Why I write what I write


When I first started writing, I didn't really know that I would end up specialising in books that would appeal to all age groups. In principle, I was writing for myself. Writing what I loved to read – books that aren't full of swearing, sex and unnecessary violence (okay, the Raven Saga does have a little fighting vampires but I did keep it to a minimum without realising it).

Is that really necessary?
I'm not the kind of person that enjoys hearing curse words all the time. Yes, occasionally I do swear. Of course I do. I wouldn't be human if I didn't. Well, not really. So when it comes up so much in the movies, it makes me cringe. I have a line that I use a lot (it drives my husband crazy – especially if I use it when he's driving too fast)... 'Is that really necessary?' I find myself thinking it all the time when I'm watching something too violent, with too much effing this and blinding that in it. The same thing applies to certain sex scenes. If a scene requires sex in it, I won't want it to be blatantly shoved in my face. I want to leave something to the imagination. Don't you? Maybe it's because I do have such a vivid imagination? I dunno. Perhaps other people need it to be shoved in their faces?
I'm not such a prude that I'll stop watching – if it's a great TV series, book or movie, then fine. I can put up with it. Game of Thrones, for instance, is one of my favourites – but when they have all those really intense sex scenes.... WOAH! Calma... people.... Calma. It's just OTT. It's not really necessary. I can understand most of the violence in that show, but the sex? Nah...just cut it back a bit... please. After all, kids do watch it. Even if they're not supposed to, I guarantee that they are.
Speaking of kids, they are my target market. Especially for my YA books. That's what YA means, after all – Young Adults. And I reckon that's anyone from age 10 ish, right? And, like I mentioned before, I want my books to be read by ALL age groups. A mother and daughter could sit and read any of my books together and not be embarrassed or shocked by the content. Even my chick lit book, Forever Fredless, has broader appeal because of this very reason. There is a 'near' sex scene and very little swearing, so it's ideal for a young teen who wants to start reading chick lit without being chastised by her parents by her choice of reading.

Warm and fuzzy
When I choose to read a book, I want to be left feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. I want to be entertained, to be taken to another world (whether it's to a fantasy land or just inside the mind of someone else), I want the ending to leave me feeling like I've been enchanted. And that's exactly what I want my books to make readers feel. When I read reviews that tell me a reader felt this way, that makes me go all warm and fuzzy inside too. And that is the best feeling in the world (apart from the feeling I get when my husband gives me a warm and loving hug – but it's a close second!).
Naturally, ultimately I want to sell books and if I can reach a wide audience by appealing to more age groups, then I reckon I'm doing something right.

I'm not, and never will be, E.L James
I can't imagine writing something so deep in the world of S&M and sexual mind games! It's just not me or my cup of tea. I tried to read the book but it left me feeling somewhat disappointed, so I gave up. Kudos to her though – I think it's astounding what she has achieved and I think she's amazing for doing that. I'm more of a J.K Rowling myself though ;)
I have been convinced by a fellow author to try and read some erotic chick lit, which I plan on doing, just to see what all the fuss is about, but I know it's not something I want to write myself, not even under a pseudonym.

So even though I want my books to appeal to all ages, I do have a little bit of a dilemma at the moment because my next chick lit book (which I've been kind of planning for a while now), is set in a sex shop. I know, it kind of complicates things a little. However, if I write like I wrote Forever Fredless, then it should still be okay for younger audiences – but perhaps not as young as ten! I guess it depends on how open minded the child's parents are lol. The premise for the book is really quite fun and I don't intend to have any sex scenes in it – it's purely set within a shop that just happens to sell sexy stuff. What do you think? Bearing in mind that I've never marketed my chick lit book to children – I've just been told by readers that it would appeal to teens too. Hm? Something to think about, anyway!


  1. Hey Suzy! In my opinion there will always be 15 year olds who read books that are more mature, just like there will be adults who read books about 15 year old subject matter. Like you said, you don't really focus on a super specific age group reading your books, because several different age groups enjoy them. I think the setting of your new book, and the way you introduce it, could give many different impressions. If you write it in the style you are used to, I would think it will still appeal to different age groups. Also, I there is a bit of a difference between a shop that sells sex toys (stag shops) vs. a shop that sells "sexy things" like La Vie En Rose Boutique. i.e. lingerie. Regardless of what you choose to do, it sounds like you'll do it in a tasteful manner, and I'm excited to hear more about it!

  2. Thank you, Emerald! That really means a lot :) x

  3. My kids make fun of me because I download the clean versions of songs. I'm like you, I'm not offended by it, I just think in a lot of situations, it's unnecessary. My books are written for adults, but I know teens are reading them, so I keep that in mind when I write.

  4. I must admit that some movies and TV shows go a bit far with the explicit content. But if the show is really good it goes with the story, no? I'm a Sopranos nut and I wouldn't change a thing. But I get your point. Great post.

  5. LOL Elizabeth... I'm totally with you!!
    Joe, I absolutely agree that if it goes with the story and is necessary then it's ok. You know, I've never seen the Sopranos - can you believe that?!?!!


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