In a recent comment, someone found the concept of the Royal States series to be offensive due to their liking of the constitution. The female’s button has been pressed. You know that red button? The one that makes her mimic my sister’s expression?
That button. It’s been pressed.
The Royal States of America is a fictional piece of work that asks and answers many ‘what if’ questions. This is called Speculative Fiction. In Speculative Fiction, the author delves into answering one or many ‘what if’ questions.
There are a lot of what if questions asked in the Royal States series. This is a piece of fiction. The constitution is not at all threatened by a piece of fiction.
Let’s check out what speculative questions the female deliberately asked and answered in this series.
Q: What would happen if magic triggered a second civil war that divided the nation?
A: States declared independence and seceded from the union, declared themselves to be self-functioning monarchies due to the new power rifts between people, and became a loose coalition rather than a united nation. But since Americans are Americans, they didn’t completely abolish the United States. It became a new entity, but the kingdoms most certainly do feud with each other.
On a historic level, this is literally what happens when there is an irresolvable civil war that divides a nation into parts. The entire Revolutionary War was fought based on one such part of an empire deciding it wanted to secede.
History repeats itself. This is a known entity. There is a reason that quote is so poignant, and that yes… we are inherently doomed to repeat history over and over again.
This leads me to discuss the clusterfuck that’s Null and Void and the surprising number of people who had no idea that the marriage rules used in the series are literally borrowed from the modern United States. The female spent hours researching how child marriage laws work in the United States before writing that arc.
All she did was research marriage practices from various monarchies around the world and applied the current laws of the United States to them.
Yes, Americans, you do live in a nation that values child marriage and has legalized it in some form in the majority of the states. This is not just one political party allowing and using these laws. It’s both. Of course, if you’re in a red state, the laws are typically more lenient and harsher against children. Tennessee is currently the worst culprit in terms of child marriage.
They have a known history of marrying 10-12 year olds to far older men and women. (And yes, little boys are just as likely to be married off as little girls. Tennessee has a known history of doing it to both children.)
Worse, the judges may not bar the unions because of how child custody laws work, even if the child is sobbing and begging to not be married.
That’s the law.
Christianity is currently the largest consumer of child brides in the United States; other religions tend to implement their child marriages outside of the United States, although the US does typically acknowledge and accept the marriages of children abroad as long as the paperwork is legal. (It usually is.)
Food for thought.
So, that leads to the next question:
Q: How would American society change if something typically swept under the rug (IE, child marriage) becomes front-and-center of American politics and thus becomes a way of life?
A: It’s in Null and Void, the Captive King, and A Guiding Light. It’s also in Storm Called. It is also in Taken. Taken plants the seeds of a parent’s struggle to safeguard their child against those horrors. It also shows how the children are exposed and brought up to find this sort of behavior appropriate.
Because to their society, it is.
it is worth noting that the author’s personal feelings on this matter plays zero part in how the characters feel on the matter. She is not her characters. She often has countering views compared to her characters.
She does not want to be her characters.
But she wants to explore new worlds. But that often involves asking and answering uncomfortable questions.
The female loathes child marriage and firmly believes there should be no civil or marriage unions performed until the age of 18 at the absolute earliest. This is her personal opinion, and she will not be engaging in any arguments or debates on what anyone else thinks the age should be. (Personally, she would prefer 21, but at 18, children are considered adults and have gained most legal rights.)
A lot of people levered pedophilia claims against the female for following US laws in Null and Void.
Guess what: she’s not a pedophile.
She just wrote a book based on monarchies and current United States laws.
And if the existence of child marriage in Null and Void bothers you, you should probably start looking into your state and see what their laws actually are. For a rare change, wikipedia actually makes a pretty good launching point to get a feel for what your state does in terms of child marriage.
The female is not exactly pleased with her residing state, as they permit ‘with parental consent.’ That’s the dangerous loophole that results in unwilling children marrying adults. As long as the parents say yes and the child ultimately is coerced into doing it, it’s legal. It doesn’t matter if they’re screaming and don’t want to.
The Royal States series includes a change of this practice in the world. But it’s not an easy battle, and people pay the price for it.
New Waters is likely going to be the last book that includes that specific arc, as it deals with the ultimate consequences of good intentions, shit roads, and the politics of marriage in monarchies.
The female doesn’t really like writing these things, but they’re important for the story, because that’s how the questions were answered when she evaluated what might happen if…
So please don’t assign personal believes to the female. She is not her fiction, nor will she ever be her fiction.
It. Is. Fiction.
This means it is not real.
Screw it. We could explain all day long, but it wouldn’t do all that much good.
People have a hard time figuring out authors are not their writing, and reading something that is speculative doesn’t threaten their way of life.
It. Is. Fiction.
P.S.: If you are the kind of reader who cannot tolerate changes to society, anything touching the constitution, what if questions that touch on potential sensitive subjects, and so on, please do not read the Royal States or the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series. Neither of these series are good for you.
Have a nice day, and happy reading.
