As parent myself, I appreciate info that helps me make good decisions when it comes to the content my children will read, see, or hear. I’m a voracious consumer of music, movies, games, and books, so during the course of any day, I’m likely to learn something that will help with those decisions.
But there’s so much out there, it’s hard to stay informed, especially with all the other parental responsibilities we have.
So here’s me – author, father, and uncle – trying to do my part.
The target audience is pre-teens and teens. Kids who enjoy Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the Chronicles of Narnia. And the parents who grew up reading those classics, of course!
As a general rule, my characters don’t use modern swear words. That’s not to say I won’t use made-up curses (e.g. “he has the intelligence of dragon dung!”), but let’s be honest, that kind of swearing is more fun to write and read anyways.
The Lost Royals series does not show sex or cover sexual content, either. There’s a time and place for that. I’m not a prude, I’m simply not interested in showing that to kids. That’s not the point of this book series. However, my two main characters – and some of their friends – are teenagers who grow into adults. There will be some coming-of-age stuff. Relationships will begin and end. There will be smooches.
There is fantasy violence and there will be battles. Perhaps a bit more than Rowling and Tolkien, but less than George R. R. Martin. I’m a huge fan of all three authors (and have read their books several times over), but since my primary target audience is readers of Rowling and Tolkien, I’m going to try to stay as close to their level of action as possible. It is not my intent to display gratuitous violence, and there won’t be death for the sake of killing, which I generally feel to be a hollow experience for a reader. Things need to make sense to the reader and progress the story, or why else are they on the printed page?
Here’s what you can take away from all of this: I want to someday sit down and read these books to my kids, nieces, and nephew. Heck, even my grandkids. I want to hand them the first book and say, “Here, I wrote this with you in mind.”
I think that losing one’s childhood is one of the worst things that can happen, and I’d like our kids to hold onto theirs as long as they can.