Monday, June 1, 2009

Just when I was getting comfortable in my own skin...

By Jamie Hill

I was excited to discuss the topic this week, and explain why I like writing erotic romance from the POV of a man. Men use stronger language and think about things a bit more straightforwardly than women, sometimes. I still struggle to get it right (My editor reminds me the guy might say 'tits' rather than breasts, and would probably not call something 'lovely'...LOL)

This week, I'm struggling with a different sort of issue, one that has hit me as directly as any hate crime could. My writing was 'outed' where I live and work. Someone 'Googled' me and decided, in her good Christian wisdom, it was her duty to tell a few other people so they could confront me together. I'm not going to get into specifics but let's just say I was naive to think writing erotic romance was no big deal. For the online community where I spend time each day, it's a huge part of our lives. To other people, I'm told this makes me perverted.

After much soul-searching, planning, and desperation in looking for ways to mitigate the damage, I've decided Jamie Hill will go back to writing mainstream romantic fiction. I had one book published but when the pub closed, it was orphaned. I've tried sporadically to get it back out there, and I have a sequel in the works. So those works will move to the front burner. I do love romantic suspense, there's no question. I love plotting a mystery around my romance (what there is of it, LOL).

Next week a new blogger will take my place at the Grip. I hope you'll treat Jenna Byrnes as wonderfully as you've treated me. Jenna will appreciate it.

Like I appreciate all of you!

Big, squishy, cyber-hugs,



  1. I will miss Ms. Hill, but I welcome Jenna Byrnes nevertheless.

    Big hugs and the best to you my friend.

    Skylar Sinclair.

  2. Good luck in the witness protection program. ;), ;) It's a shame that one person feels it's his/her duty to "save" everyone else from the pervs of the world. If a person isn't interested in the erotic, then let it alone. There are plenty who do like it. Also I have found that those out "saving" need to turn the mirror on themselves and take a good look at their own lives. They are often guilty of what they accuse others of. Good luck writing your mainsteam fiction.

  3. Welcome to the world of judgemental people, m'dear:) I've been prayed over; gotten letters from people offering me to 'meet their friend who died on the Cross'; and given a pamphlet for sex addiction.

    I already am well acquainted with Christ, have no problems praying for my own salvation (esp if the person will still buy the book) and I'm pretty sure my sex life is a healthy one:)

    You just have to remain firm in your beliefs that what you're doing is okay and remember you can't please everyone. There are some idiots out there who thing it is their job to point out the mistakes of others, forgetting Christ teaches tolerance!

  4. this is really saddening, and I want you to know you always will have loyal readers. I for one will be there.

  5. Hmm, no smiley faces here or I'd use the teary eyed guy. I know the story and I'm still angry and confused by what happened. I thought judging others was a bad thing.

    Jamie, I know Jenna will do well here, you did and she's your alter-ego, so I'm not worried about that. It's just an enormous shame that sexuality is once more on the hit list because of some puritanical crap.

    We'll all love Jenna and treat her well, and hug her a lot... cause she's one sexy lady, and we'll be kind and stuff too. <...Too much?

    Okay, going to get busy now.


  6. I find this totally appalling. Who gives anyone the right to judge your choices! I'm sorry you have to make changes in your life because some narrow-minded busy-body doesn't have a life of their own. Good luck in all your endeavours!

  7. Big hugs to all of you for your support. I've told others, I feel like the victim of a hate crime. I know it's not life or death for me, but threatening my family's livelihood is very serious indeed.

    That's why a line in Jenna's bio says, "Be careful who you hate. It might be someone you love." So true.

    Thanks for commenting and making me feel better, knowing I'm not alone. The online world is far less judgmental about this stuff.


  8. You know, I respect other's belief's as much as possible... I speak nicely to those who come to my door offering salvation from my heathen ways because my opinions are not shared by them. I'll even rein in my tongue when I'm in the company of those I know don't share my passion. But I absolutely have no patience for judgmental do-gooders who can't see past their own sins long enough to realize they should worry more about saving themselves than the rest of us. You knock of dead girl... in whatever genre you pursue. I'm new to TEB and the erotica world, but I'll be sure to put Jenna on my must read list... best of luck and smile knowing, we will not go quietly into the night...

