Why would Quiet Apocalypse be banned

Including Quiet Apocalypse almost seems like cheating. It’s a horror story, it’s supposed to be offensive. It’s supposed to upset people. But after all, I included all the other books. No reason my youngest should feel left out. 

Brace yourself, folks. This might be the most offensive book I’ve ever written. But then, I never claimed it was for kids. 

Graphic animal death

I know, I wasn’t thrilled about writing it. But it did have the desired effect. Yes, there are a few horrible animal deaths in this book. 

I swear, the story called for it. 

Not as graphic but still child deaths

Some kids die in this book. I don’t go into detail. We didn’t need to read about broken bones and blood when discussing babies. But yeah, some kids die. 

Occult discussions

The main character of Quiet Apocalypse, Sadie, is a witch. I’m a witch myself, so I wrote about actual magic in this book. I even included actual spells I wrote in the book. So if you need to get rid of a ghost in your house, I got you. 


Finally, Quiet Apocalypse is violent. People are ripped apart by snowstorms. People are shredded by a staircase. At one point our heroes are attacked by toys in the attic. This isn’t a kind, friendly book. It is, gasp, a horror book. Horrifying things do happen.

So that’s it, not only for why Quiet Apocalypse would be banned but for Banned Books Week as a whole. I hope you’ve enjoyed this week of extra posts and discussions about censorship. Of course, just because Banned Books Week is over doesn’t mean we should stop reading banned books. Keep reading them, keep recommending them, keep defending them. 

One more time, I want to open the floor up to my fellow authors. Why would your book be banned? 

Banned books week might be over, but Preptober is about a week away. If you haven’t gotten your copy of the Preptober Planner yet, you still have time.

Why would AA be banned

AA is a podcast, not a book. But of course, all mediums are subject to censorship. So even though AA hasn’t been banned, let’s talk about what it would be banned for. 

(You can listen to the whole first season for free right now by the way, on Haunted MTL.)

Substance abuse

The main character, Josey, is a recovering alcoholic. And you know I’m not one to shy away from discussions of mental illness. It’s also, spoiler, how she finds herself involved in a very different AA than she thought she was getting involved in. 

Vulgar language

I don’t use a lot of blue language here, but I sure use it in my everyday life. So of course, when writing lines that are going to be read out loud, my characters are a bit more sweary than normal. 


This doesn’t come up in season one, but I’m talking about AA as a whole. Yes, there are some gay characters. That seems like enough to get it banned right there according to the top ten banned books this year. There is a culture war going on right now between conservatism and liberalism. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. I’m also sure I don’t have to tell you that art is one of the major battlefields of this war.

Portrayal of police in a poor light

The police are pretty much useless in AA. Just like in real life. But of course, some will take this personally.

And that’s it for AA. So now it’s your turn, fellow writers. Why would your book, or podcast, be banned?

Don’t forget, Preptober is coming! Grab your copy of the Preptober Planner and plan a novel along with me all month. 

Why would Woven be banned?

Books are banned for some pretty ridiculous reasons. But I’m proud to say that all of my books probably could be banned. 

At least, they share many of the same traits and themes seen in commonly banned books. This is something I’m quite proud of. 

(Also, check out the Banned Books website for information and resources.)

Today I want to talk about my first series, Woven. 

No matter how many books I write, this will always be my first baby. So let’s talk about why it would totally be banned.

Homosexual activity

This is one that always trips up books. Especially young adult books. And yes, shockingly, there are gay characters in Woven. There’s even gay marriage in the first book, Broken Patterns.

I didn’t do this because I want Ally points or to be woke. I wrote gay characters, and a battle for gay rights, into my book because it’s something I’ve experienced in my life. The LGBTQ+ struggle is one Millenials have experienced since we were children. Of course, I’m going to write about it. 

Discussion of mental illness

In the second book of Woven, the main character Lenore is struggling with depression. 

I’ve struggled with anxiety. People I love deal with depression. Mental illness is a real problem and we need to be more open about it. So, when I was writing about Lenore, I wanted to write about something I was going through. I wanted to write not just about suffering from depression, but about being the partner of someone who is suffering.

Discussions of rape and abuse

I’m kind of shocked when people are surprised that bad guys in books are, ya know, bad. But Calvin, who’s the antagonist for much of the Woven series, is a bad guy. He raped people. He beat the hell out of people. He is not a good person. 

That’s made most clear, I think, in the prequel book Falling From Grace

We cannot be afraid to write bad guys as bad. Even Magneto, the most understandable bad guy of all time, has done horrific things. 

I’m not saying I wrote a snuff scene here. I’m saying that the antagonist in my books does bad things.

So, my fellow writers, it’s your turn. Why would your book be banned? Let us know in the comments. And please, provide links to your potentially banned books. 

