I had lunch recently with my mother and she informed me that one of my aunts was ordering a copy of "Dream in Color." Normally I would be really excited because I sold another book! (BTW, do you have YOUR copy yet?) But here's the thing: This aunt is one of those people who disapproves of EVERYTHING. I'm thinking she won't even have to get to the love scene...finding the S--- word on page two will do it for her. I'll probably have to refund the price of the book.
My mother once grounded me (I was fifteen) when she found a manuscript in my room that involved the word "S.O.B." Since she was convinced that I got that language from TV and radio (certainly NOT from the parochial school I attended!) I was banned from TV and Radio for an entire summer.
I try very hard not to use strong language in my daily life. I'm a Sunday School teacher, and a role model for my kids, so I "keep it clean" as best as I can. (It's a struggle, I'm not going to lie.) But when it comes to writing, my goal is to write characters who ring true. Face it, Jesse, the hero in "dream in Color," is a rock star. He's not going to get angry and say, "Oh fluffy bunnies!"
Authors who write inspirational are able to write compelling stories without strong language. I admire them for it, but it's now how I write. By the same token, I don't subscribe to many authors who pepper all of their dialogue with f-bombs.
Simply put, I like my strong language like I like my coffee; a little strong, but mostly easy on the taste buds, and warm rather than burning hot.
We all write differently. And we all read differently. I'm sure my aunt will be offended by the language. In fact, I know she will be. I'm ready for the disapproval. It's not like I've never had to apologize for being a writer. But I'll tell her what I tell a lot of people who are offended by one thing or another. Shut the book, turn off the TV show, walk out of the movie. And then move on.
Hey, I found the movie, "Dude, where's my Car" horrible. Ya don't see me scolding Ashton Kutcher at a family gathering, right?