Tuesday, 28 August 2012

SHOULD 13YR OLDS READ 50 SHADES OF GREY?

Today's blog title is the name of the debate that I participated in on Monday on the Radio Four 'You and Yours' programme.

The BBC called Walker Books in the middle of last week, wanting to know if they had an author who would be willing to talk about the issue on air. The other participant in the discussion was to be Tara Benson from Harlequin Mills & Boon (who publish romances worldwide). The PR department at Walker thought of me - well-known as I am for liking to talk on pretty much every much subject - and with a bit of shuffling we managed to arrange everything.

So yesterday I got on a train and went to Lincoln, which was the closest town to me with a BBC studio available, and I was hooked up to a mic and broadcast throughout the country talking about YA novels and why I think that most people (young or old) would be better off readng pretty much anything than 50 Shades of Grey, because it's incredibly badly written, and tedious, and both the main characters are as wooden as the wall of a garden shed, AND it romanticizes a relationship which is extremely dangerous and unhealthy.

I think we had a really great discussion about it, with Tara Benson turning out to be a highly sensible and intelligent lady with lots of good stuff to say, and me managing to get my fifty-pence in as I had been determined I would. You can listen to the debate (and the whole show) through this link.

My bit starts about halfway through, if you want to zip ahead :) Let me know what you think in the comments!

14 comments:

borky_qk said...

I was looking forward to the new post and I really liked it! You were amazing!

Zoë Marriott said...

Borko: Thank you! I'm glad that it went off well - I was pretty nervous :)

Isabel said...

From what I heard, I think you did a great job, and have a very good point!

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: Thanks. My heart was thumping like mad - I was scared my voice would come out all shakey and strangled!

Isabel said...

Not at all! You have the most awesome accent too ;)

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: Hee! I'm not sure if people who aren't from the UK can hear it as clearly, but both the presenter and the lady from the publisher were very 'plummy' - posh sounding, from the South of the country. I sounded very Northern in contrast, even though at home I'm considered to be too 'posh'. Anyway, thank you :)

Emma said...

I think you did really well, and your accent is adorable! And I completely agree with you about 50SOG being badly written xD

I read the first on a whim and found it dire, and I'm amazed it's been as successful as it has been considering it started life as a Twilight fanfic. I do feel kind of sorry for the people who think 50SOG is the best smut they've read though haha. It's certainly the only smut I've read where the narrator compares herself to a virgin goat at one point o.O

Zoë Marriott said...

Emma: God, there are ssssssoooo many hilarious and appalling quotes, but I shall refrain since this is supposed to be a family friendly(ish) blog. But yeah, the idea that this represents the pinacle of erotica makes me want to personally facepalm E.L. James' publishers. I'm sure all the romance and erotica writers out there feel the same, too!

Renee Giraldy said...

This is the first time I actually read someone who felt about 50 like I did. I thought the characters were certainly in need of mental health assistance and from a psychological aspect I felt so sad for the lead he was tormented. I also thought it was messed up that people were romanticizing it.

Zoë Marriott said...

Renee: Exactly! The guy's so emotionally damaged that he can't even acknowledge he was abused. These are not topics for a light, smutty romance. So sad.

Emma Pass said...

Zoe, you were awesome (and sorry for the delayed commenting - things have been crazy!). Really enjoyed listening to you, and was nodding my head in agreement all the way through!

Zoë Marriott said...

Emma: Whoops! I thought that was you further up the thread! Oh well - thanks for commenting anyway :)

Alex Mullarky said...

You were on Radio 4! Amazing! Going to listen as soon as younger siblings vacate the room.... teehee. Congratulations by the way!

Zoë Marriott said...

Alex: Yeah, it was pretty amazing to me, too! I hope you enjoy it when u get the chance to listen :)

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