Beware the F-bomb

by Ashlynmathews on September 15, 2012

I have to give full disclosure. My debut novel, Shadow Watcher, is full of f-bombs, sex and violence. The intent of my blog is to share my publication experiences with writers and readers in the hopes that they will either learn from my mistakes or share in my triumphs. Lesson number one: when asking a potential reviewer to read and review your book, disclose the above. It’ll save both parties a bunch of heartache and time.

Yesterday, a reviewer messaged me saying she wouldn’t post her review of my book because it was about demons. There were other personal details given that for obvious reasons I can’t disclose. Shadow Watcher has only been out less than a week and more reviews would have been nice, but I understood her dilemma.

I debated whether to blog about this experience. Yet, the more the thought churned in my head, the harder it was to let go. Yes, my book is about a Demon Hunter, Sophie Sinclair. She kills. We’ve been taught that it’s wrong to kill. However, she protects humans and kills evil beings. Seems fairly black and white, right? But wait. Her kinds, the Shadow Watchers, kill humans if they become aware of the Shadow Watchers’ existence. Soon the world — or Seattle, where the book takes place — becomes shades of gray. Who’s right? Who’s fair? Nothing is right or fair in Shadow Watcher. After all, the biggest villain in the book is Sophie’s half-brother, Cage Steele. He’s a very dangerous and bad-ass demon.

Shadow Watcher is riddled with f-bombs and other curse words. There are three very violent scenes. My heroine triumphs in two. The other scene she didn’t want to fight out of. I tried very hard to have her win the fight, but she wouldn’t stay true to herself or her father’s teachings. Sophie’s convictions are strong, and her actions portray who she is. Her convictions are so strong, she not only gets beat up for it, but she’s willing and ready to walk away from love to stick to her duty to protect the weak from the strong. Could you say the same if placed in her situation?

Demons are evil. They come from a place called Hell. They’re usually ugly, dangerous, and definitely sinful. Yet, it’s the evil in them that makes them enjoyable to read and write about. Take a sexy and dangerous demon brother bent on revenge and everything goes to Hell. But is the brother good or bad for trying to protect his sister? Again, shades of gray, and definitely not right or fair the extremes Cage Steele goes through to save his sister, Sophie Sinclair.

If you downloaded a copy of Shadow Watcher, please leave a review. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Believe me this is tame compared to the original.

It’s ironic that as I thought of writing this post, my seventh grader told me a funny story. He mentioned to his language arts teacher that his mom is published. The language arts teacher asked my son to bring the print copy (not available yet) in to the classroom to share. My son told him, “It’s not appropriate for kids.” And I have to say Shadow Watcher isn’t appropriate for the faint of heart either. I appreciate my reviewer for taking the time to read my book. But the next time I ask or accept to read and review a book, there will definitely be some disclosure involved.

 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Brentwood September 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Sounds like a great book to me, I will download it and read it and when I am done post a review! I am finding that the hardest thing about publishing is bracing yourself for those people who won’t like your book. We all judge book and movies and either like, love or hate them so it makes sense that this will be subjective based on what people like to read. Still, I know as an author, we can just hope that more people will like what we wrote than don’t. I enjoyed your blog post and will look forward to talking to you about the ups and downs of writing, etc. Good luck.

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Teresa Blue September 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I agree with Anna, it is hard when others don’t take our little darlings to heart. Or forget that the book in question is fiction and not an author’s personal experience. Earlier this year I sold a paranormal novella that portrays the unseen, or life after death and its better if the reader forgets the ‘real’ here and now for the sake of storytelling and goes along for the ride. There will always be those with an opinion. To each his own. Don’t let it unravel your confidence. Shadow watcher is an awesome read! And so are you. : )

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Anne Bourne September 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience! I guess as writers putting our “art” out there, there will be all kinds of critical opinions. I agree and I also disclose about my books if there’s violence, language and sexuality. Your book sounds really interesting so I will go look for it on amazon =)

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Karen Duvall September 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I’ve never had a reviewer tell me they won’t post a review of my books, but I’m sure many don’t for their own reasons, they just don’t let me know one way or the other. I make it a point to never read reviews of my books. I have in the past and some have been good and some not so much, but it doesn’t help me as a writer to read them. Reviews are nothing more than opinions and what one person doesn’t like, another might think is the best book in the world.

Good luck with your book! It sounds like a good one. 🙂

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Ashlynmathews September 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Thank you Karen. I’ve read many authors don’t look at reviews of their books. Definitely a piece of advice to keep in mind on my newbie journey 🙂

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Wendy Herrington September 17, 2012 at 12:09 am

Thank you for sharing this. I understand why full disclosure is beneficial. I know that I don’t like big surprises when I read a book. I just had that happen recently. A 21st century issue was dropped smack in the middle of a historical. It ruined the book for me, but that was just MY reaction. Thousands of others have loved the book. Personal taste will always reflect in a review, so it’s not really about the book, it’s about that person’s preferences.
I think Karen’s on to something about not reading reviews. The high we feel from a good one doesn’t compare to the low when we get a nasty one.

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Ashlynmathews September 17, 2012 at 12:24 am

I agree. It’s the low point that can keep us down for longer than we need to be down for. Thank you for sharing!

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