Getting ready for Preptober? I have a planner for you! Check it out now on my Ko-fi store. 

What to do if a book is banned

Books are being banned more and more often. I think it’s just one more step our society is taking toward the past instead of the future.

While it’s easy to feel discouraged in the face of censorship, we are not helpless! There are things we can do to fight against book banning. Here are five examples.

(Please check out the Banned Books website for more bookish fun and tips to fight censorship.)

Read it

This one’s pretty obvious, so let’s get it out of the way first. If you hear that a book has been banned, read it. If you’ve already read it, read it again. I did this when Maus was banned by several schools earlier this year. It’s a hard book to read, even if it is a comic. Read it twice. 

Suggest it to friends

After you read a banned book, especially if you liked it, suggest it to people. Most people pick up books because of word of mouth. It’s still the best marketing tool out there, getting people talking about a book. I know I’m more likely to read something if someone I trust recommends it. 

Buy copies as gifts

Banned books deserve all the attention. So if you can, grab a copy or two for the next gift-giving occasion. The holidays are coming up, and the top ten banned books of 2021 would probably all be great gifts for someone you love.

Donate copies

Another great thing you can do, especially if you already own your copy of a banned book, is to donate a copy to a local library. Or put a few in a mini library, if there are any in your neighborhood.

Talk about the book on social media

Finally, don’t forget to post about banned books. Write a review on Bookbub or Goodreads. Chat about it on Twitter. Post pictures of it on Instagram. The real point here is to blanket the internet with banned books. Help people find out about them. 

What I’m saying is this. People ban books because there’s something in them that makes them uncomfortable. And I would like for people who encourage censorship to be as uncomfortable as possible. So when they try to ban a book, let’s make sure it’s everywhere. Let’s make sure they can’t escape the popularity of these books. Let’s read and celebrate banned books, and help others learn about them.

Because censorship fucking sucks. 

Hey guys, don’t forget that my Preptober planner is available now on my Ko-fi shop. If you’re writing a novel in November, you want to prep in October. And my Preptober planner breaks down your tasks every week and gives you plenty of cute creative space to make it happen. 

The top ten banned books of 2022

It’s Banned Books Week! This is always a good time. Reading books that other people consider offensive or inappropriate just makes me feel good about life, you know? And this year it’s even more important because book banning has been rampant. So it’s up to those of us who care to read out louder than ever. So let’s talk about the ten books that were most banned in 2021. Let’s read them, let’s share them, and let’s make banning books a thing of the past. 

(As always, all of this information is from the Banned Books website. Please check out their site for more information and ways you can battle censorship.)

Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin

This one was banned because of LGBTQ+ content. Spoiler, this is going to be a bit of a theme.

This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

Want to guess why this book was banned? That’s right, LGBTQ+ content and sexual education. Because why would we want to educate people about sex, one of the fundamental driving forces of our existence as a species? 

The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison

Banned for child sexual abuse scene. Maybe stick a content warning on this one. 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Banned because of sexually explicit content. I wish we protected children from guns the same way we protect them from sex scenes in books.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Banned for profanity, sexual references, and use of a derogatory term. I think this book makes the list every year.

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Banned for profanity and violence. Here’s the best part. It was also banned for anti-police indoctrination. No one seems to give a damn about pro-police indoctrination. This might be the one that pisses me off the most this year. It should get a special award for this.

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Banned for depictions of abuse. Again, I get that maybe we want to give a content warning. But don’t ban a book outright. 

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

Banned for LGBTQ+ content. As a side note, this book has one of the prettiest covers I’ve seen all year.

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Banned again for LGBTQ+ content. I don’t see any books getting banned for straight content. 

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Finally, banned for LGBTQ+ content. If you can read this list and tell me someone doesn’t have an agenda, I don’t know what’s the matter with you. 

This year I’ll be reading A Song Flung Up To Heaven by Maya Angelou. I’d love to hear what you’re reading for Banned Books Week. Let us know in the comments.

I made a planner! If you’re getting ready to write a novel, then you want the Preptober Planner to guide you through a month of planning. 

Banned Books Week, 2021

Banned books week kind of snuck up on me this year. Here it is, and I don’t feel prepared. 

But I will be! And as always, I’m here to bring you a list of the ten most banned books of 2021. 

All of the information from today’s post comes from the banned books week website. Please check it out by clicking on this link here.

10. The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas

9. The Bluest Eyes, by Toni Morrison.

8. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

6. Something Happened in Our Town, by Marianne Celano and Marietta Collins

5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

4. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

3. All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

2. Stamped: Racisim, antiracism and you, by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

1. George, by Alex Gino

Now, let me tell you why this list upset me more than most years. 

For one thing, there are two classics on the list that I was required to read in school. Trust me, no one in my school was emotionally scarred or broken by reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Most of my peers, sad to say, weren’t paying attention.

