Friday, January 30, 2009

Author Influence

I am reading a book right now--Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale--and it is brilliant. Seriously. I think it's the best book that I've ever read on writing (although I am not sure how helpful it would be to someone who isn't aware of the show). I digress.

The reason I'm writing this post is because in the first chapters of the book, the author makes it very clear that not only is he nonreligious, he's a bit anti-religion, specifically anti-Christian. Perhaps I should have known this before, given that Philip Pullman wrote the foreword.

It's not there much, but it is there. And I have to say that it taints my idea of the author--and the book itself--a bit.

This has happened to me before. When Pullman did so many interviews about being anti-Christian and wrote the His Dark Materials series as a reverse-Chronicles of Narnia, I was completely turned off. Whatever I liked about his books--and there were some of his that I loved--everything I read from him from that point on was completely tainted with his anti-Christian viewpoint. I can't help it. I'm fine if you're another religion, or if you're not a religion, but if you attack my viewpoint, I'm not fine with you or your work.

The author of the writing book I'm reading now isn't as anti-Christian as Pullman, but there are some dark undertones in some of his words that gives me a knee-jerk negative reaction.

So, I was wondering: If there is something about an author that you don't like--his view point, his opinion on something, his politics or religion--do you still like his books? If this has never happened to you before, could you find yourself reading a book that you liked, even if you knew the author was diametrically opposed to something you felt strongly about?
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