Guest Post: Cindy McDonald: Censored Books–You Betcha!

I am glad to welcome back author Cindy McDonald for another guest post to follow up her previous post a few weeks ago: Crossing the Line. In today’s post, Cindy recounts the evening her husband got to say, “I told you so.”

Take it away, Cindy!

Censored Books–You Betcha!

Cindy McDonaldRomantic Suspense Author

Cindy McDonald
Romantic Suspense Author

Ahhh, the infamous “I told you so!” How we spouses love to hear those words spew from our better half’s mouth. Most recently I was on the receiving end of such a scolding when my husband and I attended a Christmas luncheon at the nursing home where my mother resides. Let me back-up…

A short time ago I wrote a blog entitled, Crossing the Line. The blog discussed how much sexual content should we authors place in our books. Essentially, how much is too much? I also mentioned in the blog that I am a former dance teacher who now writes books with quite a bit of suggestive material. My very conservative husband is uncomfortable with said content because he feels that my previous position in the community holds me to certain standards that I should be very conscious of.

So, there we were at the Christmas luncheon taking our seats along with the other families, when I spotted two of my former students and their parents seated at a table nearby. The two girls were thrilled to see their former dance teacher, and with ear-to-ear smiles, they waved. For the sake of this blog we’ll call the older girl, Susan, who is twelve. The younger sister is ten. Anyway, the luncheon was lovely and when we decided to leave I made my way to their table to wish them a Merry Christmas. And that’s when it happened. While giving me a hug Susan (12) said to me, “Oh Miss Cindy, I miss you so much. I want you to know that I’ve read all of your books.”

Dangerous Deception

Click on Book Cover to view on Amazon!

What?!

I was very taken aback. I turned to her mother with wide eyes and if I hadn’t quickly slammed it shut, I swear my jaw would’ve bounced off the floor. I said, “You let her read my books?”  Smiling, the woman waved a carefree hand at me and replied, “Oh, don’t worry, she’s an advanced reader.”

Seriously? Has the woman not reviewed my books before her twelve year old daughter reads them? I couldn’t believe it! Susan then added, “Oh yes, and I understand everything in them, Miss Cindy.”

Okay.

At this point I simply gave the girl another hug, wished them happy holidays, and caught up with my family. That’s when my husband said, “See I told you! I told you that those young girls from your dance school would be reading your books. That’s why you should keep those suggestive scenes in check!”

Really?

I don’t think so. I truly feel it is their parent’s responsibility to read the book first before passing it on to their pre-teen daughters. My sister-in-law read Deadly.Com before forbidding her twenty year old daughter to read it. *big eye roll* PLEASE! As ridiculous as I felt that was, I do indeed believe that parents need to censor what their young children reads just as much as they need to pay attention to what they are looking at on the internet. Having a school district pronounce your child as an “advanced reader” simply means they can read “big words”—big deal! That does not necessarily mean they are mature enough for certain content. Call me old fashioned. Call me naïve. Call me an idiot, if you like, but young people need guidance and mature reading material simply is not appropriate for a twelve year old girl. For that matter my daughter does not permit my grandson (13) to read my books, and the last one, Dangerous Deception, was dedicated to him! I’m not upset—I totally agree with my daughter, and I wish all parents would exercise a little more common sense when it comes to mature reads and the internet, and cell phones for that matter.

Hey, I don’t feel responsible at all for what happened. Yes, I write suggestive scenes. I like writing suggestive scenes, and am considering going a bit farther in my new series that I will be starting in 2013. It is up to Susan’s mother and parents just like her to censor their children’s reading material. I’m no longer “Miss Cindy” the small town dance teacher. I am now Cindy McDonald, an author—reader beware.

About the Author:

For twenty-six years, Cindy McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of her adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Inexplicitly, she felt drawn to my computer to write about things she had experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack.

One may ask why she didn’t choose to write about her experiences with dance. When asked, cindy offers a sly smile and explains that life at the racetrack was more…racy. “The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama,” Cindy says, “believe me, they do but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.”

In May of 2011, Cindy took the big leap and exchanged her dancin’ shoes for a lap top. She retired from dance. “It was a scary proposition,” she confesses. “I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer.” Does she miss her dance? “Sometimes I do,” Cindy admits, “I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with my readers.”

To read excerpts from future books, view book trailers, and keep up with everything that is Unbridled, please visit Cindy’s website at: www.cindymcwriter.com

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5 thoughts on “Guest Post: Cindy McDonald: Censored Books–You Betcha!

  1. Lauren Carr

    I have to say I agree that parents (parents, not outside agencies) do need to keep a handle on what their children are reading. It is really pretty subjective about what some may determine is suitable for a 13 year old.
    A few years ago, I had written and MC’d a murder mystery dinner theater. The prize for the table solving the murder was copies of my books. After the show, one of the winning guests asked me to sign her books for her granddaughter, who, she said was 13 years old. Merrily, I signed away. Later, another guest who had been sitting at the table chewed me out for not telling this woman that my books were inappropriate for a 13 year old because (wait for it!) there’s murder in my books!
    Well, this grandmother did know they are murder mysteries. Plus, it was a murder mystery dinner theater they were attending.
    I guess I’m not a good judge on determining if my books are suitable for other parents’ children. I was reading Perry Mason and Agatha Christie and every murder mystery I could get my hands on at thirteen. That’s why I didn’t give it a second thought when this woman told me her granddaughter was 13. But now, 13 year olds are much more sophisticated than they were when I was that age.
    I don’t think my books are inappropriate. There is not graphic violence or sex. Swearing is at a bare bones minimum and only when necessary for the character and situation. (Never the f-word.)
    The mysteries I was reading at 13 would be considered very tame today and it is really up to the parent to decide what they want their child (or grandchild) to read. For example, this one woman thought a book with a murder in it was inappropriate. However, Cindy, your former student’s mother thought your books, with it’s suggestive scenes, believed there was no problem with exposing her daughters to that.
    As a parent, I’m in the middle. Murder mysteries that focus on the puzzle of the crime are okay. But graphic sex and violence, and extensive swearing for the purpose of shock value are not.

    • I totally agree, Lauren. That said I recently had my second book from the Unbridled Series, Hot Coco, on promotion for free on amazon, now there aren’t any graphic sex scenes in the book but it does have a few “suggestive” scenes–the book went #2 on the teen lists. I did not write the book with the intention of it being a teen read but that’s who is reading it–I have to assume.
      Okay, to be fair I’m sure there was a bit of trust involved because I was Miss Cindy. However, let’s remember, the title of my books aren’t: Patty’s Pretty Tutu or Sally’s First Ballet Class. The titles of my books are: DEADLY.COM, HOT COCO, and DANGEROUS DECEPTION they are part of the series that is called: UNBRIDLED. I don’t think any of those titles conjure ideas that a ballet class is involved in the storyline.

  2. Lauren Carr

    Unless you have Mike West start dancing a ballet dancer–but based on what I see in your books, those tutus are going to get a workout!

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