Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Pseudonym is a secret

A friend mentioned to me the other day she is trying to write a romance book. She knows that I, too, write; she knows I've tried to get published. She was wondering how things were going with my writing. She basically wanted a "status update"; but more than that, she simply wanted to know what advice I could give her that she would find useful.

I didn't tell her about my erotica series, or how I'm self-publishing right now. I didn't want her to know my pseudonym, and google Shelby Cross, and find out what kind of stuff I write.

Shelby Cross is not my real name. Right now, there are (I think. I hope) five people in the entire world who know Shelby Cross is me. This is not because I am ashamed of what I write, or afraid of what people will think. It's because I come from a very conservative background, and socialize in conservative circles, and if my kids' teachers or some of the other families from the neighborhood ever found out what I write, they would talk, and gossip, and look at me differently. And...I just don't want that. I keep my D/D relationship hidden from them, and only talk about it with other couples who I know share the lifestyle. And I certainly don't talk to the school moms about BDSM stuff. I'm lucky, I suppose, I live so close to San Francisco. Lots of other outlets, and ways to keep my "worlds" from colliding. But I can't take the chance of someone inadvertently connecting me, the real me, to Shelby Cross online or in a public forum somewhere, so even people who know what kind of relationship Husband and I have cannot know I write under a pseudonym.

Because here's the thing: if my MOM ever found out what I write, she would just die. Just have a heart attack and die. I can actually picture it in my head: she would clasp a hand to her chest, yell loudly "Mein Got!" (Which I think is yiddish for 'Oh Dear Baby Jesus') and crumple to the floor, a horrified and scandalized look on her face. And...I don't want that, either.

It makes things harder, because I can't tell my friends what I'm up to, what I'm doing, what I'm proud of. I can't ask them to be my testers, my beta readers, and I certainly can't ask them to buy and/or review my stuff. But that's the price I have to pay for anonymity. And right now, it's worth the cost.

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