Horrible things happen every day. I’m not trying to be morose, it’s just true. Children are abused, women are raped, and innocent people are killed. Genocide and racial cleansing are still very real things. The world can be an ugly place, and that’s before we even get to starvation, houses burning down, and natural disasters.
Actors are supposed to shed light on the human condition. Generally speaking, I like to have theatrical emotional revelations with some sequins and tap shoes on the side. But art does reflect life, even in the most frivolous of shows. If it’s a show worth watching, somewhere deep down there is something important to be heard.
Writing is the same, but this time I’m creating the message. Now please don’t think I’m going to write about a boy in striped pajamas or mass death in Darfur. But still, in creating a real world for characters to exist in, bad things happen. But what if I write about something horrible happening at a school? Not with guns or anything like that. But what if something scary happened in a school? Young people spend most of their waking hours in school, so it would be normal for things to happen in that environment.
But what if a reader who survived a school shooting picks up my book and even reading about alarms going off in hallways freaks them out? Is it my fault? Should I have a warning on the book cover? But then, what else would we have to give warnings for? Abandoned children? Being trapped in claustrophobic places? If you really looked at a whole book and searched out any occurrence that could induce horrible memories, palm sweat, and constricted breathing in anyone who would have the ability to read the book, it would be impossible to warn readers. At least not while avoiding spoilers and maintaining the integrity of the author’s work.
So, I will tap dance on and try to handle tragedy in a caring way for my readers. Feeling the fear and suspense is a part of the journey when reading a book. I hope the journey I have made will be a good one, a healthy one, and maybe it will shine a little light on the darker places of the world.
In other news: The signup for The Tethering Blog Tour is here! The dates are the 18th through the 30th of September. Follow this link to sign up, and thank you all for your support of The Tethering!