Saturday, August 1, 2015
Reader Discretion is Advised
One of my favorite books is called Worst. Person. Ever by Douglas Coupland. Not a book for the faint of heart, Coupland doesn’t hold back when it comes to profanity, crudeness or rudeness. If you
out the reviews, you will see
those who gush with delight (like check meJ) wh ile
others rant about the offensiveness of the book. It’s a nice balance.
As a writer, I’ve had a similar balance with my readers. While many write wonderful reviews, send me thoughtful (and greatly appreciated!) emails and speak passionately about my books, I also have the people who are beyond offended by the language and subject matter of my writing. In fact, you may've noticed a story in an earlier blog about one particular woman who commented that if I “took all the ‘F words’ out of my (first) book, it would’ve been half the size” and that’s actually one of the nicer complaints that thrown my way, since I first published Fire in 2010.
My latest book is no exception. Her Name is Mariah tangles with some topics that make people uncomfortable – transgender, abortion and suicide – not to mention a protagonist who never would be accused of being the girl next door. Mariah is as crude and offensive as she is deep and profound, but these are traits you may not notice unless you finish the book. You certainly won’t see them much early on.
I’ve had people (after starting the book) drop me on social media. I’ve had at least one journalist give me the cold shoulder after learning that the subject of the book. People will excitedly read the back cover – then raised an eyebrow, I’m guessing around the time they hit the word ‘transgender’ and politely smile and hand it back.
Having said that, I’m always upfront with people. I’m not trying to follow in the footsteps of Nicholas Sparks. In fact, if I ever write a romance novel, it’s quite possible that I will want to set myself on fire immediately after the fact.
Sure, my characters are complex, they may not always make the best life decisions and there are times when I’m even a little shocked by what they do, but that’s what makes them fun to write and read about. My books aren’t the bible for bad behavior (although, they would be an interesting manual) but you probably aren’t going to look to my characters as your moral compass
at least, I wouldn’t really recommend it. …
But if you do, please tell me how that works for you. Maybe you can be the topic for my next book
Canadian author Mima is known for her complicated and diverse characters, a dark style and for never shying away from controversial topics. To request an interview or if you are interested in doing a book review, please send requests here
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Labels: book ban, crudeness, discretion, Douglas Coupland, Her name is Mariah, Mima, nonconformist, offensive material, reader, taboo, Worst. Person. Ever
Author of Fire, A Spark before the Fire and The Rock Star of Vampires, Her Name is Mariah, Different Shades of the Same Color, We're All Animals and Always be a Wolf. All are available at Amazon, Chapters, iTunes or most online retailers. Check it out at www.mimaonfire.com also check out Truth and the Dark Side, her personal blog.