Content warning: This episode of THR contains frank discussion of sexual assault, sexual violence, and similarly dark, potentially triggering subject matter.
Heidi Belleau joins the show and Gets Very Real with THR about her history of writing grimdark fiction and the growing pains of leaving some of that behind. She talks about the perils of using the same penname for drastically different works (romcoms and dark fiction like The Flesh Cartel), what her personal limits are, bringing humor into darker material--and when it's best to pull back.
Heidi compares the process of growing as an author, in public, to the reality of contemporary teenagers growing up on tumblr. (Anyone with a defunct Livejournal and a long fandom history can probably relate.) Most authors can probably relate to the quandary of growing as an artist in such a public sphere.
The important and validating realization for Heidi, and maybe for other authors who feel pigeonholed into a darker genre, has been that she can write lighter stories and people will also appreciate them.