The Touch of Fear is one of my favorites, but I’ll admit I struggled with the thought of releasing it, for a few reasons. (One being that I struggle with the thought of letting go of all of my books.)
I have two very distinct (from one another) ‘writing styles’. I realized recently that they’re far more like an inside voice and an outside voice.
If you’ve read any (and especially many) of my books that I’ve released thus far, you’ve likely found that they all have a similar ‘feel’ no matter their differences—tones, themes, voices, and such. My ‘fantasy’ style of writing is very much like my inner voice. Quiet in ways, thoughtful (in whichever way you want to define it), and far, far more polite (for the most part). My ‘contemporary’ style?
The complete opposite.
And I’m not saying none of the characters are quiet, or thoughtful, or polite. It’s the writing style. I feel it’s very much like my ‘outside voice’, and it’s one I’m far less comfortable with than just being left to my own inner self or having a good minute (or a thousand) to try to word things in the best way possible. But when speaking? What comes out is just what comes out. (Not that there’s ever an intention of impropriety or impoliteness. There’s not. It simply sometimes just happens.)
One thing I love about writing fantasy is escaping from the constraints of modern-day speaking.
And yet one thing I love about writing more ‘realistic/modern’ things?
You can just say whatever the **** you want, whatever comes out, and not worry so much about it. (But I am a worrier, especially about content and such, which brings us to...)
I did worry about the content of this book. In particular a great deal of varying four-letter words that may or may not be in there. I’m long past a time in my life of peppering sentences with them (often), but even were I not, I still would’ve worried about that with this.
So, be warned: When I say in the advisory that there is strong cursing in this? I mean there is a great deal of it. And yet... I couldn’t take any of it out. Because people just are who and how they are, and they say what they say. And I oddly enough feel that every single one of those words is needed and necessary where it sits. They wouldn’t be there otherwise. (Believe me... I would’ve taken them out, could I have. I feel it would’ve been imposing myself on my characters, and I just can’t.)
I worried about some of the subjects, as I always and often do with my books. I worry about difficult matters being spoken about. And yet difficulty is just part of life. Their lives are what they are, as are all of ours.
If people have read my other books and like them, they’re not going to like this writing style.
But I like both. I feel...
There are times where you want a good ‘thinking’ book, and there are times when it’s nice to just sit down, not have to think so much or hard (not saying there’s no thought involved), and have a good laugh or twelve.
That’s one thing I feel people have missed in the books I’ve released—a lot of the ones I’ve written (and thus far kept to myself) are funny. Or silly in bits. There are quite a few, including this one, where I actually laugh out loud when reading through. (Now, you might not, but I do, and maybe some people will too!) It’s actually one of my favorite things with some of my writing—having a good laugh. And I just haven’t at this point (of ‘reviewing’) yet released any of them. (Though I do like to think there are a few little funny bits here and there in all or at least most of them.) I’m not saying this is a ‘funny book’ because it’s not. It’s a very serious book that has, what I feel, are some very funny bits.
I hope that, if you read this, you can understand exactly why this is one of my favorites. I will say again and likely a million times that I’m never ‘impressed’ by any writing ability of mine (usually the opposite), but I LOVE my characters. Even (sometimes especially) the ones that are a little less ‘likeable’ than others. I like to think they all come with their ‘real’ scars and imperfections. And I like to think it’s our scars and ‘imperfections’ in life that make us perfect.
I worry often about content being ‘too much’ even when it’s something that most people wouldn’t bat an eyelash at. I think often on what I’m putting out into the world—what potential good and bad.
So, yes. This book has a great deal of cursing in it. It has some harsh truths and realities about life and the world.
It has some of the most thoughtful characters that I feel I’ve ever written, who would go extremely far out of their way to help someone else. It has friendship. (Not only just friendship in general, but a healthy, good friendship between two young women.) It has a lot of acceptance of the things people come into your life with, those people and things in general. And it has such care, for people who haven’t gotten enough of it in their lives.
AND it has a REALLY good dog.
A bit of cursing at times seems a small thing in comparison. (Er. Uhm. Maybe a bit more than a bit....)
What I want to leave here is this: Life is always better with a good dog.
For more information on The Touch of Fear, head to itshere on my site!