One of the reasons I’m excited about my website (and authorial wiki) updates is that they’re making it easier to share more about what you can expect from a given book. Time for me to talk about your options here, depending on what information you’re interested in, and whether you want to avoid certain kinds of spoilers.
Before we get into that, though, a general word about what you will and won’t find in my books.
What you will find in my books
My romances are definitely on the slow burn side, where characters need to get to know each other to figure out they’re interested and to act on that interest. Most of my romances take place across at least a few months (with Eclipse at the longest so far, where the romance takes most of a school year).
An emphasis on consent:
While a few characters do have concerns about sexual abuse or harassment, that is not something I’m interested in writing on page in any sort of detail. (Creepy behaviour is about as far as I’ll go – Shoemaker’s Wife has some of that.) A few characters have some experiences of the kind in their background in the various ways that manifests. (Mabyn, for example, touches on the nature of her marriage in The Hare and the Oak but is not at all specific about the details.)
Of course, people are not perfect about talking about consent. They certainly mess up in talking about other things sometimes! But my characters want to handle it well, and will come back and check on specifics as needed.
About half my main characters live with some kind of ongoing disability, chronic health issue, or neurodiversity. (Sometimes more than one, because people are people.) I include information about this in various ways, so you can either find or avoid stories based on your needs and interests.
What you won’t find
I had an email from a reader a few weeks ago who’d put off reading Best Foot Forward because she was afraid there’d be cheating.
Let me promise you right now: no cheating in any of my books. I’ve made that a bit more clear in the content notes where relevant now, but please drop me a note if there are other ways I can help with this one. I’m not interested in writing it and I’m especially not interested in doing it to characters I love.
(Characters may have experiences with cheating in their background – Lizzie, for example, during the Great War. But when it’s relevant, it’ll be in their past.)
No third-act bleak moment
While I love them in some other people’s romances, I have no desire to write plots that hinge on a massive miscommunication that could be solved if the people involved talked to each other as the hinge of the plot.
At this point, the most I’ve done with this is that there’s a period in Goblin Fruit where Lizzie and Carillon have things they need to sort out, but they are not in a place (physically or then metaphysically) where they can fix things for a few chapters. They do recognise there’s a problem, and the one who caused it wants to fix it.
Finding out more about a book
But my books might have all sorts of other things in them – some of which you might want to read about, and some you might not. We all have those things. Sometimes we’re just not in the mood for something. Other times, we might be – but right now a health issue is a big deal for us or a loved one, we’re tired of a topic, we just read (or watched or listened to) something in that same kind of story space. Or we want a break and something entirely different.
To make that easier, I’ve got five different ways to get more details about the specific aspects of a book or character:
- The content notes page
- Content notes on each book’s page
- Tags on my books
- “Books with context” on my authorial wiki
- Character pages on my authorial wiki
I use these tools to note things you might want to know about a book, either so you can find more books that have characters with those experiences, or so you can avoid that book. Each of them gives different amounts of content, depending on what you’re looking for.
The content notes page and the content note for each book have the same information. Both talk about the key aspects of the book that readers might want to know about in advance. These include:
- Whether there are on-page sex scenes.
- Difficult circumstances in the book (like trauma, dealing with grief, addiction, etc.)
- Characters with disabilities, chronic health issues, or who are neurodiverse.
- Other characteristics of interest, like class, background (including ethnicity), and community affiliations.
You can find the content notes on their own page, or on the bottom of each book description. (Click where it says “Content” just below the description and above the tags and meta data.)
One great new tool is that each book now has a number of different tags assigned to it. These cover a range of kinds of information, similar to the content notes. Found a book you liked, and want other books with similar aspects? Check out the tabs and click through to see other books that share those things.
Or you can check out the lists of books by different kinds of connections. These pages are built from the tags. The focus page covers things like solving a mystery, LGBTQIA+ romances, or focusing on a particular character. Character experiences share books with characters wtih diverse backgrounds, ongoing disabilities, or neurodiversity. And then there are tags for how something relates to Albion’s magic, or fits into a trope (like friends to lovers).
Got a tag you’d like to see or would find useful? Get in touch, and I’m glad to see what I can do.
Books with Context
The Books With Context page on my authorial wiki has another way to browse by this kind of information. Here I’ve got a long list of different categories. Click on the label (the white text on the brightly coloured spoiler box) to reveal the books.
It’s the same basic information as the content notes and tags, but there I can include some brief notes on the specifics, like which character is relevant or a detail or two.
The last place to find additional details is to check out the pages for each character on the authorial wiki. Each character’s page has their overall background notes, as well as additional details for what’s relevant to their story. Anything beyond their initial introduction (at the earliest point in time of when they appear) is probably under a spoiler tag, so you can check out the page without getting spoiled for books you haven’t read (or haven’t read yet!)
Looking for something else to help with your reading experience? Again, please do let me know.
Adding new tags or other connecting tools does take some time on my part, and I want to make sure I’m not making things too confusing for other readers. But I also want to make sure I share plenty of options to help readers figure out if my books are what they’re interested in right now.