, , , , ,

I recently read the Freshly Pressed article “America’s Next Top Author” by Here’s to us. It is a refreshing read and I found it very humorous. When I was scrolling through some of the comments I noticed that some people claimed television shows for competing authors would be a bad idea, because it would discredit them; it would devalue the work of the author. Would it, really?

First of all, I am not American. I am a Spanish Australian but I would love to see [Insert Any Country]’s Next Top Author any day. I also don’t watch television. I hate adds and I dislike most television shows, particularly reality shows. But if they brought out The Next Top Author I would be watching that in a heart beat! I wouldn’t be thinking that those contestants who were accepted were devaluing themselves by competing. I would be furiously jealous.

I have two main gripes about this counter idea to a hypothetical television show. One, competing for your dreams and being on television would devalue you or your work. Two, why isn’t there such a show? Why isn’t writing explored the same ways that modeling, cooking, dancing, singing are on television?

I agree that on some shows they do degrade the contestants or what they are striving for but when the show is properly executed I don’t see where [Country]’s Next Top Author would fail. The last thing the writing community needs to be is snobbish. They shouldn’t (in my opinion) see television as a totally different realm to them that they would not want their work being involved with. I think this issue merges with Eliabeth’s post prior to mine about books or movies.

When I have watched a movie I have read prior to viewing with someone who hasn’t, I usually side with the book (I think it’s a detail, character development thing). I have done this with people who are abhorrent to reading and say it’s just boring and slow compared to watching movies. I know that even though I side with the book with honest preference I still feel the need to promote how awesome books are (because they really are!). Do the majority think books are boring? Would the show even be worth it?

I know a friend who doesn’t like reading, “Books just remind me of school, that’s why I don’t get into them. The last thing I want to do is be reminded of school when I have free time.” The books she has read she enjoyed but it’s the struggle to read. Why aren’t books shown in numerous lights and not just to store dusty pages for education purposes? I read outside of school for as long as I remember. Books were never strictly school related for me. Was that the defining difference for her and me? Do you ever see books on television as the most fun, exciting thing around?

If there was such a show I would personally be over the moon because I’d love it, but also the publicity the written word would receive. Television is one of the best ways to advertise and I think authors, written stories and poetry have to be advertised as fun and enjoyable hobbies.

To me the promotion of reading, writing and supporting authors would be a tremendous addition for the writing community (let alone the benefits in mental development for children). For many of us, myself included, books have been close friends for a long time. The only famous person I would honestly go out of my way to meet is J.K Rowling. I have little care for celebrities, singers and the likes when I think about what J.K Rowling gave to me and my childhood.

Why shouldn’t bestselling authors be seen as superstars? Why don’t they have their own show? They create entire worlds, they transform pages into an escape from reality and give birth to an array of three-dimensional (if they’re good writers :P) beings. They can make you laugh, weep and deeply contemplate over the grand tale executed only in the written word. I don’t know about you but for me… that’s a real superstar.

Ermisenda Alvarez