P.S.: Don’t read the Jesse Alexander books, either. The President in that one is on her eighth or so term.
Yeah I knew about this before I read your books(and I’m not even in America) . There was a documentary on it as well. I would keep saying what you say in front of your books about it and refer them to a documentary and starting point. One can not fix willfully stupid.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Mary Anne Petruska
You seriously have to spend time responding to someone who clearly does not understand the meaning of ‘Speculative Fiction’. I think their larger problem with the difference between the words Fiction and Fact.
Don’t waste energy or effort on those people. You will never satisfy them. No. Matter. What. You. Do. I know, I know. Easy to say, hard to do.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Yep. The Royal States got hammered so hard on Null and Void because people decided I, the author, was a bunch of nasty things because HOW DARE I model my fictional world after NON-FICTIONAL laws.
I like your States series, and love the romantic with a body count series. I’ve read them multiple times. Please don’t take their attitudes about your writing seriously. It is fiction and some people have trouble separating fiction from reality. For the rest of us, please keep up the wonderful writing. It gives my mind a place to wander when things get too stressful.
Null and void is my favorite personally. Its a great FICTION however as fake news is the new normal phrase people think fiction is fake nonfiction…..
Thank you for getting people to read and think.
I think writing about these horrendous laws the way you are, is the first step to changing them! Keep up the good work!
You are gracious to even reply to these accusers. I love that you explain these issues although I regret the attacks. Your works are full of wonder, magic and real reactions to speculative situations. Just want you to know. ” You are Enough”
FFS!!! They need to learn their country’s history before they judge!
Lifting a virtual glass of wine to / with you on this. I can’t believe that one (or more?) readers had those issues … and will not speculate on said reader(s) eductrional issues. 🙂
Some people actually believed movies were real and said “That person is still alive?!?” when they saw the actor/actress on the news. You should be flattered that you story was so life like that the “magic/talents ” seamed normal and what was real was jarring to their senses.
Hope they never, ever read anyone else alternate history series either. Their heads might explode.
Good heaven’s! It’s a fiction book! A book of fiction, made up in the author’s head, so it can be anything the author wants it to be. If you don’t like the premise, don’t read the fricken stories! But, I guess some people can’t tell the difference, and take everything as a personal assault either against themselves or their beliefs. Me personally, I love the Royal States series. 👍👍. Keep them coming, Susan Copperfield 😁
Other people are dumb. They just want to complain to complain. Me on the other hand I love all your books and I bought the next three slotted to come out soon. I am highly anticipating your new books. Sitting on pins and needles here. Plus you put out a book every month that’s not an easy thing to do and they are also good quality. So your doing a fantastic job!!
It seems to me that some folk need to understand the difference between fact and fiction, even when that fiction has some factual basis – and if they don’t like the story, stop reading it! I’m sad you have had to waste your time responding instead of writing the next stories.
You are an amazing author. It is a shame that the complainers don’t know the laws of their own states. Maybe they should rail at their politicians and leave a FICTION author alone, but as we know morons simply like to run their mouths where it won,t do any good.
Your female has my sympathy. Have encountered many people who can’t tell the difference between fiction and the real world. Many of these also believe anything they hear or read on the internet. Was talking to a man yesterday who is certain covid19 is a hoax and the deaths reported are from natural causes. If you could groom her while she is taking a break from work it will help her relax.
As the song says haters are gonna hate. Please just shake it off and keep doing what you do best. The trolls just need to take a good hard look at their lives n choices. Everyone of them needs to take a class or six on literature, writing or acting and well…common sense. Best wishes n hopefully the snark crew can balance your mood out.
There are too many stupid people who cannot distinguish fiction from truth. Ignore them. No one will ever be able to explain it so their stupid minds can understand. I personally find your books very entertaining.
People are so programmed to try and find the conspiracy theory or some other BS. Remember, there are people out there that think the world is flat, or that the moon landing was faked.
I enjoy the books for the books. I never even thought about any of these aspects in any of the series you write, just enjoyed how well written they were. How I could laugh with the characters, or cry, or see a true individual, not just a cookie cutter one.
You bringing these things up are eye opening, but I never once considered they related yourself. They are simply facts that you have used to flesh out possibilities.
WOW…..just WOW. Incredible to realize that anyone who can read your books cannot differentiate between fiction and nonfiction. Fiction is MADE UP, y’all. It can be based on fact but it is MADE UP. When you read a murder mystery do you assume the author is either a murderer or planning a murder? Susan, RJ, Bernadette, you are one of my guilty pleasures… unless I have time to finish it, I will not start one of your books. This has led to several (many) overnight reads and blurry day afters. There is nothing like an I read all night hangover! So please, keep doing what you are doing and ignore the complainers. I have already pre -ordered every book you have available for pre-order, and am looking forward to many more “reading hangovers”.
Some people are just sad. If a person knows who and what they are in the scheme of things, they will have no reason to ‘take’ offense. It shows that one is uncertain of who they are and their place in their world. And it is usually just to get attention for themselves They want in the limelight because in most all cases it equates to a cash flow. The poor dears. And nothing more. After all. “I am holier than thou” is their motto.
