At FaultPublishing Fear FreeSouthern Fraud SeriesWriting Fear Free


I hit this button more than I realized in At Fault.
I hit this button more than I realized in At Fault.

When the first reviewer mentioned that there was a different level of swearing in At Fault than in the previous two books in the Southern Fraud Series, I didn’t think much about it. Then another reader mentioned the amount of swearing on my Facebook page. This morning, I found another review that mentioned swearing in Absolute Liability. Three is a pattern, and so I decided to look more closely at the language I had chosen for the Southern Fraud Thriller series.

That’s right, I counted the swear words in each book. I’m not going to break it down word by word for you because that would be boring, but after a count, it was clear that At Fault had twice as many expletives as the previous books.

I never intended my books to be “clean” mysteries with no foul language, violence, or gore, and I am comfortable with the precedent set by Absolute Liability with regard to language and description. Bad guys swear; cops swear; that’s the way it is. But I do believe that because the books are in a series, I set up expectations in book 1 that needed to be followed in all subsequent volumes. Readers should expect the same type of language and descriptions in all the books in the series based on what they read in the first novel, and I had inadvertently given them something different in book 3.

This morning, I edited At Fault so that the language matched the precedent set by the first two books. In fact, it now has fewer swear words than Death Benefits. I apologize for failing to maintain the precedent I had set and promise to do better in the last three books of the series.

Updates to the ebook versions of At Fault and the box set of Southern Fraud Thrillers are in progress, so please check for them at Amazon, BN, and Kobo in the next 48 hours. Updates take longer at the other retailers, but they should be there in the next week or so.

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