“My aim in writing is … always about trying to change people’s lives.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/22/jeanette-winterson-thought-of-suicide
Stuart Jeffries’ interview with Jeanette Winterson for The Guardian in February this year, was printed in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum this weekend. What struck me, apart from her warts-and-all refreshing honesty, was that she writes with a sense of purpose, not “just to give pleasure.” She believes that Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit did change people’s attitude to homosexuality.
I write with that same sense of purpose. Indeed, I am driven by it. But it is extremely important to me that first and foremost The Genesis Flaw is an exciting read. It’s a fast-paced thriller, designed to thrill. The genetic engineering brings about the potential global catastrophe, and that is all. I took great care to ensure that none of my characters preach, and there is no narrator’s voice lecturing the reader. Fiction is all about entertainment. I want readers of The Genesis Flaw to be taken on a rip-snorter of a rollercoaster ride and finish the book breathless, as if they have experienced Serena Swift’s dangerous journey with her.
However, by writing stories that enthrall, with many plot twists and intriguing characters, I aim to touch on social, political and environmental topics in a non-confrontational way. I would love my novels to prompt debate. My next thriller is about a climate change catastrophe set in Antarctica and includes some very dramatic scenes and an isolated hero who must save us all, but I hope that, after finishing it, some readers might ask, ‘Could this really happen?’.