Why I Started the OCH Literary Society

I read a book.

It was my kind of novel. Dark, sexy anti-hero, forbidden romance, time missed. There was so much buzz around the literary universe about the book and how amazing it was.

I read it in a day.

I read it in a day, and it was awful. The writing was so bad. I couldn’t ever remember reading a book written so badly. But it had plot. The plot was so solid and so strong that I couldn’t put it down. So I read the whole thing in a couple hours and put it down feeling like one feels after they’ve watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Like a bad acid trip that has left you confused about whom you are and whether or not the world you see is real.

I still don’t know what the fuck I read. It was written horribly but I wanted to know what happened so I read it. And the plot was beautiful.

I came across another novel in the sphere in a similar genre that was praised highly. The cover was one of those covers that made you want to go out and buy the paperback immediately. It was fucking terrible.

Another book that was killing it on sales with the most unique plot that I had to get my hands on immediately. There were six grammatical errors in the first two paragraphs and the style was painful.

But the plot was tight. I picked up the second book.

What the fuck?

There was a video circling a few weeks back showing a man playing the most beautiful set on a violin. He was on a cold street corner and people were dropping dollars in his case. I shared the video with sadness.

Talent like this should not be playing on a street corner my post said.

Needless to say, I ended up deleting the post. Friends came out of the woodworks of Facebook to tell me that he could very well play in important places alongside important people. That he probably just does it for fun.

Is our society that ignorant? Do people really don’t know that artists are starving and unappreciated? Or do they just not care? Do they not care that the only type of job that pays the bills in a place like Los Angeles is one where art is dead?

I am very lucky to keep talented, gifted friends. The authors in my inner circle possess the most exquisite writing talent that I have ever come across in any bookstore, New York Times article, or otherwise. But they are running scared. Most of them have abandoned their literary pens for the serial ones. Because literary fiction doesn’t sell.

Guess what. It never has. But it really doesn’t now.

Why? Because society is making stupid famous.

I read this article yesterday wherein YA giants Cassandra Clare and Maggie Stiefvater spoke out against the fandoms that are threatening to drown them out of their social media presence. They are sad and nervous about the state of affairs which is the readerverse.

I have been sad and nervous about it for some time. The fact that everyone is an author, and that just because you’re a writer doesn’t make you smart. Everyone is a writer; I guarantee that everyone knows at least one. The fact that I haven’t purchased a book that I really enjoyed in six months or more. The mere fact that I am writing a book right now that I really don’t want to write.

I wanted a safe place for writers to come together over the joy of the written word, and how beautiful it can be when you strip away the ideal of being an author and writing because it gives you fulfillment to do so. I wanted to pull literature that would have never seen the light of day otherwise out of fear, and blast it front and center of the literary universe. I wanted writers. Real writers who get goosebumps not from the sex scene itself but from the way she used cynosure next to clit.

I wanted a society of writers who would say no, fuck that, we are bringing literature back.

And that’s exactly who I have.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your passion and your words and your ambition. OCH would not be OCH without you.


_MG_1305A Bestselling Author, NPO VP, and Psychology Today Blogger from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.

Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.

From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.
Visit Allie at http://haphazardcoffee.com


6 thoughts on “Why I Started the OCH Literary Society”

  1. Thanks, Allie, for creating OCH. I support all writers,but am always drawn to more literary books. If you’re ever interested, I’d love to write a post for OCH about Leaving the Beach and the reasons I felt compelled to write it.


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