I clearly label the D&R books as serial killer horror. I’m aware they can be a little violent and gory from time to time. However, I don’t consider myself to be a promoter of violence, just a story teller.
It appears someone disagrees with me. Specifically I was accused of promoting violence against women with the prologue of Elysium Dreams. I will admit it’s brutal, violent, the victim is female, and there’s a touch of gore there, but not it’s not just there for blood and gore to be in the book. I think I do a good enough job with blood and gore towards the end of Elysium Dreams.
That’s part of the reason I label the series serial killer horror. I want readers to expect it to be a little violent and maybe at times a little gory. It would be very hard to develop my characters without the juxtaposition of violence in the serial killers with the less violent (most of the time, less violent) serial killer hunters.
I get that some people are sensitive to violence, that’s why I label them as horror. And while the advert has done wonders for downloads of the series, part of the reason I’m avoiding Facebook still is because it’s hard to know which messages are friendly and which ones aren’t. I’ve gotten some pretty strong messages lately, a few have been strong enough that I’ve reported them.
For the most part, feedback is positive on the D&R series, especially when readers them and The Dysfunctional Chronicles where there is a smidge, a very small smidge of Aislinn Cain crossover in the later Dysfunctional Chronicles and Nadine & Daniels’ Security in the later Dreams novels.
There are times I wonder though if I get a touch more hate mail and chastising because I’m a woman. I know it sounds crazy, but I can’t help but wonder about it. I’ve been told I write like a man, which is fine. But that comparison leaves my mind open to asking questions like do I get more flak for the violence and gore because I am a woman? I already know I get raked over the coals once in a while for not writing romance in my novels because I’m a woman and it’s just expected of me… however honestly, this series wouldn’t work if Aislinn had love interests, they’d either be serial killers or they’d die because of the serial killers. It was one of the reasons I made her character asexual all those years ago when I created her. Because at the time, I wasn’t shy about writing romance or erotica, so I could have gone that way. I made the conscious decision though that the series just wouldn’t work as well if Aislinn Cain dated.
Furthermore, most sociopaths and psychopaths aren’t actually sexual creatures. They have sex, but it’s more a means to an end than for the joy of having sex and romance is pretty much a non-starter for them. So I got to avoid the mushy stuff and concentrate more on what I wanted to do, which was write books with no romantic plots and rarely romantic subplots and those never involve the main character. So all those wishing for a Malachi/Ace get together, remember if they have sex, Malachi will have to die… Those are the guidelines I have set forth for this series to keep it from becoming a ridiculous murder fest where Aislinn’s love interests either turn out to be serial killers or die via serial killer.
However, knowing what is expected of me as a female writer brings back those questions… Am I judged more harshly for violence and gore because I’m female than my male counterparts? In other words, if I had gone with H. James or Haden James on the cover of my books and used pictures of my husband for author pictures, would readers ignore the fact that there was violence and gore and just accept it?
It’s a question I’ll never know the answer to, but it’s an interesting one to ponder over.