Necessity, stupid. From his FAQ:
Your novels sell pretty well. Why do you still work at Time?
That’s a good question. I’ve talked about this before, a couple of times. Bottom line is, I do make a pretty good living from my books. I look at some other writers who are in comparable places in their careers and think, gorram it, they write fiction full time, why don’t I? But I can’t. If I’d made certain decisions earlier in my life, and not made a few others, I could. But as it is I have a lot of overhead. For reasons that don’t bear going into, I have to live in New York, and that’s incredibly expensive. Also a lot of people depend on the money from the Magicians books, not just me. And it’s not like working for Time is a crap job. It’s a great job. It doesn’t pay as much as The Magicians pays, but it pays enough.
Emphasis mine. (Lynda Barry: “The key to eternal happiness is low overhead and no debt.”) I’m reading Grossman’s The Magicians right now and really enjoying it.
reblogging a) for future reference and b) i just love lev. i need to do a reread of the magicians this year and then delve into the magician king before he goes and puts out another book in this awesome ‘verse.
You can see both sides of the issue. Do characters belong to the person who created them? Or to the fans who love them so passionately that they spend their nights and weekends laboring to extend those characters’ lives, for free? There’s a division here, a geological fault line, that looks small on the surface but runs deep into our culture, and the tectonic plates are only moving farther apart. Is art about making up new things or about transforming the raw material that’s out there? Cutting, pasting, sampling, remixing and mashing up have become mainstream modes of cultural expression, and fan fiction is part of that. It challenges just about everything we thought we knew about art and creativity.
- Lev Grossman
oh damn, lev wrote the article? i was going to just give it figurative kudos for putting fanfic in the spotlight and not bothering reading, but never mind now. i love this dude’s writing. everyone should read the magicians. clearly i heart jk’s imagination and all things potter, but grossman’s world is rich and layered in a totally different way with so much punch packed into just one novel.