Thursday, July 18, 2019

Trigger Warnings. Let's talk about it.

Let’s talk about it.

After the release of Fisher Men X my <3, something was brought to my attention.
I have a trigger warning in the book. This is a subject that has a lot of authors divided.
Some readers are put off by it because they want to feel all the feels and a warning is
like a spoiler.

Some readers feel personally harmed if a trigger warning isn’t present.

Some feel that a trigger warning hurts sales from those that would be triggered as well
as those who are not. 

And then there are the readers who think it's overused and not needed most of the time.

I write about everyday people who are regaining their power after a traumatic event in
their lives. Most of my books touch briefly on something dark. I’ve never put a trigger
warning on my books because the event has always been a glossed over thing that
happened in the past. This book was different. The scene unfolded on the page in the
victim's point of view. It was very real and very scary. I knew this could be upsetting,
but the moment is so profound to her development as a character that I felt it unjust
to gloss over it. 

The fact that my heroine overcame a near-rape in front of a crowd of people who were
live-streaming it, is an inspiration. Any woman who would have been triggered needs
to know a happy ending is still attainable. I show a girl so broken she’s splintered and
how it affects the relationships around her. I gave her four men who helped her put
all the pieces back together and she formed healthy relationships. Adding a trigger
warning would isolate someone who needs this ending from ever reading it.

So, what if I could get my reader to skip just the triggering event. What if my reader
could just know it happened without being there with the heroine. In the same breath
what if I could give the reader who wants all the feels (good, bad, and scary) all of it.
I introduced a new kind of trigger warning.

First, I told the reader before the first chapter that at some point this is going to happen.
If you don’t want to read it, look for this
*** “Trigger Warning” ***
scroll to ***end***
continue reading. They get all of the story minus a few upsetting paragraphs.
It was mentioned a few times in reviews that it was appreciated. 

Then I got a personal message. An avid reader who reads two hundred books
a year on slow years reached out to me. A survivor who understood my character more
than she would like to admit.

A woman who felt all the same anxiety, and wished she had Fisher Men to save her.
A woman who has been triggered in the past, but gave my book a chance despite the
warning. She headed the warning, skipped the intense moment, and found that the
characters strength and ability to overcome was inspiring. She then asked for one
thing from me. 

She asked me to start the conversation.
She would feel better about inspiring books like mine if she was given the option
I gave her. So, let’s talk about it. She felt it needs to be discussed, and I’m inclined
to give her what she needs. While you are absolutely welcome to buy my book
(pretty please), you don’t need to in order to see the trigger warning. If you choose
"a look inside" option on Amazon, you can flip to it and read the wording for yourself.
I look forward to a dialogue on how you feel about trigger warnings in romance books.

Rebel Nicks O’Dey

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Trigger Warnings. Let's talk about it.

Let’s talk about it. After the release of Fisher Men X my <3, something was brought to my attention. I have a trigger warning in th...