Wednesday, December 24th, 2008 • 1 Comment on Dasher and Dancer and Jeremy and Sommer
I confessed to a writer friend a few weeks ago that I’m terribly naive. I know—an erotica writer who is naive. Who’d have thought? When I get a copy of a new anthology that includes one of my stories, I always look through the table of contents to see who I’m keeping company with. Often, I recognize many of the names. The publishing business is a small world—the world of erotica is even smaller, so it makes sense that out of twenty or so authors I will know fifteen. I love seeing those names. It’s like a little family reunion between the pages of a book. I’m also delighted to see names I don’t recognize—I love discovering new authors. It’s inspiring.
Except… sometimes my “discovery” is that an author I know is using a different name in this particular anthology. Or has always been writing under more than one name and I just discovered it. It’s happened. It took me years to figure out that an editor I know (who is also an author) writes under two different names. It wasn’t until I sold stories to each of those editors that I realized it was the same person. That’s what I mean about being naive. I think that everyone is who they say they are—until I find out they’re not. So, I have assumed author friends are writing under their real name until I get an e-mail from a stranger and realize my mistake and I assume that even those authors who are writing under a pseudonym are only writing under one pseudonym. Moral of the story? Don’t talk about one author to another author until you’re absolutely, positively sure they’re not one in the same! (Not that I’ve done that, but it would certainly be awkward.)
Of course, once I discover an author’s pseudonym (or other pseudonym) it’s like the Stephen King/Richard Bachman thing for me. I adored Stephen King when I was a teenager—devoured him!—and also read Richard Bachman before I knew King was writing as Bachman. Once King was revealed as Bachman, I had to go back and reread all of the Bachman stories to see if I could tell it was King. As if it mattered? But it would be like waving to my neighbor every day and think nothing of it and then one day discovering it’s… Stephen King! (Okay, so I’m a little obsessed with Stephen King.
Anyway, if I find out Jeremy is Stephen King, I’m going to squeal. Seriously.
(And, Steve—can I call you Steve?—if you’re reading this, I still adore you.)