  9. Jamie I'm so sorry you've been a victim of narrow minded bigots and I look forward to meeting and greeting and reading Jenna.

  10. Hey Jamie.

    Just had to stop in and give you a cyber hug. As a writer of erotic romance, who also happens to be a Christian, I understand your situation.

    Just a quick note to let you know not all Christians think sex is evil. I'm of the firm belief that God invented sex, and said it was very good.Until he tells me otherwise, I'll continue to read, and write.

  11. There are ways to do everything you love, you know. You just have to reinvent yourself as someone different, so different, that no one will ever, ever know.

    If you truly love erotic romance as much as you've told us, you might want to give that a try. I 'know' people in the industry who have done this and to this day I do not know who they really are. Their publishers have been sworn to secrecy and not even their best friends know.

    It's worth a shot because I hear good buzz about your writing and who knows...maybe someday you'll be making enough money from it that you won't need this job.

    People with narrow minds bug me even though they think they are doing the best for all involved. They should just stay in their own lane.

    Good luck!

    Lynn Crain

  12. Jamie, so much has been said already, and in much better words than I can command, but you know that I wish you well in the future - whatever direction that takes you. I have to say that Jenna sounds an intriguing girl...maybe I'll make her aqaintance soon. Take care buddy, don't let small minds do what the tornado couldn't - beat you!


  13. This astonishes and appalls me. I hope you keep writing erotic romance under another name.

  14. I'm speechless.

  15. Jamie, I'm so sorry that had to happen to you! I just can't even imagine. I wish I could say something that would help, but I don't know that I can. Instead, I'll take a moment to appreciate the freedom that I have in my own life to write what I want, and not be labeled a pervert for it. My own father is currently reading my M/M romance...

    Good luck with your new persona!

    Elle Parker

  16. What a bloody thing to happen to you!
    That's why I'm glad sometimes that I live in the back end of beyond.
    I'm also very careful not to use my signature line with everything I send.

    Best of luck in your new secret identity!

  17. So sorry this has happened to you. I have a pen name for just this reason, which one teacher has already tried to root out of my daughter because of her suspicions. It'd be nice if they'd just mind their own business the way most of us were taught when we were young.

  18. Hi Jamie,

    Not a lot to say, except to echo everything everyone else has said :(

    But like them, I'm also sure Jenna will be very happy here :)

    Take care,

    Kim Dare.

  19. Hi Jamie,

    This sucks. Christians and other religious fanatics need to GET A GRIP and realize the world doesn't revolve around them. Unfortunately, we seem to have inadvertently given them this power, and so it may be that many of the rest of us are actually at fault.

    I truly hope you find ways not to lose your fan base. Equally, I hope that Jenna doesn't get outed to the idiots and cranks in her life after she's built a fan base of her own! I wish her all the best of luck. And if you truly want to write non-sexual, vanilla romances, go for it. Otherwise, perhaps Jamie Hill might think about going on hiatus.

    Whatever your decision, I hope it works out the best for you.

    D. L. King
    (Smut Writer and Resident Pervert)

  20. We love you. You know it. We'll love Jenna. You know that too.

    Keep on doing what you do with your bad self. You're too good to ever quit.

  21. If there IS ever a Judgment Day, the people who are targeting you are going to have a lot to answer for. Good luck with this!!

  22. You all have been so wonderful. It's amazing people I don't know or barely know can treat me with so much more respect that people in my real life.

    Hugs and blessings on you all!

  23. Hi!

    As an orthodox Jew (really!) who writes erotica strictly as a hobby, this is my worst nightmare, my MOAS ("mother-of-all-secrets"); I write anonymously & as deeply underground as possible. The twit who outed you has a warped faith & is a twit who should have minded his/her own busisness. Good luck & please go back to writing!


  24. Thanks Oxartes! I hope to never quit writing, it soothes me, although this week I'm a bit tougher to soothe than usual. Jenna is helping, along with all the good people here at the Grip and online who have lent their support.

    Best wishes to you!

  25. Jamie:

    We've been in so many chats together, I feel like I know you, and now, you're leaving?

