I had an interesting conversation recently. A friend of mine finished reading The Machine, and told me he enjoyed it. He then went on to suggest that I delete every single swearword from the book because he disliked reading them…
I had to take a step back for a moment.
Said I to the man, “so you were ok with the murder, violence, torture, sex and rape… but not the swearing?”
“Yes,” he replied.
I think I might have bitten my tongue at that point.
Ladies and gentlemen, I do not write children’s books. My stories are not for the faint hearted. I (rather unintentionally) broach taboo topics in society within the framework of the plot and characters. They are violent, gritty and while not overly graphic, they are certainly unapologetic about portraying my characters’ lives through my eyes. And yes, they contain swear words.
I am a swearer. I could make a sailor blush with my profanity. Don’t come in the car with me driving if you dislike swearing or you will probably leave the journey feeling queasy. It is part of my world, and part of my voice and naturally seeps into my writer voice as well.
I get it, not everyone likes swears. People dislike the “f-bomb”… to those people I must say, please don’t read my books, they contain swearing, and no, I don’t care if you don’t like it, I will not remove it.
Just be glad I didn’t tell you to f off, the thought did cross my mind.
I am reminded of a great quote by the wonderful Billy Connelly-
“A lot of people say that it’s a lack of vocabulary that makes you swear.
I know thousands of words but I still prefer ‘fuck’.”
There you have it people, the swears stay.