Some of us were moved. Some of us remembered that story, and the lessons it taught us, for the rest of our lives. 

A lot of these books were banned because of LGBTQ content. I don’t understand how in 2021 there are still so many people that see homosexuality as a choice, not to mention as a bad thing. I honestly feel like banning LGBTQ books is just an act of cruelty. People who ban books like this don’t want that community to feel like they belong. 

I notice many of these books are about racial disparity. This is a conversation we need to have. We can’t fix problems we don’t know about. And honestly, I’ve spent too much time over the last two years saying, “I had no idea that happened.” 

We need to know about Black Wallstreet. We need to know about Juneteenth. Not because we should feel guilty, but because we need to understand the scope of the situation. We cannot fix what we do not know about. Nothing is ever going to get better if we act like racial issues don’t exist. 

Finally, I’m concerned that a lot of these books are for children. There are people who seem to want to put blinders on children. This is a disservice to the next generation.

So what do you think? What banned book are you reading this week? Let us know in the comments below. 

If you like this post, please consider supporting Paper Beats World on Ko-fi.

Banned Books Week, 2020

Warning: This post gets a little inappropriate. I’m going to say some words like vagina and fuck. You’ve been warned. 

It’s that time again, my favorite bookish holiday of the year. Banned Books week!

I love this yearly reminder that we’ve got to fight for our right to freedom of expression. No surprise, it’s sort of a big deal. I like to write and read about difficult topics. Maybe you do too. Maybe you don’t, but you still think other people should be able to. Maybe you also just think books get banned for really stupid reasons and you’re just not down for censorship. 


All that being said, let’s get into the good stuff. Here’s the list of the top ten most banned books from 2019. This information is from the website ALA.org. If you can, please check them out and help out with a donation. 

Ten-And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole

Banned for LGBTQIA+. When are we going to stop doing this?

Nine-Harry Potter by JK. Rowling

Banned due to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells and for characters using ‘nefarious means’ to obtain goals. 

Really? Actual spells. Someone tried to come at this discussion by stating that Harry Potter has actual spells. Let me assure you, it doesn’t. What in the actual hell are these people thinking? Having known quite a few witches and Wiccans in my life and being honored to call them friends, I promise none of them are whipping up Polyjuice Potion. It’s more like, “Let’s put some herbs on this candle and light it, then pray that your grandma gets over that bad head cold. But also, here’s some cold medicine.”

Oh look, I just gave you a real spell! Scandalous! 

Eight-Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Banned for  LGBTQIA+. 

Seven-The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Banned for profanity, vulgarity and sexual overtones. 

Allegedly. I think it’s banned for putting wild ideas like freedom in people’s heads. This isn’t a good book for people who want to, I don’t know, run for a third term (fourth, fifth), suspend rights to peacefully protest, strip people of their right to vote and you know, ban books.

Six-I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

Banned for sexual content and matter that is sensitive, controversial and politically charged. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if we taught kids how to have a conversation about difficult topics? Just a thought. Seems like having a book as a jumping-off point would be a great tool.

But what do I know?

Five-Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

Banned for, and I’m paraphrasing here, making it seem like being gay is, you know, okay. 

Four-Sex is a funny word by Cory Silverberg, Illustrated by Fiona Smyth

You know what, it is a funny word. I mean, I guess every word is funny when you think about it. Fork, pickle, card, typewriter. How do we decide these things?

Anyway, this book was banned for sexual content, LGBTQIA+ content and discussing sex education.

Our country needs sex education. Honest to goodness, there are some men who still thing women pee from their vagina. I don’t want to draw a diagram here, folks.

Three-A day in the life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller

Please understand that this is a book for little kids. It’s a picture book. I bought a copy for my friend’s little son. It’s a cute story about a cute bunny who happens to be gay.

But of course, that’s not okay. Why let kids know it’s okay to be who they are? Or that there might be people who are gay, and that’s okay.

Maybe we’d prefer to let people continue to force themselves into molds they were never built to fit in, then sit around and wonder why they’re breaking.

Two- Beyond Magenta: Transgender teens speak out by Susan Kuklin

Banned for its effect on any young people who would read it. What, are they afraid it would give them wild ideas about not judging people based on their gender or sex? 

One-George by Alex Gino

This one made me laugh. It’s also banned for LGBTQIA+ material. But there’s a quote here. I don’t know who said it but I wish I did. 

“Libraries should not put books in a child’s hand that require discussion.” 

Well, what the fuck do we have libraries for, then? I was pretty sure that a book was supposed to require discussion. What was the last book you read that didn’t make you ask questions? I bet it was a boring one. 

I’ll leave you now with my banned book choice of the year. This year I’m reading The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. What are you reading for banned book week? Let us know in the comments below.

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