My books are full of triggers. That’s how I deal with them—I face them headlong. I don’t shy away from the full range of human emotions; rage, jealousy, spite, love, obsession, joy, happiness, etc. Nor do I stay away from describing their actions; violence, rape, torture, sex, murder, kindness, love, compassion. The funny thing about my books is that they are my safe space to play this out, and yet I get the most criticism for my sexual violence.
I should tell you that violence is violence. You can’t happily read about one and then condemn the other. Accept them for what they are, part of the human experience. You see, under that thin veneer of civility, is a vast repertoire of primitive urges. And these become most apparent when there’s an imbalance of power. It’s how we deal with this imbalance that makes the most interesting tales for me. It’s the “weaker” ones who persevere that are the true heroes. I’ve found that power magnifies one’s personality. So if you were cruel, you will be vicious, if you were kind, you will be magnanimous. And like all my characters, you’ll have more than one trait, you’ll have several, possibly contradictory traits and your own rationale to justify your motives and actions. If you’re powerful to boot, well then the world is in for trouble (at least the worlds that I portray).
I put my ‘average’ characters (not in their role, but in their qualities) in extreme situations and see how it plays out. I don’t believe in full-fledged heroes. The days of “Buffy”, no matter how much I enjoyed them, are over. Insta-heroes are dull to me. I want to see real, meaning flawed people, in situations where they have to discover their true strength. If you give them superpowers , it’s uninteresting to pitch them against people with real superpowers. I mean how many men or women do you know who can wield a weapon expertly and move about with stealth as if they were black-ops trained—you get a pass if you’re in the military :0)
I write a lot of fantasy, and many of my characters are non-human, but their urges are real and more human than you may find palatable. It’s the function of fiction and art to astound, annoy, frighten, delight and disgust you and maybe shake up some of your own beliefs and ideas. Those are the types of books that I found memorable and those are the books I find most entertaining. I hope I can do the same for you and first and foremost you’ll enjoy the experience. Welcome to my safe space, where we can walk down Alice’s rabbit hole and maybe find and explore our darker self.