Censorship, a Request, and an Unexpected Delay

selective photo of stop talking sign carried by people walking on street
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I think I’ve mentioned here before that I have the dubious honor of my first novel, Blood Rain, being censored by Amazon.**

My publisher and I have been working finding out why this is the case for some time now; our best guess is the censorship relates to the child abuse/child trafficking theme and some anti-trafficking legislation in the US.

It should be pretty clear that the perspective in Blood Rain is “child trafficking = BAD BAD BAD,” but that only applies to human readers.  We surmise certain keyword combos have triggered the AI and the book is summarily removed without any human review.

You’d think it’s possible for Amazon.ca to have a different editorial policy than it’s parent company but it does not . . . at least functionally. Thus Blood Rain has been pulled from there as well.


adult alone autumn brick
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Yesterday Z. @ my publisher asked if I would be open to rewriting Blood Rain so that all the tweenage victims are young adults.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Would it really be a big deal to make such a small change? Is it a small change? Or is it a change that changes everything?

I’m unclear on what my next steps should be. As I see it I could . . .

revise Blood Rain and hope that our educated guess about the objectionable material is correct

or . . .

I could step out of the process, let Z. figure it out, and work on other projects in the meantime until I know for certain what needs to be changed to avoid censorship

or . . .

I could raise my middle finger and refuse to make any changes, come what may.

I don’t have an answer yet. What would you do in my sitch? Is this the hill I should die on?

photo of planner and writing materials
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Z. also let me know that she sees no point in publishing Blood Down the Bones until the first book in the series gets sorted out.

Can’t blame her. On the other hand, it’s a shame to have to stop now on Blood Down the Bones when I was gearing up for a December 2019 publication date.

On the other other hand, other projects have been languishing at the wayside and I yearn to finish them.


** You can still buy copies from me.

Uh . . . runs in the family, I guess?

My adult daughter, who is also a writer and visual artist, sent me this. She knows me well. Apparently the weirdness and desire to kick at the daylight until it bleeds darkness is genetic.

It has given me several interesting ideas for short stories, so down the rabbit hole I go.


ABOUT THE FEATURED IMAGE: to my knowledge, the featured image is an archival photo of no recorded authorship, nor is it under any copyright. If you know something I don’t, tell me and I’ll take it down, cite the photographer, or whatever else is needed.

Writing is Weird

There I am, sitting at my desk, working away on the sequel to Blood Rain, working title Blood Down the Bones.

Beautiful summer day, not too hot, gentle breeze, nicely sheltered from my mortal enemy, the sun. Cat sleeping on his perch nearby, spouse tending me with cups of hot and iced coffee. Perfect writing day, yes?

I finally make a decision I’ve been mulling for a few weeks, whether to kill off a certain character from Blood Rain.

I draft the scene.

Then I am overwhelmed with sadness. I had actual tears in my eyes. Sheesh.

like the character I just murdered, and didn’t want to kill them, but it was the only way to move certain pieces into place in the sequel.

How does George RR Martin cope? I don’t know. Is he a secret (or not-so-secret) sadist?

R.I.P. imperfect but noble character, you died a good death. I’m sorry I had to murderize you. And in such a pitiless, horrible way, too. The motherfuckers. How dare they do this to you?!


Photo by Simone Dalmeri, used under a CC licence. I salute you as well, generous photographer