Talk To Me Tuesday is a fun new meme created by the wonderful Melissa over at i swim for oceans.
Talk to Me Tuesday is a brand new weekly meme where we will discuss anything (and everything) literary-related in an open forum of honesty. Questions for the next week will be posted one week prior to the post on the Features page. If you'd like to participate in this weekly feature, simply create your post, link back to me, and add your post to the wonderful Mr. Linky on Melissa's page. Have fun, and have at it!
This week's question: How do you feel about book banning and censorship?
As a writer, I strive to write the truth and nothing but the truth. But the thing about the truth is, it isn't always pretty. In fact, sometimes the truth is really ugly. Sometimes it's full of bad words, bad situations, bad decisions, really nasty people and terrible consequences. Flip on the news and you'll find stories about war, rape, serial killers, drinking, drugs and everything in between. That's just the nature of the world.
As a writer, that's what I want to write about. I want to dive into the grey areas of the world and push and pull, stretch and mold, and twist around to make good fiction. As a YA writer, I'm going to be doing all that with teen characters who I hope will be as close to lifelike as I can make them.
If that's how I feel as a writer, I'll be damned if I don't get to READ about it. Censorship is wrong. I guarantee you that you won't find half as many bad situations and language and people in books as you do in the hallways of EVERY high school in the world. Generally speaking, if these things are in a book, they are in there for a reason. There usually is a bigger picture and to ban those who need to read about it the most is just wrong. Period. End of story.
I hate to say it now but a lot of parents have become lazy and just want all the work done for them. If it's banned, they don't have to worry about reading it to see if they want their child reading it. To all you parents that still will read your kids books first, I applaud you. To all you parents who read your child's book first and realize it's a tough subject and prepare to talk to your child, I double applaud you.
What I'm saying is, there is a reason we write about things. It's because horrible things exist. If we all go around pretending they don't, people become isolated. Though some subject matter is tough, it's there for a reason. It says, you are not alone. It says, I understand. And it says, you can make it through.