Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today, the first novel I had published by Bloodhound Books was released. The Abattoir of Dreams was met with a pretty favourable response and has since continued to receive positive reviews. When I first had the idea for the story I knew I wanted to say something about a topic that I feel very strongly about – institutional child abuse, and it’s cover up by those in authority.

Although some people are of the opinion that this sort of thing went on in the seventies, research told me that’s it’s very much alive and kicking now. The level of abuse and the status of the people who commit some of these vile acts is unbelievable. Let’s just say that it’s a huge mistake to trust some of those who purport to defend the rights of children. I could go on forever about how deeply ingrained paedophilia is in the highest echelons of power, but it’s up to people to do their own research and make their own minds up. I’m just trying to lift a rock and shine a light on it. Now, after two years, I’m very happy and grateful that Bloodhound Books saw the potential in the story and published it.

It was a difficult book to write because of the subject matter, but I wanted the book to highlight such an important issue. In an earlier blog post, ‘Giving Abused Children a Voice – The Abattoir of Dreams,’ I look at the cases I’d seen in the news that led to me want to say something on the subject, and writing the book.

There has also been a lot of discussion about the book in Facebook groups. Some readers have felt that due to the subject matter, the book description should include a trigger warning. The book description does say the story includes abuse and murder, but for some, that isn’t enough. I watched these discussions with interest as group members shared their opinions, and then I started my own discussion. In ‘Warning! This Blog Post Contains Discussions about Trigger Warnings,’ Peter James and Betsy Reavley, amongst others, share their thoughts on the pros and cons of trigger warnings.

One of the two young male protagonists, Liam, lets readers know his feelings about the children’s home he and his friend Michael are in through poetry. In ‘Poetry in Fiction,‘ I discuss how a poem was used to convey the character’s feelings, and how poetry has been used in a variety of other writer’s fiction.

The systematic abuse of children is appalling. The homes where the abuse takes place are like abattoirs; slaughterhouses for kid’s dreams. The fictional setting in the story, Woodside Children’s Home, is, sadly, for many children a stark and horrifying reality.

As always, I welcome comments.

If you’d like to find out more about the book, you can find it here on Amazon.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Mark.

 

Warning! This Blog Post Contains Discussions about Trigger Warnings.

Are more warnings needed in book descriptions?

Is book censorship in danger of limiting creativity and freedom of expression?

 

 

 

I recently watched a discussion unfold on Facebook about whether The Abattoir of Dreams should have trigger warnings in its description. The person who started the discussion stated they had finished the book, thought it was good, but that ‘there really should be a statutory warning on book covers and blurbs, if a book deals extensively with child abuse’.

This comment then led to a debate about the pros and cons of trigger warnings. Trigger warnings are defined as: a statement cautioning that content (as in a text, video, or class) may be disturbing or upsetting.

As the discussion was taking place in a crime fiction group, many people didn’t see the need for warnings as they’d expect topics such as murder and abuse to be included anyway. The overall opinion was that the book description should make the content of the book clear, so that readers are aware of anything they’d prefer not to read before buying the book. I think that this approach is easier for both publishers and indie authors to implement

I asked best-selling crime thriller author, Peter James, for his opinion, and he told me that he never would put warnings on any of his books. His personal belief is that we live in an age where there are far too many warnings anyway. Continue reading