I will leave this post up, but I wanted to state that I have now edited my kindle edition to clarify that the book contains graphic scenes and sensitive subject matter. I feel that is enough to lead people who might be sensitive to certain topics to seek out spoilers.🙂
I want to discuss trigger warnings.
A lot of books have them. If the book deals with a sensitive subject that might be a trigger to a traumatic past event, a lot of readers like to know beforehand. However, what if that trigger is part of the plot?
What if the writer doesn’t want you to know that the book deals with rape? Or murder? Or extramarital affairs? Or domestic violence? Or cancer? Or the death of a child? What if the reading experience would be ruined if one of these issues was not meant to be revealed before reading the book?
I’ve received a lot of feedback, not only for It Ends With Us, but for every novel I’ve written. Many readers are thankful they know nothing about the book, or the experiences the characters have, before reading. However, some readers have stated they wish they were aware beforehand.
As a fellow reader with my fair share of past experiences, I understand that there are issues some people do not want to read about. But as a writer, there are many things I don’t want revealed in the blurbs of my books.
I’ve been faulted for this on more than one occasion and with more than one of my books. I’ve stated many times in the past that I write about real life issues. Realistically, life is not sunshine and rainbows. A lot of ugly shit happens and my books deal with both the good AND the bad.
I’ve killed infants. I’ve given characters cancer. I’ve written about molestation, rape, abuse, death, affairs, etc. And most of the time, these things are a part of the plot. As a writer, I feel if I were to put in the blurb of a book that it specifically deals with cancer, or infant death, or abuse, then the reader will be waiting for that to happen as they read the book. The majority of readers don’t want to know a single thing about books before going into it, so is it fair to lay out what might happen in the book before people read it?
Yes, there are readers who want to know specifics before going into a book and I truly hate that anyone relates to negative aspects in fiction. But as an author, I choose not to reveal in my blurbs which specific emotional traumas my characters will face.
If you are a reader who avoids certain subjects because they can be a trigger to your past (or present), I urge you to avoid my books, because they are extremely emotional and touch on a lot of sensitive or unpleasant things. If you don’t want to avoid my books, feel free to email me beforehand and I’ll be happy to let you know what the book relates to. Or ask in my Facebook group and an admin will be happy to message you with regard to what the book deals with.
I want my readers to enjoy reading my books, even though sometimes I like for that joy to be experienced with a lot of heartache in the form of plot twists. It’s just how I’ve always written and will probably be how I will always write. I’ve received quite a number of negative reviews in relation to the lack of a trigger warning for the subject matter of It Ends With Us, and for writing about such unhappy things. I understand this and accept these reviews. If readers read the book and have a negative experience, they are within their right to leave a negative review. It’s part of the writing process and I completely understand this. I don’t want anyone to take away from this post feeling as if their negative feelings toward this or any of my other books is wrong.
But for the sake of all past and future books written by me, I want to say that there are triggers in all of them for almost everything. If you need warnings, there are plenty of reviews that lay out the entire plot, but I’m also writing this post to say that if you don’t like emotional reads or touchy subjects, it is probably best to avoid my books entirely. Also, if you’re wanting information on what subjects It Ends With Us deals with, the editorial review section, just under the blurb on Amazon and other sites, relays the plot in great detail, as do many of the early reviews on Goodreads.
Yes, as the author, I prefer my readers to go in blind. I write my books in such a way that I feel the majority of people benefit from the reading experience more if they go in blind. I don’t put specific trigger warnings directly in my blurb, and I more than likely never will. But if there’s a chance a certain subject is a trigger for you, take this as my warning that you should definitely seek out spoilers before reading my books.
Also, I’m very sorry to anyone who has issues with trigger warnings, because that means you’ve experienced trauma in the past. I hate that. If it were a perfect world, none of us would need trigger warnings. I completely understand the need for them, which is why I am writing this post. I don’t want to upset anyone through the experience of reading my books, but at the same time I don’t want to ruin the reading experience for the majority of readers. I feel this blanket trigger warning for all of my future novels is a good balance.