Author Guest Post
Why I Don't Swear Much In My Writing
By: Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
I'm Italian. I spent eighteen years living in the Chicago area. I married a guy who used to drive an eighteen-wheeler. I know a few swear words. In fact, I probably know a few swear words other people don't know. I bet I've even made up a few or at least used a few in a unique, interesting way.
I am not a virgin when it comes to cursing. My husband and kids have even said, "We know when Mom is mad because she uses the F word. A lot." So yeah, I can talk trash with the best of them, I just don't like my characters to do it. Not too much, at least.
I'm not opposed to fictional characters with potty mouths but I think there is a time and a place for everything and too much of anything is never a good thing.
The other day I was sitting at Starbucks listening to the conversations of strangers (where do you think writers get a lot of the good stuff? Snooping, of course) and this woman sounded like she'd been hanging out with six graders all day. Sixth graders swear constantly. Something happens between fifth grade and middle school and those sweet, innocent children suddenly become foul-mouthed, smelly tweens who think it's cool to spew profanities every time they speak. Yup, this lady had definitely been hanging out with a bunch of sixth graders. She swore so much and so loudly, two people moved outside to get away from her.
I found her oddly appealing but after about ten minutes of 'F this' and 'F that' I started counting her swear words. She swore-and I'm not exaggerating here-twenty-one times in two minutes. Over the top much, lady? Later that day I came home and read my work in progress to make sure none of my characters sounded that horrible.
Listening to that woman reconfirmed my thoughts about swearing in my books.
Like I said, I'm not a prude but there is a fine line between swearing because it's effective at making a point and swearing just to swear and that's how I look at it with my characters, too.
Angela, the main character in Unfinished Business An Angela Panther Novel (and my second book, which is scheduled to be released in December) is loosely based on me and her mother, Fran is largely based on my mother. My mother has passed so I have her swearing more in the book than Angela. I figured I could get away with it since she can't really do anything about it now. I am a little worried about what she'll do when I see her again but hopefully I've got enough time to figure out how to handle that. Fran is a full-blooded Italian but you won't read F--- in my books. I just can't go there, even though I'm pretty sure that's an Italian word.
While my book is fiction, I do want my characters to have realistic qualities (okay, so one is a ghost but she was once a person so she's got to have some realistic qualities, too!) but I don't want them to be obnoxious. I don't want them to be idealistic either so I allow them an opportunity to swear when swearing would be considered appropriate instead of swearing just to swear.
When I started to write my first book, I hadn't even thought about swearing or sex for that matter but as I got into the writing process I realized I was a bit more conservative than I thought I'd be. Instead of graphic sex scenes, I opted to lead into them and then let the reader imagine the good stuff. So my books are light on the sex and swearing. Some will appreciate that and others won't. I never expected to please everyone and I'm okay with that. If there is one thing I've learned through this process of becoming an author, it's not to compromise my beliefs for the sake of success. And considering I'm not ranked on any best sellers list, I'd say I've lived my lesson.
About The Author
A native of Indiana, Carolyn spent a good portion of her youth and adult life in the northwest Chicago suburbs, where she dabbled in the health and fitness industry until finally landing a full time career in insurance. Not liking the cold, gray winters of Chicagoland, Carolyn moved to a bright and sunny suburb outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She started her professional journalism career in Cumming, Georgia, where she continues to work as a freelance writer for various media outlets.
A life long fitness enthusiast, Carolyn writes a monthly column for Northside Woman, an Appen News monthly magazine.
Carolyn enjoys reading and reads mostly mysteries and chick lit. She loves to read Harlan Coben, Robert Crais and the late Robert Parker, whom she feels was the ‘most incredible writer ever’.
Married since 1998 to her ‘hottie hubby’, she is the mother of three children and two very old, very high maintenance dogs.
She is currently working on the November 2013 release of Unbreakable Bonds, book two in the Angela Panther series.
Unfinished Business - Book Trailer
Unfinished Business by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
Book 1: An Angela Panther Novel Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: April 24, 2013
Format: Paperback - 269 / Kindle - 475 KB / Nook - 582 KB
Genre: Chick Lit / Paranormal / Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: Unfinished Business
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
It seems Fran's got some unfinished business on earth and she's determined to get it done, no matter what.
When Fran returned, she reignited her daughter's long suppressed psychic gift, one she neglected to mention to Angela, and now Angela sees ghosts everywhere. And they won't leave her alone.
Fran can't help but stick her transparent nose where it doesn't belong, making Angela's life even crazier.
Now Angela has to find a way to keep her old life in tact and help the dead with their unfinished business, all while trying to keep her dead mother out of trouble. And it's a lot for one woman to handle.
My Book Review:
When Angela Panther's mother Fran passes away from lung cancer, Angela knew she would be dealing with the grief from her mother's death, but she never thought that she would see her mother return as a ghost! It seems that before Fran could rest in peace in heaven, she has some unfinished business to attend to on earth. Thinking that she is dreaming at best and hallucinating at worse, Fran's celestial reappearance awakens a psychic gift of sight in Angela where she can see dead people, making her a reluctant medium who becomes a ghost whisperer helping the dead with their own unfinished business.
In her debut novel, author Carolyn Ridder Asperson weaves a wickedly humorous and touching paranormal chick lit tale about the unending love that survives death between the living and their departed loved ones. Written in the first person narrative and set in Atlanta, Angela Panther takes the reader on a wild and emotional roller coaster ride as she tells them about her ghost whisperer adventures and life lesson experiences that is spurred on by the reappearance of her mother. I absolutely loved Fran, she was my favorite character, this Italian mama kept me in stitches with all her crazy antics. I also loved the best friend relationship between Angela and Mel, everyone needs to have a BFF like Mel, her one-liners were hysterical. I would be remiss if I didn't touch upon the poignancy of the loss of a loved one and the need for closure of unfinished business, it took me back to the bittersweet loss of my own mom in 2007. I believe that the author wrote from her heart, she has a way of keeping the story light and entertaining, while also providing a therapeutic touch that simply warms the heart and makes the reader smile.
The author easily draws the reader into this entertaining story with a mixture of sassy humor, joy, sorrow, and true-to-life experiences that pulls at the heartstrings and keeps them turning the pages. With a witty cast of characters who are larger than life; a balanced mixture of laugh-out-loud moments, serious dialogue and fun interactions; and a touching storyline that anyone who has ever lost a loved one can relate to; Unfinished Business is a thoroughly enjoyable tale that leaves the reader wanting more.
Unfinished Business is the first book in the Angela Panther Novel Series. Unbreakable Bonds, the second book in the series is scheduled to be released in November 2013.
RATING: 5 STARS *****