Countdown, cover, and cussing

Cramming a few posts into one! If you care about the Radio Edit, you’re looking for the Cussing section.


It’s less than a month until Peace State is out. You’ve still got time to pre-order your own copy! For those of you who want the version that is truly chock-full of swears, here’s a wee link roundup if you’d like to pre-order the ebook at the bigger Usual Suspects:

But I also know it’s being sold through smaller (aka I don’t really know them) outlets, and the paperback should also be available everywhere. Eventually. At the very least, once it’s out, you should be able to ask your fav indie bookshop to order it for you!

Here’s the trailer, which I’m using to celebrate having passed the one month mark:


And here’s the cover for that version, in case you haven’t seen it.


You have probably already guess that, like the first two books in this trilogy, Peace State is Really Quite Sweary. Really.

The short version: Whist there is less swearing in this book than the last, there’s more than in the first book. Which, please believe me, is still more than those of you who don’t like swearing think. But I have also made a Radio Edit version, just for you anti-swearing people, where I’ve removed the cussing but not all the rude words. (Pre-order that version here.)

The long version…

Actually, I’m going to refer you back to the swearing post for Peace Fire for all the context and thoughts and such. Here, I’m going to tell you the numbers (whilst using enough censorship that this post stays swear-free). You know, in case you’re skipping the other swearing post and so still underestimate just how swear-y this sequel is.

A jar labelled "swear jar" and filled with large denominations of money and a credit card

Let’s pull out ye olde swear jar and calculate the damage. In my 329 pages of story, the following words (or variations thereof) show up the number of times listed here:

  • F-word: 199
  • S-word: 198
  • D-word: 59
  • H-word: 50 (This is after subtracting false positives, because this also returned words like “shell” and “hello”)
  • Rude words related to male genitals: 3 (but only when used in that sense, because, for instance, one can be cocky or be pricked by a needle and that’s not rude)
  • A-word: 79 (Spelled the “usual” way or the variant that includes an R. This is after subtracting false positives, because this also returned words like “parse,” “assume,” “password,” etc. In fact, there were about 165 of those false positives, and I am paranoidly sure I missed something in my edits. Apologies in advance if that’s so.)
  • B-words: 31 of one and 25 of the other (Plus once instance of “bastardized,” which research tells me isn’t a swear, so I left it in.)
  • Because it is of special concern to some of you, whether you read the normal or edited version, I want to note that I did not use the Lord’s name in vain.

But, as promised when I made the first one happen, Peace State gets a Radio Edit version as well. (And now I’m going to pretty much repeat what was in the first post. If you just re-read that, unless you need to know the other, less-likely to offend US English people words in there, you now know everything! Well, everything covered by this post.)

I called it the Radio Edit because, as most of you probably know, music is a massive part in my life. When I think about voluntarily censoring something I’ve created, my mind immediately goes to radio edits of songs. Though I could totally use words on the radio that I’ve taken out of the Radio Edit. I could also have way more sexiness on the radio than you’ll find in the Radio Edit.

Because it’s the culture in which the story takes place (and, yes, what counts as swearing varies based on which English-speaking country you’re in), I did the edit based on US English swearing. It should be good for you non-swearing folks in general, given my experience has been that, overall, US English is the most limiting variation. Unless you have a problem with words like “crap,” “piss,” and “jerk,” in which case I really can’t scale it back enough for you. (I also left in phrases like “the evidence was damning” because there are non-swearing uses of words that US English considers swears in other contexts.)

Actually, here’s list of words that are something like those mentioned in the last paragraph that are not edited out or were actively used to replace actual swears:

  • BS
  • Bloody
  • Crap
  • Piss
  • Bollocks
  • Screw
  • Sod
  • Wanker
  • Bugger
  • Blasted

The swearing was not removed by just using the Find and Replace function. (For instance, I did not just replace every f-bomb with the same word.) That would have left a massively inferior book (instead of one that I just feel isn’t as authentic sounding). What actually happened is that I made a list of every swear word I could think of and a few extra-rude words, and then I used Find to locate them. (If I missed anything, please accept my most sincere apologies. The cost of a full line edit and the impact on timelines was not something we could work out.) I then made changes on a case-by-case basis. (Which only confirmed my belief that swear words serve particular purposes and carry their own, unique connotations and nuances. But this edit isn’t about me; it’s about you. So, I did my best for you, all things considered.)

Because it’s not the way things are normally done and due to the cost (in terms of time, money, and energy), it will only be an ebook. Currently, Amazon is the only place I’ve confirmed it will be available for pre-order. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app to your computer or device. That’s what I use!) If you search for Peace State at your preferred ebook supplier, unless the cover is the one you see above (with the Radio Edit stamp on it) and the description notes that it has been edited for swearing, I can’t guarantee that’s what you’re getting. Shop carefully!


Peace State (Radio Edit) is now available for pre-order here