On occasion, I get asked what are taboos for me. Most times, I don’t know how to answer that, though I know that the asker is usually going for “you’re a Christian and a horror writer, so what won’t you write about?” So I think that I’ll wander around the topic and see what I come up with.

We as writers/artists often rail against the tyranny of the constraints of our Puritanical society (and too often misuse words like “censorship” in the process). But you know what? I like lines. Lines force me to be creative, subversive within the boundaries. In fact, people are more clever when they can get their point across within the so-called bounds of polite society. And I like clever. Plus, I think that we miss the point: we need the lines. I’m not talking as “that Christian guy” or “that moralist busybody,” but as an artist.

On the one hand, sometimes, well, lines are there for a reason. Let’s face it, that envelop was getting pretty out there. We were left coming up with new things that leather clad midgets could do with goats. Though, seriously, reading about the rape of a retarded girl as entertainment isn’t my idea of a fun read, but that’s a personal taste issue and I get that some people are drawn to more extreme stuff. Though it is another reason why I appreciate lines.

On the other hand, pulled back lines make it easier to cross. Which is why I even like the occasional reset. After the Janet Jackson brouhaha, the lines that govern social acceptability were reigned in. As horror writers, one of the tools in our artistic tool belt is the breaking of taboos, the pushing of the envelope. Those lines affect the traditional horror writers as well as the more extreme, since all too often all horror is lumped together (with of course the “extreme” stuff trotted out as examples of the genre as a whole).

There’s a lot that I won’t write about because they have no interest for me or there are some places that I can’t go. At least right now. I used to discount the possibility of me writing a romance novel, until I wrote one (one of those “baby mama dramas,” though under a pseudonym).

So the short version is that I have no specific taboos. Sacrilegious things used to be my reflex answer, but even that can be done in a way that I would find engaging. All I care about is that the writing is done intelligently and well.

That’s my answer and I’m sticking to it. For the moment, anyway.

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