why shouldn’t writers and novelists get paid?

On Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, I heard Monica Ali, author of The Untold Story, having to defend the fact she has written a commercially viable novel.

OK, so the ‘what if’ plot focuses on the imaginary scenario of Princess Diana having faked her death to escape media attention. And, from a marketing point of view, this is perfectly timed – what with the royal wedding of William and Kate a months away. Some of the commentators were shocked that the author of literary, character-driven novel Brick Lane could descend to such depths as writing popular fiction, and that it would “be hard to take the literary hard ground after a book like this”.

Monica responded in the Today interview by saying Continue reading