
Lower the heat so the liquid simmers and, when the potato is soft, introduce 400g of mixed fish, such as salmon, cod and smoked haddock, cut into large cubes, and continue to cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.
Add the corn to the pan. Roughly chop 2 spring onions and a small bunch of parsley (or dill) and stir them into the soup carefully, without breaking up the fish. Serve as soon as the corn is tender. It is important not to stir the chowder too much as it cooks, which would result in the fish breaking up.
The flavors will improve if the soup rests 30 minutes before serving.
Serve with crusty bread or oyster crackers, a green salad, and a crisp white wine or cider.