Monday, March 7, 2011

Get Your Freak On with Guest Blogger: Freaky Fountain Press

Welcome Freaky Fountain Press to the Book Boost Today!

Here's what they had to say...

How many of you skulk around in fandom from time to time?

Read any fanfiction?

If you have, then you know all about trigger warnings.

If you don't, here's a quick primer. Being “triggered” is when someone who has experienced psychological trauma in the past experiences psychological distress in the present when they read, see, or hear about something similar to their particular traumatic experience. A “trigger” is something that causes a particular person to re-experience some of the emotions or sensations of past trauma. "Trigger warnings" are when someone mentions in advance if there's likely to be common triggers in whatever is to follow.

It makes sense, right? Movies, even television shows, warn for things like violence and adult language. Books, however, don't.

Many fanfic writers don't either. The folks in fandom who dislike the idea of trigger warnings, claiming that posting trigger warnings “spoils” their stories for potential readers, often point fingers at the publishing industry and cry in their own defense, “Real publishers don’t use trigger warnings! Real publishers don’t do it, so why should we?”

Triggers are scary, disruptive things. Anyone who has them will tell you: the smallest thing can set them off, and in that moment it’s like reliving the trauma all over again.

Freaky Fountain Press, started by Catherine Leary and Robin Wolfe, exists to give a home to certain kinds of erotic stories. This is the freaky fountain: we like it raw, we like it real, and we crave the sorts of things that traditional publishers won’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Given that we may handle subject material like incest and rape fantasy, Freaky Fountain stories and novels are more likely than your average erotic tales to be loaded with potential triggers. Given our deep respect for trauma survivors, we've decided to use trigger warning lists in all our releases. (We're also pleased at destroying the tired old, "But publishers don't use warnings!" defense.)

When you’re scrolling through a fanfic archive, the warnings are up-front and readable before you click through to the story. At Freaky Fountain, we decided to remove any threat of “spoilers” by putting the trigger page at the back of each book. This way, the reader can flip to the back of the anthology or novel and scan through the trigger list before he or she decides which stories to read, or whether to read the novel at all. Even the previews at our website and at places like Smashwords and Lulu include the trigger warning list, so a reader can look them over before deciding whether or not to purchase our novels and anthologies.

Triggery content (such as rape or a back-story of child abuse) is very common in many erotica books, even those considered more "vanilla". We're the first company to start using trigger warning lists, but we hope that we won't be the last. We hope that other companies, and authors who self-publish, may feel that having a trigger warning list at the back of their own publications is a fair compromise between not "spoiling" their work, while still being considerate of the risk of triggering their readers. When readers can make informed decisions about whether the content is safe for them, the better it is for the readers.

A Note from the Book Boost: FFP, I think this makes a world of sense and I appreciate the efforts you are taking to warn potential readers. Please tell us more about your new venture!

Freaky Fountain Press is the brainchild of two lifelong writers and connoisseurs of the freaky: Catherine Leary and Robin Wolfe.

For years, we’ve bemoaned the lack of published literary erotica covering dark themes and unusual kinks and practices. Nearly all mainstream publishers have blanket guidelines prohibiting elements such as necrophilia, non-consent, violence, gore, and cannibalism—all stuff we love! And while these guidelines undoubtedly serve a valuable function, implementing them straight across the board leaves a lot of niche readers out in the cold. Self-published authors are sometimes willing to tackle the darker side of Eros, but we’ve found the quality of those publications was often sorely lacking. So where does a reader go to find edgy, psychologically dark, and high-quality literary erotica?

One day we decided to stop complaining and do something about it. On that day, Freaky Fountain Press was born.

Freaky Fountain Press is not for everyone. Many readers will find some of our content disturbing, and guess what? We’re perfectly okay with that. Our novels and anthologies aren’t for them. They’re for you: authors and readers who like nothing more than to roll up their pants, jump in, and dance in the freaky fountain. So bring us your cannibal love, your natural born killers, your hot zombie sex and your death fetishists. Bring us your dark gods and weird kinks and bizarre fetishes. Write your stories to the edge and back. You’re always welcome here.

Want More Freaky Fountain Press?

Visit their website here:

Pick up your copy of This is the Way the World Ends today!
Click here.

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