Any writer writes for themselves first and foremost. That doesn’t mean we don’t take the readers into account, quite the opposite, but when hard creative decisions have to be made I always go with what I want over what I think would be safe and more comfortable for the readers. For example in my book, The Vampires of Soldiers Cove, something happens to Rachel that is very violent (if you’ve read the book you know what it is but I’m not going to tell you here. That would be a spoiler!). I went back and forth for a few days before doing a rewrite of the book that I knew people would read on whether or not I’d actually include it. I knew it would make people uncomfortable, or potentially shock them. This is really the only kind of writer’s block I experience. The kind where I know what I want to write, but I hold back out of fear of what other people will think of me if I do.
In the end I decided that it had to be included, as the incident is really a defining moment for that character and creates a domino effect that will be seen over the next three books. I have been accused of including that, and other things such as violence, sex and swearing, ‘just to shock people’. Trust me folks if I wanted to shock you, there are easier much less time consuming ways to do it. A book is something that takes months, if not years of a writer’s life. And the writer is not going to be with you in the room as you read it to experience your shock. If I wanted to shock people and experience their reactions I’d dye my hair a strange color, or get a huge tattoo, or get a million piercings etc. (nothing wrong with any of those things! I Love seeing people who do that).
If you read my books and my character is swearing and destroying things, it’s because that’s who they are, and honestly, don’t we all know people who are like that? We might not enjoying hanging around with them, but there they are and if you know them at all you probably couldn’t picture them being any other way.