When people find out that I’m a writer, usually from a friend who can’t wait to say something about it, I always get asked, “Really? What do you write?” Seeing as how I’m a Yaoi, M/M Romance author, I’m always a bit taken aback. I usually start out with saying, “Oh, romance.” Most people just nod at this. Of course, the friend or acquaintance I happen to be with always has to blurt out, “She writes gay porn!”. I can’t tell you all how dang annoying that is. Not only do I now have to explain that what I write is not “porn”, though it is erotic, but I also have to explain what many of you who read my work or my blog already know – there is a large audience for gay romance written for women (mostly) by women. It’s not all that strange and hey, wasn’t Brokeback Mountain hot?
But wait, this gets even better. Since I was first published in 2008, I’ve been on three job interviews. Now these interviews were specifically for high tech marketing jobs, where being a published author is an advantage. So of course my resume has a section on this fact. Now I didn’t really think much of it, until the last two interviews I had wanted to know specifics about my writing. They asked, “What do you write?” I gave them the standard answer, “Romance books.” But they wanted to know, specifically, what did I write? And they wanted to know my pen name, so they could look me up and see my website! Ah, the horror!
Although I’m pretty proud of my website, because all the design and such is by me:), I really did not want these engineering-type geeks, although they were probably fans of Star Wars and maybe even anime, looking me up and seeing that I write M/M Romance. I mean come on, I’m trying to get a job here! I’d love for everyone in the world to be open minded, nonjudgmental and all that good stuff. But this is real life and it’s my livelihood. I’ve got two kids to support – wait, and a dog and now two Guinea Pigs. So what did I say? No, they could not have my pen name. It’s private and they wouldn’t like it anyway, LOL.
I got the job:) And now some of my co-workers do know what I write and they like it.
I love your home page message. I’ve worked with writers of all types for years, but only been writing my own work for about three. Yes… exactly… m/m romance, erotica. Oh, but wait, let’s make your story even more complicated. I’m a gay man who’s been around for a while and then married for a good bit. So it’s fun, boisterous, male love and… yes… kinky. But it’s all wrapped up in love and trust… ’cause I’m here to say from first hand knowledge… if it wasn’t? Why do it?
Now I’ve had the same conversations you’ve had, but to give them my pen name means we also have to deal with WHAT they do in bed “besides” have vanilla sex. All pretty positive, but you so clearly sound like you know how these conversations go. You either shut up, or go FEARLESS. I’m not a 50 SHADES fan of that particular book, but now I can easily say to a questioning stranger… if you could read THAT, then this is going to be all about men in love, and no problem for you. HA!
Loved your note and your bravery. Made me laugh. Thanks. I hope it keeps paying off for you. Take care.
Yes, I’ve been fine tuning my website and I think I’ve got a homepage message I like, so thanks! 🙂 And I’m glad I made you laugh.