Would you mind if I cursed?


Would you wash my mouth out with soap if I let my characters use bad words?

So, I’m writing two new books at the moment, and I’ve run into a bit of a quandary.  One is straight up sci-fi with aliens and made up science.  The other one is another post-apocalyptic tome with a little bit of a western theme thrown in.  It’s the latter one that has me a bit worried.  To date, I’m known (in small circles) for my young adult books.  They are peppered with somewhat disturbing images and blood and guts, but I’ve stayed away from “offensive” language.  Now, it wasn’t exactly planned that way.  It just came out that way.  Overly foul language did not fit the stories or characters.

That is not so for the new books, particularly the second one I mentioned.  It is full of four letter and otherwise bad words, some even spoken by children.  It fits the story.  I promise.  The question is can I get away with that?  Will the current fan base for my current books allow me into venture into the land of the f-word and its ilk?

I published under the name Jackson Goddard, so I could publish a book that wasn’t even close to the YA category or scifi/horror genres (The Prophet of Cradle County).  It wasn’t because of language, although it can get a bit dicey. The question is should I publish under a pseudonym for a book that is the same genre, but uses much, much stronger language?  It may not be in the YA category. That remains to be seen, but still I’m bound to get crossover as far as readership goes.   In addition, Jackson Goddard doesn’t get any sales bump when R.W. Ridley books get a little word-of-mouth action.

What to do, what to do, what to do?  Ahhh, I know I’ll ask you.  If you have an opinion on this matter, please take part in the poll below and/or leave a comment.

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