One gets to a certain point in one’s, ahem, career, when it becomes clear that The Big Breakthrough isn’t going to happen. Fifty years ago it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. Plenty of fine authors bimbled along with a modest but appreciative following. Then they died and soon after the only place to find their books was a charity shop. These days who (apart from me) reads E.M.Delafield? Who reads Nevil Shute, or Bram Stoker – except perhaps for THAT book. Actually I don’t think people do read it. Why would they when they can watch a movie? People don’t even read Robert Louis Stevenson and I count him a giant among storytellers.
So what hope for mid-list bimblers in the 21st century? None. We’ll be consigned to the pulping plant faster than you can say ‘Back List.’ Never mind immortality, novel writing isn’t even the way to modest financial solvency. I begin to think the way to go is merchandising. Dodie Smith missed a trick there.
The Humble Companion tea towel. The Gone With the Windsors oven glove. The Grand Duchess of Nowhere in a snowstorm globe, the perfect gift for the Holiday Season. What do you think? Or perhaps I need a collection. The Laurie Graham At Sea range of cruise wear?
By the way, it took three attempts for me to thwart Spell Check and get away with ‘bimbled’ and ‘bimblers’. Who is this language fascist lurking in my computer? This is my blog and I’ll take whatever damned liberties I choose.