Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Coming out" of the Erotic Romance Writer closet ..or is my mom reading this?

Having my first novella published by Phaze, I had attained a dream I never thought I'd achieve. Getting published was one of the most exciting moments of my life, but there was one thing missing.

People who knew me, knowing about it.

Coming up with my alter ego Chloe Waits, I 've learned to slowly navigate blogs, myspace and even doing some set up with my own website. These were all big successes for a technophobe like me, but with each update, I could only slap myself on the back.
Well my husband could too. Or a few close friends.

The truth was I had limited people I felt I could share my news with.

Because I am writing about..gasp, the!

It may seem ridiculous, but by writing erotic romance, I felt like those furtive men in shady book stores hiding things in plain brown wrapping. I started to build it up in my mind like I was leading a double life no one should know about. Ever.

My husband, bless him, encouraged me to tell a few members in my family. I got encouragement from a few others too. Slowly and haltingly I started to disclose, starting with my mom.

I remember stuttering to respond when asked exactly how much sex was in it as I made vague descriptions of the book.

In the end, my mom did read it. And loved it. And was, best of all, proud of me and excited for me.

I still haven't told everyone. My stepdad told me he couldn't finish it. My bio Dad and others, um still don't know.

I guess this is a personal choice for writers. An alter ego, pen name whatever you call it, allows us a bit of privacy. It may not be our experiences, but it's our imaginations, and sometimes that can feel pretty personal when we chose to write about intimate things.

To tell or not to tell.
I am half in, and half out.
How about you?


Erastes said...

Hope you don't mind me commenting - your blog came up on a Google Alert and your post touched me.

I'm a writer of gay historical romance/erotica and for the longest time when writing my first novel I kept secret about it with my parents (I was 40 something, they were 70 something) but my mother knew I was "up to something" (she always can... it's obviously a mother talent) and eventually I admitted that I was writing. And writing... um... gay romance...

To my eternal surprise she was hugely supportive. She wasn't (I lost her 3 years ago) a believer in homosexuality in general, but she loved my stories even though when I printed the chapters for her to read i had to omit any sexual scenes. My greatest happiness before she died was that Standish came out six weeks before she did and she got to hold a copy of my first book.

My Dad now, has taken up the reins of chief supporter, and he's as proud as punch - has all my books on his shelf (face out) and talks about his daughter the writer. I'm so proud of HIM that he is as proud of me. Work colleagues I found can be extremely odd though, from baffled to interested to poisonous - so I'll not tell anyone in the workplace again - until the day I earn enough to walk out.

Chloe Waits said...

I love you commenting, Erastes. Thank you for sharing your story!

Your family sounds wonderful; I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. I, too, had much apprehension. It feels so confusing. Something I was proud of--yet not sure how it will be received by others. And not wanting to open myself up to it for that reason.

I am excited to hear about your writing, and hope you'll allow me to cover over and visit :)
thanks, Chloe


It is a personal choice and I think most the time, you'll find your family would like to see you be successful.

My family knows about my writing romance and erotica but my mom is my biggest supporter. She has read all my books, but I have to admit that she gets hung up on the more intimate scenes.

I hope you continue to write and are eventually able to get the support and love from everyone in your circle of friends and family.

Chloe Waits said...

Thanks so much for posting, Missy!

That is really nice to hear your experience.

I am okay if I have to hold back from a few people I think, but sometimes it's a weird situation :)
Thanks for your good wishes, and
Congratulations on the great review on Cowboys Don't Dance!

Hugs, Chloe

Margo said...

HI honey! Guess who?
Your step-dad is calling you at this minute ;)
He didn't have TIME to finish your story...not that he didn't WANT TO...
He'll tell you himself!
We both are extremely proud of you.
Chloe Waits ROCKS!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

there is only one 'identity' per computer, so i have to opt for 'anonymous'. this is your step-father and i couldn't sleep so am up at this early hour finishing your story.
it IS racier than i thought, but very good. i like how you resolved the plot too. the content was never an issue with me but i found myself thinking, "this is my step-daughter writing this?" then i got over it and just thought how clever it was.
you have a TALENT.
no matter what genre...