I trust the reader to be able to understand the horror and tenderness innate in a situation. My job is to write it down as clearly as I can, and without judgment. There’s a difference between voyeurism and witness.
“If the city of my birth should wish to perpetuate my name clearly but harmlessly,” Steinbeck once suggested, “let it name a bowling alley after me or a dog track or even a medium price, low-church brothel.”
I know some of them have extreme content, but to me it’s always been organic to the stories and not designed to shock for shock’s sake. To me, all my books are serious books, written with serious intent.