Recently a reader emailed me asking why I cursed in my YA books when she didn’t think it was needed. I have had about 3 emails asking me the same thing. Keep in mind, this is 3 out of about 2000 emails I’ve gotten about The Mind Readers books. As I replied to the readers email, I realized I should just go ahead and post it, that way you can all understand, in case you’ve been wondering. So if you’re interested, its below 🙂

I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the series, but sorry you didn’t appreciate the cursing. There are a variety of reasons my characters curse. I’ll warn you, this is going to be long, but you asked for it 🙂

 -As an author I think its my responsibility to add realism to books; readers have to relate in some way. Your niece and her friends might not, but most teens curse. Keep in mind my characters are 17-21 in age. My characters are, at times, running for their lives and as a reader I’d find it ridiculous and unrealistic if they said something like “darn” while in a life or death situation.

-I don’t think cursing is a big deal. There are incredibly horrific things that happen in this world and I think that a teen saying a few minor curse words is the least of our worries. The other day I asked my cousin if the movie The Avengers was okay to take my son to. I said, “fighting is okay, but not kissing.” As soon as I said the words I realized how ridiculous they were. It’s okay if my son watches people hurt each other, but a kiss isn’t to be seen? I think in this world we need to get our priorities straight and as I said, a few minor curse words, imo, are not a big deal. Of course I don’t expect teens to curse in public places, such as while I’m eating in a restaurant, but that has more to do with respecting other patrons than religion or beliefs.

-Cursing is a cultural thing. Some of the curse words we use weren’t even used in the biblical era. They are words that some man or woman in modern times decided was wrong and banned. For instance before the Medieval era the word Bitch literally meant a female dog and still does in some places. So who in the world decided it was wrong? I’m not saying I use the word, but what I’m saying is that you can’t use the Bible to argue about curse words because some of them just didn’t exist at that time and some of them don’t exist in other cultures even today.

To be completely blunt what it boils down to is, as I said, it’s not something that concerns me nor does it concern the majority of my readers. There are things like child molesters, sex trafficking, starvation, drug abuse that concern me much much more than whether someone is cursing.

If I changed my book for every person and every religion out there, the book would be a ridiculous combination of plots and conversations that wouldn’t be my own. I just read a book by another YA author and her characters drank beer. That’s something at this point I’d never do in a YA book. It has nothing to do with my religious beliefs but with my childhood. I grew up with an alcoholic father. In other words, its because of my own ideals and my own background and I certainly don’t judge her; I don’t think its my right to judge her. She did what was right for her and her book and her beliefs.

I started out as a writer for adults. My adult books are romance. They’re not erotic, but they are R rated, so for me the YA series is certainly toned down.

I’ll tell you something I haven’t told anyone else, all of my books have messages. Sometimes readers get them, sometimes they don’t. I wrote an adult historical romance called To Seduce an Earl. Some people might read that books, see the cursing and the sex and think its a horrible book that should be banned. And that would be too bad because the book is actually about finding redemption and forgiving yourself, even people who have done horrible things. In other words instead of looking at minor things like cursing, it might be better to look at the overall message of the books.

Fortunately The Mind Readers is free so if readers read it and don’t like the cursing they don’t have to spend money on the second book.

I will not change my book to accommodate a person or religion. Even if I wanted to there’s no way we can accommodate everyone and we shouldn’t have to try. But I can and will put in the blurb that there is minor cursing, that way people know ahead of time.

Hope you understand, and I do thank you for your email and your concern.

P.S. The woman I actually wrote this email for never got it because her email bounced, which reminds me to remind you guys to make sure you type in your email correctly if you want a response! I get quite a few emails that bounce back. If you don’t hear back from me, please feel free to email me again. If you don’t hear from me again, then that means I’m probably ignoring you 🙂