Frankly, I love all of your books. They offer interesting ‘what if?’ scenarios with ‘real world’ stories showing the ‘what if’ in action. My favorite kind. I had no idea about the marriage laws across the states; it never occurred to me that it might be an issue. I’m glad you are bringing it up front and center. Maybe someone will be motivated / shamed into updating the laws.
Thing is, I find laws across the world to be baffling. There are too many where the laws are counter to ‘human decency’ (for lack of a better term), much less compassion.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Laws rarely care for people, and many laws that are there to protect the morality of religious beliefs, including child marriage laws (which ARE founded on American Christianity in the US), are just one of them.
the case in Florida is one of the most horrible but eye-opening out there. A little girl was raped by a young man. I cannot remember if she became pregnant or not. It’s horrible either way. The church wanted to bury the rape, so they were wed, because it’s not rape if they’re wed, and the marriage ‘established a relationship’ and invalidated the rape, essentially.
This case became the lynchpin for Florida, which has since banned child marriage.
Your Royal States series is my favorite of all your series. I never thought you were advocating child marriage – it’s part of the plot. I would have thought that people who read your books would be familiar with urban fantasy and paranormal romance books, where literally almost *anything* can happen. Duh. I know that’s why I read those books, including yours. Hope you are doing well.
I looked up the laws for Alabama when reading Null and Void (I had NO CLUE it was even younger in some states!!!)- it is 16 with parental consent, 18 for no parental consent needed. 16 is also the age of consent (they can choose to have sex at that age) The laws are more lengthy regarding ages and statutory rape. WE NEED TO NAG OUR STATE REPRESENTATIVES TO FIX THIS PROBLEM!!!
One thing- and I know Mrs. R.J. knows this- just as most Muslims are NOT terrorists, most Christians are NOT the wackos who are polygamous, marry the kids off at age 12, or handle snakes, etc. The crazies like to hide behind established religions and abuse them.
While I, personally, struggle with the CHARACTER Satin, I remind myself the book is FICTION. To me, there is a very real Satan that scares me **itless. So, going forward, I need to decide if I can continue to read books with Satin in them. Otherwise, I will continue to read ALL THE BOOKS under whatever name R.J. Blain publishes them 😊
Things like this can be very intimidating, and while RJ has only briefly touched on it. The age of consent for much of Europe is 14, and of course pregnancy can force the marriage changes mentioned. This is not just relevant to the North America, this is something that affects the whole world.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
The Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series, honestly spoken, just isn’t a great series, period, for the truly devout. I add magic to every religious group on the planet. Nothing is sacred, and everything is fair game. But, you can also choose to use it as a learning experience about your own religious beliefs, too.
A lot of the twists, turns, and characterizations are based on the various religious texts supporting the religions.
Satin’s character has a lot of foundations in the various Judaic religions, Christianity included.
I will keep my religious beliefs private, but here is something for you to consider while you are considering it: Does your divine entity of choice truly want you to be utterly paralyzed with fear? A loving god does not do that.
View Satan through different eyes. A gatekeeper rather than something there to terrify you.
A god worth worshipping isn’t a terrorist, and if he loves you as much as you believe… the gatekeeper serves a different purpose. And that purpose isn’t to terrify you.
It’s to, in the eyes of a loving divine, to punish the true sinners.
But a truly loving god is not the kind of god that wants you to live in fear.
That’s not love.
Food for thought.
Thank you for your insights
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Your welcome. I hope you find books better suiting to your beliefs. Mine just may not be those books.
See… This is why I like cats and books better than people….
I come home from a long day at work ( in a retail pharmacy – dealing with the public) and I pick up one of your books and escape into a different time and place.
Books and Cats are better than people.
I think it is important to reflect on the background and beliefs of those we recommend books to, as well. I adore your books, and they give me NO problems (I came in with eyes wide open). However, I have friends I recommend them to with cautionary statements because of your experiences with confused and outraged readers (as quoted on your blogs and social media) or I don’t recommend them to certain readers that I know are hypersensitive to such topics. I do that because of an experience where I strongly recommended a young adult series to someone without realizing they were quite religious (co-worker), who became upset when religion was challenged in it. Luckily, we remained friends, but I am more cautious now.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Yep, and as the author, I don’t WANT the hyper sensitive reading my books. It’s not a good fit.
Hi, I heartily agreed with your newsletter today. I read different genres of books. I love reading fiction because IT IS FICTION. To me it gives the author the right to make up the story line however they like. It’s fun and fun to read👏👏.
I enjoy your books and look forward to reading as many as you care to write.
Take care and keep safe.
Cheers Eleanor ( from Australia).
Many years ago I met a young woman who had married at 14 – in New York state. By that time she had 5 kids, and a lot of regrets.She had also not forgiven her parents for giving their consent to the marriage.
Thank you for the light you shine on this terrible issue.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
That’s terrible. I’m so sorry.