Grief, content notes, and crying in books (CW: death of a parent)

Wild at Heart (Kincaids of Pine Harbour #3) comes out on Tuesday, and I’m very excited to share it with readers! I’m also struggling to write content notes for it, which I know people appreciate (and I like to provide! I have comprehensive content warnings for most of my Ainsley Booth books).

There is one major content note for this book: it deals with grief after a parent’s death. But my struggle, as I think about if I need to be more explicit, is that I think all my books are about that. This book is just more on the nose than the others.

(It’s not a struggle. That’s not the right word. But I tend to express myself best in 80,000 words with multiple passes, not short blog posts dashed off quickly on a Saturday to explain why there isn’t a content note on this book yet.)

This year was the 20th anniversary of my mom’s passing. She died on September 11, 2001, in a rural hospital just south of where I’ve set fictional Pine Harbour. She had breast cancer. She was loved by a large family, and adored by long-time subscribers to her magazine. Her funeral filled the small town church to absolute capacity.

But she wasn’t universally loved by everyone in her local community. She was seen as wild and radical, and people whispered.

I poured all of that into Wild at Heart. My own grief, those two different experiences.

(It’s also a book about community service and hot sex and friendship and misunderstandings)

I think what I’ve realized is that I don’t have a simple, objective list of content warnings for any of my Pine Harbour books, because they are slices of me. I will endeavour to fix that after this release, but for now, I hope this blog post provides sufficient context.