I picture the scene in the office of a mainstream publisher. Before the seventeen-year-old unpaid receptionist is allowed to undo the string on the newly arrived manuscript, she must check that the author has either a merit or distinction from a (preferably American) university Creative Writing Class 101. Having crossed that hurdle, the opus will be stopped on the desk of the office junior (paying the company a very reasonable £25,000 for the privilege of working there) if the author lists ‘reading’ as his or her hobby.
McRenegades refuse to shoehorn their ideas into what is deemed saleable. Unlike the original ugly sisters, McRenegades don’t mind if the glass slipper goes to someone else. I certainly don’t want to finish up with a prince. What I want is The Reader.
Male or female, young or old, The Reader is an entity that devours all my work with understanding. It is critical, lauding the good bits and condemning the bad but always appreciating the effort I am making to entertain and inform. Unlike a bestselling author I don’t have to pander to a mass audience: the only opinion that matters to me is that of The Reader.
Dalmuir-born Alasdair is the author of seven novels, all of which can be viewed on McVoices.