I’d like to introduce Heath Lowrance, author of THE BASTARD HAND published by New Pulp Press and the follow up, CITY OF HERETICS from Snub Nose Press. Heath is a versatile writer who handles Western as easily as Crime Fiction, often blending the two together or with other sub-genres. He writes a regular blog (unlike me) at Psycho Noir. He’s contributed to Shotgun Honey and was one of the first to be under the gun in the Shogun Honey interview series “How’d You Get the Gun?”
The What?! You Say? Dropping the F-Bomb
I have really, truly, had it up to my eyeballs with grown-up readers who suddenly turn into pansy-ass Puritans whenever they see the dreaded “F-bomb”. You know the word I mean, yeah?
Fuck. That’s the one.
At first, when I’d see a negative review of a book I really liked on Amazon, and the one or two stars came solely from the reader’s inability to handle strong language, I’d only shake my head and move on. But I can’t do that anymore. Honestly, it just pisses me off.
What the fuck is wrong with these people?
These are people who, I assume, get up every day and go out into the real world and meet real people and do real things. They have no problem with books that depict strong violence, physical or emotional. They are able to function like normal living beings.
Until you use the word fuck. And then they lose their shit.
To give a book a poor review because you are somehow deeply affected by the F-word is asinine and childish. Especially if the book is terrific and moving and powerful. Or even if the book is just plain fun. For you to come along with your weird fetish about “clean” language is just so… frustrating.
Here’s an example: I just read the first chapter in Dani Amore’s new Western serial “The Circuit Rider”. It was great, great fun and I very much recommend it. But looking at the reviews, I swear, any rational person would lose their minds. More than a few called Dani out on using the word fuck. They really would’ve enjoyed the story, you know, except that those pesky characters talked like real people and all. One reviewer, I kid you not, actually wrote, “Did they even HAVE the f-word in those days?”
I’m not joking. Someone actually wrote that.
My new novel, CITY OF HERETICS, employs the f-word fairly consistently. I’m not saying I throw the word fuck in there like confetti or anything, and I don’t think there’s anything gratuitous about it, but if there’s a character who is likely to use the word, then goddamnit, he uses it.
“Well, foul language is an indication of a limited vocabulary.”
Really? Since when?
Firstly, the only language I consider “foul” is language designed to denigrate someone based on their race, or sex, or other personal attributes. Aside from that, there’s no such thing as “foul language”. Sure, there are words that are inappropriate for children, or for certain situations. But we’re talking about grown-up novels and stories here, written by grown-ups, for grown-ups.
Using strong language in fiction is not immature. Throwing a conniption fit over it, that’s immature.
About CITY OF HERETICS: it’s my new novel, just out from Snubnose Press. It’s about an aging gangster named Crowe, back in Memphis and ready to exact some vengeance. But along the way, he gets sidetracked by a vicious serial killer, and stumbles across a secret society of murderers posing as a very Old Testament style church. There’s lots of blood, lots of violence, and more than a little strong language. You are going to come across the word fuck in it. Numerous times.
Fuckin’ suck it up, okay?