A couple days ago I caught snippets of an interview with Patricia Cornwell, the bestselling author of the Scarpetta series, among other things. She talked about her work — which I found mildly interesting –, she solved a staged case — something a team had spent three days planning which she walked into and nailed in an hour –, and she spoke about her wife.
Yeah. Her wife. Which makes her gay, I guess.
You see, this is one of those issues that both Matters and Doesn’t Matter. If you’re curious Why It Matters, head over here. If you want to know why I believe It Doesn’t Matter, keep reading.
You see, there are readers who will now no longer enjoy her books. People who loved her work, loved her characters. Adopted them into their lives as if they were real people dealing with real problems. Eagerly looked forward to the next installment. The next leg of the journey. Knew they could find a solid escape from their lives between the pages.
But now because Miss Cornwell is different — and she’s been fairly open about her sexuality for several years, but it’s new to me, so I’m writing from that perspective –, they’ll turn their backs on her.
You see, she’s not like them.
Because she doesn’t think crumbling tortilla chips over a casserole, tagging the word Fiesta on it before insisting on being applauded for her culinary genius, they won’t buy her books.
She’s not like them.
Because she doesn’t spend every third Saturday staring at the ceiling wondering if she turned the oven off while the Mr. plugs in an impressive thirty humps before popping off, they’ll deny themselves the joy of her talent.
She’s not like them.
Because, in their minds, Miss Cornwell and her Mrs. — her MRS!! — are “others” who more than likely suit up every night for sexy intercourse with enough power tools to make a mechanic piss himself with envy, she’s not worth the read.
But it doesn’t matter.
Miss Cornwell writes books. Has been doing it for years with bestseller after bestseller with the next bestseller, her 20th, released this week. And for anyone who knows what the writing of a book entails, trust me, it ain’t easy. Who she loves, who she sleeps with, doesn’t really enter into the equation. The books she writes from here on out will more than likely adhere to the familiar, quite successful formula established by her earlier work.
In other words, I doubt her characters will start trolling Home Depot before heading home to Dykesville and their quiet cul de sac off Clitori Corner.
And, for some, that won’t be enough. In my opinion, that’s their problem. No one is obligated to reveal the truth of who they are on the Front Cover just so you, a potential reader, will feel comfortable.
The readers of hers who are mature and have their priorities in check won’t be thrown, won’t be bothered. Will continue to read and enjoy what she offers, wife or not.
Anyone else is welcome to donate those books of hers they refuse to revisit and enjoy to their local library or used book store, head on home to their own quiet cul de sac between Raging Hellfire and Eternal Damnation Lanes, light a candle, crack open the Good Book and begin working their way through all those “begat”s and “so sayeth he”s.
Personally, I’ll take Cornwell.