This is the front cover of the book. If you look closely at the picture in the lens of the camera
I'm the child with the long legs
We do not permit any explicit or graphic descriptions of sexual situations featuring individuals under the age of eighteen. This does not mean that we are opposed to the characters in a story being involved in sexual situations for character development, because that does occur in real life, however, we want to make sure that all the details of the sexual situations are avoided. Avoid descriptions of the act entirely, specifically the following: kissing in a sexual manner; sexual touching; visible signs of arousal or sexual attraction; nudity of underage individuals; double entendre.
Unfortunately my publishers are American.
Because the characters in this chapter (and indeed, throughout the book) are under age and therefore still at school I was informed that I was only allowed to include a sex scene if I made the characters eighteen years old (the age of consent in the US being eighteen and not sixteen like it is in Britain). This is obviously ridiculous as the whole point of this chapter is the fact that the characters are under age. I tried to argue my case with the content evaluators, but to no avail, and they informed me with some finality that since they are US publishers “characters need to be eighteen.”
It strikes me as supremely hypocritical that a country where High School shootings are becoming more and more commonplace that a publisher would restrict the use of sex in a book because the characters are under age. If they feel that banning scenes of two under age people having sex will discourage other under age people from having sex, then, by using that same rationale, why not ban the use of guns in books, particularly guns that are being fired – at other people; surely that would discourage Americans from shooting each other on regular basis.
Recently I went to see the film Kick Ass 2, which had, unfortunately been cut by US distributors so that the film could be seen by a family audience. Every single word of bad language had been removed from the film, although, strangely, all the violence had been left in. The message that this version of the film clearly sent out, therefore, was this: It’s OK to stab someone in the eye with a sword but it’s not OK to use the word “fuck”. Also the original Kick Ass film had an under-age girl, not only stabbing people with swords but shooting them and using the word “cunt”.
These films were made in a country where, via music channels, children are exposed to soft porn disguised as pop videos; where disgraceful reality programmes such as Teen Mom – she’s a mom and a teenager, geddit – pander to an audience that’s all but dribbling into their TV dinners – but don’t worry, despite the fact that she was under age when she had sex, the network didn’t show the act that got her pregnant in the first place. It’s a country where rich criminals posing as evangelists roam the networks extorting hard earned cash from gullible poor people who are labouring under the misapprehension that God actually exists.
Ah, America, you are a land of contradictions.
Anyway, for those of you curious enough to find out what was missing from this chapter (you’ve read this far, so you must be showing at least some interest) you can read it by the going to the 25th entry of my blog Travels With My Rodent, where the chapter originally appeared. All you need to do is type www.travelswithmyrodent.blogspot.com into your internet browser and then search for 25: The Smell of Last Night’s Fingers.
In case you’re wondering where title of the chapter comes from, let me just say that it ends with the line “And, of course, I let him smell my fingers.”
I hope you enjoy what you find there.”
This is the back cover of the book. The rather arty back-and-white photograph is actually a selfie taken on my phone.
The book is available on Amazon as both a paperback and a kindle book. The kindle book is only £2.67 (cheap).
So that's my ruthless sales pitch over.