One of my favourite authors, Julie Myerson, has sparked a debate after writing a book about her son's use of cannabis and how it led to the heart-wrenching decision to throw him out of their home.
Now this is a tricky one, because her son did not give his permission for the book to be published and tried to have it blocked. In fact he's furious, and has branded his mother 'slightly insane,' saying, "This book is simply an extension of her maternal journalism. My mother has been writing about me for the past 16 years."
The extract I've read is beautifully written (as are all her novels) and in a way I'm curious to read it because (apart from the drugs, thank goodness) I can relate to it all too well, and her son's reaction could be said to be that of a typical teenager, and in a few years time he might be mature enough to read it and understand. BUT. Would I have written and published it? No. Maybe as a memoir or form of therapy, knowing it would never be published, but I tend to steer clear of including family traumas in my writing. It's hard enough living with them, for heaven's sake! I need my escapism, but of course that's a personal choice.
It may even be a good thing if it's opened a wider debate about the potential mental health problems that long-term cannabis abuse can cause, and how it can destroy a family, but just like sex scenes, I couldn't write it myself - with or without permission.
Is there anything you wouldn't write about, or is it just me?