Here’s the case in a nutshell: study participants, who recognized the names of literary writers such as Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie and Harper Lee, were found to be more empathetic than those who recognized the names of Cussler (action/adventure) and Steele (women’s fiction).
Right now you're probably thinking that someone like me, who happens to be co-writing with Clive Cussler, might be slightly prejudiced. You'd be right. Even so, I can almost understand the (misguided) belief that Cussler readers might be less empathetic, because look at what the guy writes: action/adventure-take-no-prisoners-gonna-save-the-day type stuff. If you ignore that his heroes always go above and beyond the call of duty to save the little guy, sometimes even the whole world, never once uttering a swear word, then sure. After all, there's usually a pretty high body count in his books. But just because someone likes action/adventure, how does that make them less able to recognize emotion in other people?
I'm inclined to believe that they interviewed the wrong thousand people.
If one of these academic researchers were to show me a picture of a man bringing a woman a bouquet of roses on Valentine's Day, my non-empathetic bells would be clanging as I calculated the cost, thinking the entire gesture a waste of money. My husband doesn't buy me flowers for Valentine’s Day. It's not that I don't like them. More that they're gonna die in a few days and for the same price, he could buy me the next Cussler novel. In hardcover.
If that makes me and/or my husband (who also reads/recognizes genre authors) less empathetic, bring it on.
How about you, readers? What genre do you read in and what do you think of this study?
Recently, Clive Cussler celebrated his 85th
birthday in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was honored to have received an invitation,
along with his other co-writers.I met
his two daughters and one granddaughter. (Clive enjoys telling tales of his
children, and so it was fun hearing stories from them.)
The weather was hot!Having just returned home from Europe (researching some of the places
that Clive and I picked out for our next book together), and enjoying lovely
weather (rainy, but oh-so-cool!), I experienced a bit of shock coming home to
upper 90s and triple digits in New York, Arizona and Central California. (We’re
looking at a straight week of triple digits here in California… sigh.)
For those of you who know Clive and his stories, they
usually contain some wonderful cars from his collection. And so when I arrived
in Scottsdale at the fabulous Marcellino Ristorante, I was happy to find one of
Clive’s cars parked out front. (I believe this is his 1931 Ford Model A.Those of you more knowledgeable on cars will
no doubt correct me if I’m wrong! But since he had a birthday cake fashioned
from the above mentioned car model, I’m hoping my powers of deduction are
And for those of you who know me, you might be surprised
that I actually wore a dress. Yikes! Don’t forget your sunglasses. Can’t tell
you the last time my legs saw the sun!
I hope you enjoy my new website! This will be the page where I'll post news and events, photos, links to cool things and book news! Right now Clive Cussler and I are busy working on book 9 in the Sam and Remi Fargo series and that's keeping me very busy. I am thrilled to be working with Clive. It's been an amazing experience. So stay tuned!