I have triggers, big and bad.
For a long time, I felt tremendous guilt and shame about my inability to read about *any* and *every* subject because...I'm a librarian! Intellectual Freedom! Right to Read! I "should" be able to take on any literary work!
But putting aside the fact Right to Read ALSO means Right NOT to Read, the truth is: for my mental health, I can not read certain things.
When I hit a trigger, it's ugly. Panic-inducing ugly. Hysterical sobbing ugly. Physical reaction ugly. And then that story and its triggers stay with me forever, cataloged away to be dredged up when I'm feeling low.
So what does this have to do with The Sweetness?
Well, it wasn't until I really got into the writing community that I realized, oh those triggers? Yeah, those are a thing for a lot of people. Maybe everyone even. Call it preference, cringe / squidge / ick factor, or even full-on panic, but everyone has what they can handle and what they can't.
And that is OKAY.
So I made a decision when I started publishing, that I would write ONLY the things I could handle. "Uh...Obviously?" you might be thinking. But what I really mean is, I made a silent commitment to my readers that when they read a Raine O'Tierney work, they could always feel confident they would get The Sweetness.
But lately I've felt like maybe I should spell out what that actually means.
Sweetness does *NOT* always mean fluff (though I have been known to write a cotton candy story or two!). My stories have dealt with body issues, rape, disability, depression, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, bullying, death, and so on. I write what I'm passionate about at the moment. I write the story that needs a voice and the subject that needs exploring.
So I started with what Sweetness ISN'T because I want you to know that I can not promise a trigger-free experience if your triggers happen to fall into one of the above categories. And who knows what I'll get up to in the future!
But I can promise this, when you read my stories:
- You will ALWAYS get an HEA (or *rarely* an HFN with the promise of an HEA in the future)
- You will NEVER, EVER, EVER see ANY of my MCs cheat on each other. If there's *ever* cheating mentioned in my stories then it is a side character and it is in the past, but my preference is that there be no mention whatsoever.
- I don't write 3p or open relationships (it's just not my thing)
- You won't find rape as titillation in my stories, and any rape is discussed with respect and takes place in the past.
- I like first and forever loves, so you will see a LOT of first and forever loves in Raine O'Tierney stories!
- You'll read a lot of first sexual experiences, first friends, and first loves :)
- Despite what people say, not EVERYONE has lost their virginity at sixteen and not everyone understands their sexuality right away--I try to write an array of characters with different life experiences and sometimes that means a forty-year-old virgin. (Yep!)
- (I'm stealing this one from Debbie McGowan) I don't write about "gay" and "straight" characters, I write about people. Full stop.
This is what I'm about.
If you like that sort of thing, I invite you to check out my books. And if you ever have ANY QUESTION AT ALL about triggers, ASK ME! I understand more than you know and take people's triggers seriously.
Sweetness to all,