So, I spend a lot of my free time on the AuthorTok side of TikTok, and there’s been a huge discussion lately on whether authors are ethically obligated (some would say morally obligated) to provide content warnings for their books. The back and forth seems to be pretty heated, and I first agreed with the side opposing content warnings, until I listened to myself say “Well, we didn’t have them in my day” and “When you read a specific genre, you expect certain things.” And then I cringed. And then I reevaluated my position. And so now, I want to discuss why It Hungers has a content warning. This will be spoiler free.
While my main series is a dark urban fantasy/paranormal thriller series, I didn’t include a content warning on Liam’s Doom. There was violence, foul languages, and discussions of suicide and suicidal ideation. Carmilla’s Ghost references through purposefully non-detailed journal entries rape, humiliation, and torture. A few beta readers suggested I put a content warning on Carmilla’s Ghost, and I didn’t. I didn’t think the matter-of-fact tone used required it. And, to be honest, I thought that by labeling the series as “dark” was enough warning of potential themes.
And then I drafted It Hungers. And while it was fairly easy to write, there were certain scenes that, even when I knew I planned to fade to black, I found hard to work on. What I suggested was that dark. And I realized that, while most of the darkness in my previous books centered around supernatural beings, this time, the darkness targeted humans. I wrote about experiences that many have directly experienced, and that may trigger those with trauma resulting from those experiences. And that’s not something I want to do.
I believe that readers deserve to know what they are in for. As a result, I have chosen to place a content warning on any novel I write from here on out where the events depicted could reasonably trigger psychological damage in someone who has suffered similar trauma. I love my readers. I wouldn’t be here without them, and so I don’t want to do anything to break that trust.
For the curious: It Hungers features scenes of kidnapping and of violence. There are also implications of child abuse, murder, and cannibalism.
My debut novel, Liam’s Doom, is on sale at all major and minor retail outlets from Amazon to Barnes & Noble to Bookshop.org. I request that you support Bookshop.org, as their site supports local and independent bookstores. The eBook is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through my webstore.
Carmilla’s Ghost is now on sale. The paperback version is available all major online retailers, including Amazon, Bookshop.org and at Barnes & Noble. Currently, eBook pre-orders are only available at Amazon and through my webstore.
It Hungers (formerly Stone Cold), the third book in the series is currently available for pre-order as an ebook on Amazon. Paperback preorders go through my website and will all be autographed! The book will officially release on 3 May 2022.
My prequel novel, Blood/Lust is also available as an Amazon exclusive.