Some Write It Hot

October 7, 2010

Secret Identity By Gillian Archer

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

I have a secret identity. I’m not talking about my fetish art collection—that’s a topic for another day! I’m talking about my alter-ego—the erotic romance author. I should probably come up with a more creative handle for this article—Erotica Girl or Kara Sutra—but I think we’ll go with Gillian.

Up until a month ago, the only people in my every day life who knew about my writing was limited to my husband, my sister and my Irish best friend. And of those, only the husband knows my pen name. I’m a very private person. Obviously. Writing is a relatively new thing for me. I felt like I would jinx it, if I—for lack of a better term—came out. But this is it. I think I’ve found my passion. The one thing I can see myself working at and loving.

Now I find myself on the edge of a precipice. We’ve (the hubby and I) made the decision to move back stateside and as part of the move, I am going to pursue writing full time. The issue?? Do we tell people why? The job part, I mean. I know there’s nothing extremely distasteful about the writing game per se. I won’t find the same prejudices Joe Shuster no doubt would have faced. It’s just that I work in a very male oriented day job and as a result all of my friends save one are men. I’m afraid there will be patronizing looks and softly spoken, “ooohs.” I’ve worked really hard for the respect these men currently give me. I *might* be known as somewhat of a ball buster IRL. Shocking, I know.

And then there’s the family. I’ve already told my mom. Just last month actually. Surprisingly enough, she was thrilled. Part of me thought she would be disappointed that I’m essentially throwing away my college education—I’m an underground mining engineer for those of you who missed my intro last month. But she was happy since it meant in her words, “you won’t be working in such a dangerous job. Yay! Now if we can only get your husband to quit.” Huh. Color me amazed. Doesn’t mean I’m going to tell grandma though. She’s über religious. I can’t even imagine that conversation. o_O

So should I give people the benefit of the doubt? Believe that my friends and family will support my dream. Sounds like a silly question as I write it but it’s not easy for me to be vulnerable. Should I proudly proclaim, I’m an erotic romance author, damn it!?

I think I will. But I’m definitely keeping the pen name just between me and the hubby. I’m not ready to be that open.


  1. Funny, I just had a similar conversation with Ash. I think we should all be very proud of what we do, no matter the genre. Writing is hard work. It’s time consuming and sometimes all consuming. So the long and short of my advice is, do what makes you the most comfortable but be proud of who you are and what you write, ’cause babe, you right some good stuff.

    Comment by Debbie Vaughan — October 7, 2010 @ 04:50 | Reply

    • Awww! You’re so sweet, Debbie. I love a good ego boost 🙂 In the end I kinda partly okay mostly chickened out. I told everyone I was a romance writer–I left the erotic part out. And I should clarify a bit, I did the same when I told my mom. *sheepish smile* Baby steps, right?

      Comment by Gillian Archer — October 7, 2010 @ 07:06 | Reply

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jadette Paige, Debbie Vaughan. Debbie Vaughan said: Secret Identity By Gillian Archer: […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Secret Identity By Gillian Archer « Some Write It Hot -- — October 7, 2010 @ 05:15 | Reply

  3. Pen names, nicknames, and ‘also known as’ have been around for centuries.
    If writing under a secret identity allows a writer more freedom of thought and pen, then secret identity it is 🙂

    Comment by DA Kentner — October 7, 2010 @ 08:29 | Reply

    • I’m with you there. Only a select few will know the identity of this masked writer 😉

      Comment by Gillian Archer — October 7, 2010 @ 09:18 | Reply

  4. Do what makes you feel most comfortable. I write under a pen name but my close friends and family know what it is, even my Granny, who says she is going to buy all of my books even though she doesn’t have a computer or ereader. God love her. I certainly don’t tell everyone my pen name though, just a select few know my secret identity, but I proudly tell people I’m a writer and yes you will get people who make faces about romance and believe me even if you don’t tell the men you write erotica in my experience that’s immediately what they picture. LOL Realistically your true friends just want you to be happy and writing makes you happy. Either way I’m so thrilled you’re getting to follow your dream.

    Comment by Lauren Fraser — October 7, 2010 @ 12:31 | Reply

    • I’m thrilled, too! 🙂 And you’re right about my friends. They’re happy that I’m happy. And also hoping to bum money when I’m rich and famous LOL

      Comment by Gillian Archer — October 7, 2010 @ 12:51 | Reply

  5. I tell people I’m a romance writer too. Always leave out the erotic and the m/m aspect. I’m just about to begin a creative writing course as part of my degree and I’m seriously considering ‘outing’ myself properly in class 😀 If I can do that in a roomful of strangers, I might be able to tell my family next. Good luck with your new full time writing career

    Comment by Ash Penn — October 7, 2010 @ 13:08 | Reply

    • You still haven’t told your family yet?! Nice to know I’m in good company 😉

      Comment by Gillian Archer — October 7, 2010 @ 14:20 | Reply

  6. Always a tough call. Unfortunately there’s a bit of a social stigmatization writers of ‘romance novels’, much less erotic romance. Do what makes the most sense for you now. Perhaps sometime later you’ll be more comfortable with telling all and sundry. Me, I’m so not there yet!

    Comment by Ellie Writes Too — October 7, 2010 @ 13:53 | Reply

    • I think there will probably be that subset of people who I could never tell the complete truth. But it was a lot easier than I thought it would be to tell people that I write romance. The erotic part on the other hand… maybe some day. But definitely not today 🙂

      Comment by Gillian Archer — October 7, 2010 @ 14:27 | Reply

  7. 😀 Nice, Gillian. I tell people I write romance and bang, first thing out of their mouths is, “Oh, you write those sex books.” O_O Since they kept announcing to world I write sex, I decided I would give if a try. I love it!

    Comment by Jadette — October 7, 2010 @ 18:06 | Reply

  8. Yes ,some think writing romance is easy.In my opinion it is much harder than writing on many other subjects and rises to the real level of ”True Art”

    Comment by Dana — October 13, 2010 @ 07:39 | Reply

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