I’m not making fun of various Twelve Step programs. Writing is addictive, for me at least, and I’m always careful to take at least a month off between projects to give me time to pursue other interests. However, by the end of these brief hiatuses I’m generally itching to get back to stringing words together. It’s something I enjoy doing and I do it fairly rapidly so that I generally am writing only an average of seven months out of each year.
However what I really want to discuss in this post is how I rate my books at Lulu.com ( www.lulu.com/jonathan27 ): When I published my first book in print I was forced to consider what audience they were appropriate for. I don’t swear very often and when I do, there’s generally someone around who is shocked because they’ve never heard me talk that way. Most of my characters are the same. Most of them do not swear at all and the few who do do so only in times of stress. None of them use the "F" word in every breath even when in situations where people really do speak that way. I just don’t feel the need to use the language that way, but I have occasionally had characters swear by excrement or tell someone to go the opposite direction of Heaven. It doesn’t happen often or gratuitously but it does happen.
Consequently, I have chosen to rate my stories at 13 and above for the simple reason that some people are more sensitive about language than I am when it comes to what children should be exposed to. I respect that. As it happens, I personally believe that anyone who can read at a sixth grade level can handle anything I’ve written regardless of age, but that’s me. I don’t have children so it’s really not an issue for me. I do have friends with children and someof their children have read my books. No complaints so far, but each parent really has to make that decission for him or herself.
Parents: you really should read what your children are reading for the same reason you should take a look at the television they watch. All my stories are available for free download in electronic form at www.sc2.com/e-books . You can read them on your computer or PDA so it only costs your time to make sure my stories are acceptable. And for those of us who really do prefer to read a real book in "dead tree" format with pages and paper and everything, I am gradually making them available in both paperback and hardcover at www.lulu.com/jonathan27