Colleen McCullough: JKR is a “lousy writer”

102

Nov 25, 2004

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

In an interview with The Courier Mail, author Colleen McCullough (The Thorn Birds) mentions Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. In this article, which you can read below, Colleen McCullough offers her opinion on her fellow author.

ONE thing Colleen McCullough won’t miss when she finally loses her battle against a condition that is sending her blind is finding out what happens to Harry Potter.

The prolific writer, and reader, who was in Brisbane recently to promote her latest novel, Angel Puss, says part of the skill that makes her one of Australia ‘s most popular authors also prevents her from becoming a fan of the young wizard with the scar on his forehead.

“I have an editor in my head, that’s why I can’t read Harry Potter, because she (J.K. Rowling) is such a lousy writer,” the woman with the giant-sized personality confessed.

“I applaud her so much, but I can’t read Harry Potter because the editor in my head is going strike that, why did you do that?”

Please note this interview is not yet on the newspaper’s website, but you can read the full piece below.
Writing another Thornbirds would be boring, author Colleen
McCullough tells Rodney Chester

ONE thing Colleen McCullough won’t miss when she finally loses her
battle against a condition that is sending her blind is finding out what
happens to Harry Potter.

The prolific writer, and reader, who was in Brisbane recently to
promote her latest novel, Angel Puss, says part of the skill that makes her one of Australia ‘s most popular authors also prevents her from becoming a fan of the young wizard with the scar on his forehead.

“I have an editor in my head, that’s why I can’t read Harry Potter,
because she (J.K. Rowling) is such a lousy writer,” the woman with the
giant-sized personality confessed.

“I applaud her so much, but I can’t read Harry Potter because the
editor in my head is going strike that, why did you do that?”

Married to a descendant of a Bounty mutineer, McCullough says she is
surprised her comments made on her book tour about the recent court
cases on Pitcairn Island had received such media coverage.

She says she did not want to get involved in the debate over the
cultural aspects of early sexual experiences, but says there are two sides to
every story.

McCullough’s newest book, based on the adventures of a young medical
technician who moves to Sydney’s Kings Cross in the early 1960s, is
partly inspired by her own experiences as a neurophysiologist in the notorious
Sydney suburb at the time.

“I thought it was a wonderful world to live in, with the beauty and
the difference,” she says. “There was crime, but not a lot.”

Angel Puss is a book that has been a long time coming. McCullough
wrote the first draft in 1978 but it was rejected by her publishers who were
wanting a sequel to her record-breaking hit, The Thornbirds.

She has re-written it as a young woman’s diary about her
experiences in discovering sex.

“In early draft it never satisfied me, and that was when it clicked
into place and it went so well as a diary,” she says.

“There are others (unpublished novels) in drawers. With publishers I
fight a perpetual battle not to write “Son of Thornbirds”, which is what they
want me write. They only want me to write in one genre, the family saga which
is as boring as batshit once you’ve done one.”

Angel Puss is set 44 years ago and the Norfolk Island resident says
this is the most modern book she will ever pen.

“Forty-four years is about as close to modern life as I want to go
because I know now, from where I am, what was important about 1960 in social terms,” she says.

“The most important thing was the Pill. It freed woman up, all of a
sudden women weren’t dogged by the fear of pregnancy. It was a fact women were unemployable once they were married, now you get maternity leave.”

She refuses to worry about how she will write once her eyesight
disappears as result of a congenital illness, and is now working on a “whodunit” mystery and an Antony and Cleopatra tale to complete her Roman series.

“I thought Angel Puss had missed its chance and would never be
published because I’m so full of ideas. I don’t have to scratch around in an
empty cupboard for a crumb. I open my intellectual larder and it’s chockers,”
shesays.

With The Thornbirds now in its 56th hardback reprint in the US, the
popular author is not shy about her abilities but acknowledges her lack of
tact.

She says: “My husband says it is very good that I have very tiny
feet, because they’re easier to get in my mouth.”





One Response to Colleen McCullough: JKR is a “lousy writer”

Avatar ImageSmitch says: Oh well, I understand how people can be held back by what they think is a virtue, but she is missing out on a wonderful story. Being grammatically inclined is a wonderful thing, but becoming judgemental and limited because of it is entirely another. I suppose she'd pick that sentence apart and miss the message?

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