Every now and then I get a reviewer who comments or complains about the profanity in my books. And there may even be others who comment on those reviews with appreciation to know because they don’t want a book with cuss words, especially the f-bomb. Well…so what. My books aren’t for everyone and I’m okay with that. *shrugs*
But I’ve also had a handful of readers ask me how my particular characters can cuss so much considering their background with angels. They’ve said it’s not just my books, but others with angels, too. Now this is a good question…or discussion. I can only speak for my characters, though.
First, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that Alexis doesn’t cuss all that much in Promise except when she’s really pissed off. Tristan’s the only one who drops the f-bomb and he doesn’t exactly have an angelic background. Sophia – the closest, so far, to the angels – doesn’t cuss and admonishes Alexis whenever she lets one fly. Owen, Amadis his entire life, hasn’t blurted out anything…yet anyway. So, really, it’s just Alexis and Tristan (of the good guys, anyway) and even then it’s not much.
Until you get to Purpose. In early drafts, nearly every other word out of Alexis’s mouth was a cuss word and she particularly liked to drop the f-bomb. She’s going through an emotional (and mental and physical) storm in this book, she’s been through hell and she doesn’t really care what anyone thinks of her potty mouth. She’s in the habit, too, so even as things improve, she doesn’t censor her words. Once again, though, if you pay attention, you’ll notice a definite drop-off as soon as…well, something very good happens.
Still, even in Devotion, after she’s changed over and living on the angels’ island, she has a bit of a problem here. But I’m okay with that. Honestly, I think it makes her (and Tristan) more real. After all, neither of them are truly angelic. Yes, there’s angel blood in their background, but there’s also Daemonic blood. And honestly…how alike are you to your ancestors of over 2,000 years ago? The Amadis may serve the angels, but they are not angels themselves. They have quite a bit of HUMAN in them.
And that’s kind of the point of the books. One of the major themes of the entire series is that you don’t have to be perfect to be on the good side. So why would I make my main characters perfect?
I’m sorry if the profanity offends some readers. I’m sorry they can’t see beyond that for the people the characters really are. I’m sorry because if they judge characters and books based on profanity, I can only imagine how they judge real people in their lives. Because nobody’s perfect. And even those closest to being perfect admit to getting a certain satisfaction that only the word “fuck” can provide.
Yes, I enjoy that satisfaction myself on occasion. Nearly every day. Go ahead and judge me. It’s not your judgment I’m worried about.
Are you offended by profanity in books? If you know a book contains profanity, even just once or twice in 90,000 words, will you refuse to read it? Other thoughts? Have a favorite cuss word you’d like to share? Go ahead. It’s Monday – a reason in itself to let one fly.