Posted at 7:19AM Monday 17 Feb 2014
For more than 50 years, female writers have won the top UK award for romantic fiction, and at first 2014 looked to be no different.
But all was not as it seemed. One of the 36 writers shortlisted by the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) for its Romantic Novel of the Year award, Jessica Blair, is in fact a pseudonym of Bill Spence, a 90-year-old war hero.”
Book Trade.info website.
I’m happy for Jessica Blair aka Bill Spence. Historically many noted women have written under male pseudonyms. An article about the various reasons authors choose pen names and some of the more famous women who have written under a mans name or one that could be gender ambiguous.
Now we are seeing a rise in the opposite phenomenon. There are a number of men who write under a female pen name particularly in the area of romance fiction. Why? probably to be taken more seriously.
Rumor has it that J.K. Rowling was advised to publish under those initials rather than her name Jessica because a nine year old boy wouldn’t want to read an adventure book written by a woman.
So, why should it be any different for a man trying to write romance.
Lisette Kristensen is one such author, a man writing under a female pen name. There are many in varying degrees of being outed as such. Some writers on both sides of the switch, prefer to keep their gender identity unknown.
Yes, there are even men who write Lesbian Erotic Fiction. I don’t particularly find anything wrong with that. The proof is in the book that they write. Either a reader likes it or they don’t. I’m not especially concerned whether a man, a woman, a transgendered individual or who wrote it.
Straight women write lesbian erotic fiction and they write m/m gay erotic fiction. Straight men write m/m erotic fiction and they write lesbian erotic fiction. Lesbian women write m/m erotic fiction and I’m sure there is a gay man out there who writes lesbian erotic fiction.
Does it really matter? If I am a fan of say an author… Raquel Reinhold, for example, just to throw a name out there…and I love what she writes. I love it so much that I correspond with her via her face book page (set up as an author’s page), and via email. She is going to correspond with me in the context of that pen name.
Do I have any idea WHO Raquel Reinhold really is? All I know is the presentation of the Author’s page, that she writes lesbian erotic fiction. Is she obligated to correspond with me and say er oh, by the way I’m a middle aged white man living in Baltimore? I DON’T THINK SO. She has her reasons for adopting a female pen name. Just as any woman has the right to adopt a male pen name. People, it is fiction writing and a social networking platform based on a pseudonym.
There are a host of reasons why a person might choose a pen name opposite their apparent gender. Do I feel deceived by this? If I am then I’d better be offended by everyone who writes fiction. It wasn’t written as expose memoire and expected to be biographical.
I recently had a guest on my page that had evidently adopted a pen name based on a gender opposite their apparent one.
I received a comment on my page that I can only attribute to a militant separatist lesbian group. I don’t use that label as “name calling” but strictly as descriptive of what I am seeing. They actually frighten me a little bit in the extent they went to stalking this author. Yes I said stalking.
They have hundreds of screen shots from this author’s FB page. They investigated all this author’s various pen names and via the website records of who actually owned the website behind the pen name. They even have power bills from the author’s home. They called the author’s home/cell phone number. And they’ve published all of this information on several websites. They’ve admitted to one of their websites being forced down and claim to continue posting, I suppose, in the name of all that’s right and just in the universe. Can you say Cough, Cough, er CRAZY, Cough, Cough.
They have outed this author with cries of fraud and deception for every pen name this particular author adopts. And they are on the watch to ferret out each new name that evolves. The author apparently forced to adopt a new pen name, in what I can only assume is an effort to escape their dogged relentless pursuit. And, yes I am being especially vague on the name and details of this author in question. Firstly because I don’t want to give any more air time than I already have to the women who have this author under attack. And, secondly because I don’t have a desire to out this author in question. It’s not my place.
Reading the multiple blogs and posts about the ‘crimes’ this author allegedly perpetrated upon readers I have to shrug and say… okay, a couple of the alleged actions weren’t in best judgement professionally. It’s tacky to have one pen name leave a good review for another pen name of the same person. Have I done it? sure, when I was brand new published and before I thought wiser of it. And there was a matter I wasn’t clear on about a contest. I couldn’t pick my way through to understand what the issue was there. However, come on people… You weren’t catfished on match.com. Either the writer tells a good story worth the $2 bucks or they don’t. You don’t like the plot, don’t buy it.
Now, if I am to understand some of their rant, I believe they were especially disappointed because they would only want their dollars spent on lesbian erotic fiction to go to true lesbian writers. What? Shall they require authors to produce a birth certificate and their ‘I’m a real lesbian’ card prior to purchase. The position of “I will only do business with confirmed GLBTQ organizations and individuals” is just as detrimental to the cause of tolerance and equality as those who stand on the opposite bank and throw rocks saying “Gay’s not served here.” ‘Woosa’ people.
I can’t even fathom the brokenness that leads to this kind of behavior and attitude. I realize I risk coming under their scrutiny and perhaps wrath by writing this blog. The whole experience has reminded me that while bullies do grow up, they don’t necessarily out-grow and stop the bully behaviors.
I will entertain discussion and comments but! I’ll delete anything I deem out of line. My Sand Box – My Rules