Friday, October 28, 2005

Conspiracies R Us

This article discusses the plotting of a book -- a medical thriller backed by the pharmaceutical industry in an effort to sway public opinion against purchasing drugs from Canada. The executive who came up with the idea has been fired as a renegade, but I find the concept both amusing and disturbing.

Amusing: That's one use for an advertising budget. The average author's advance is going to be much cheaper than a prime TV commercial. Of course, there's that whole hiring the press and trying to make sure the book gets into stores, but that's a minor detail, right?

Disturbing: Could it have worked? And if it did, how responsible would the authors be for delivering the message they were paid for? I don't believe an author has to believe in everything she writes (how many serial killers would we have running around if we did?), but if an author is going to accept money to produce a specific viewpoint and demonize a type of action, that author's just another marketing shill. And, yeah, they do need to accept that that's what they're doing.

I'm not saying that makes the writing any easier. It's still work, hard work. But it's propaganda.

Wow, that took a serious turn I wasn't expecting, but yeah, I am disturbed by fiction being written with an agenda. If you want to put in your morals and themes, fine. But keep the proselytizing to the non-fiction, please.


Mama Rose said...

OT--but I wanted to wish you an early Happy Birthday. I hope you have a great day tomorrow. :)


Random Walk Writer said...

Thanks, Mama Rose.

Eep! Have I really not said anything for a month? It's that NaNo. Evil, I tell you.

Bernita said...

I tend to agree.
usually if I disagree with the agenda.

Lostcheerio said...

I'm kind of surprised it doesn't happen more often, given how persuasive a popular novel can be, and how much more accessible than, say, a non-fiction essay. Also, much easier to skew facts because "it's only fiction."

Maybe it does happen more often, and just doesn't get exposed.

Alex Fayle said...

The idea of writing a book for a company is a lot like writing a movie script that highlights a product, which is some the car companies have been doing for a few years now.

It's a way to get published, but what sort of cred will other authors/publishers give the work? No diea.