    Each of us come to this from different places, but you have be believe and be proud. I published my first erotic short story in my high school lit magazine, and when I showed it to my dad, he said, "Good girls don't write this kind of stuff," and I told him I did. Mom's a feminist Protestant minister and I have made her blush more times than she wants to admit to with my diatribes on how sexuality is part of spirituality.

    Just keep writing.

  26. Jamie, I just want to applaud your courage and maturity in the way you're handling this. You've got a lot more souls praying for you than you know...!

    We'll welcome Jenna with open arms. (I assume that she's as open-minded, orientation-wise, as you!)

    Double hugs,

  27. Thanks again for the support everyone. And Lori, I'm not really leaving. Just changing things up a bit. *G*


  28. From one Jenna to another - it's a great name for erotic romance or posing in playboy. No joke, it's quite popular. We could start a Just Jenna blog!

    Jenna Allen promises to play nice with Jenna Byrnes.

  29. You might want to talk to Charlee Boyett-Compo. She went through something similar.

    You have my deepest sympathies for this one. Hope it gets better soon.


  30. I've been there with you. My husband is a pastor in training and for a while I wrote Mainstream as Kelly Kirch and erotic as Katie Blu. They never found the erotic, but the mainstream had us in really deep trouble.

    We're talking respected family pulling away, letters, tears, months of silence and judgment. Then threat to pull him out of seminary or out him there. My parenting was called into question as was my faith basis. Kirch and Blu died a horrible painful death for me and Christian fiction is a lode stone I don't enjoy working with.

    I think what probably hurts more than anything else is the attack to my family's future, their faith, and the guilt dumped on my shoulders. As a Christian, you wonder if they're right and you missed the boat, or if there's more flexibility than they lead you to believe.

    Either way, stripping your future, vocation, credibility out from under you and your kids, then the permanent family rift is devestating. It was more than I could take.

    I'm glad you found your out. Love to you and much peace.

  31. Ahhh Jamie -I will miss you...

    Jenna - Looking forward to good times, really good times..


  32. Wow, more wonderful comments today. Thanks Brenna and EH. Jenna, I promise to play nice, too. *G* Sounds like a possible story line there, eh?

    Kelly, I'm truly sorry to hear about your problems. When my first mainstream title came out with some mild sex, my mother about had a fit. "I just don't read that type of thing." LOL I was thinking, wow. Guess I won't show you anything from my "spank me" line....heh heh heh

    Seriously, I'm sorry about what you went through and hope you are doing well now.

    Hugs to everyone for stopping by!

    Posted for Jamie by Jenna *wink*

  33. I am so angry with anyone who will judge are not following the tenets of their own religion. Just this w/e a doctor was killed in church by someone who supposedly is judge jury and executioner action on God's orders. When they do it to someone I know and love I am way more than angry.

    I'll be back for Jenna.



  34. I just had something similar happen. I got a comment on my blog:
    the poster's name was: You Seek
    the body of the post was: Humiliaton
    and the email address they left was the hr department of my university.

    I panicked, drank myself to sleep, and woke up in the middle of the night with a searing panic attack.

    The next morning, I went into the president of my university's office and told him what I write.

    He said: "So what? Writing erotica is not illegal. And anyway, you use a pen name. It's a practice with a venerable history."

    Fuck, I'd never realized how incredibly lucky I was.

    I'm so sorry you didn't have a similar experience, Jamie. I feel wretched for you.



  35. Jamie, you have a lot of courage. I'm forced into inspirational fiction with a new pen name. It's not the same. I have issues with the guidelines requesting that heroes and heroines don't make mistakes and pray 24/7. If someone quoted scripture to me every time they opened their mouths, I'd walk away. You can't feel close or connected with them. And you can't feel connected with characters who don't have flaws.

    This is what I had to do. I'm pleased as punch you found a way to make it work. I happily hand you the awesome award for "coming out on top". ;) LOL.

    Write what you love because the alternative sucks.

  36. Jamie, I had no idea. I've been away from the grip a little bit trying to straighten out other stuff. I had no idea this had happened to you. I guess this is the kind of thing we all wonder and worry about.

    I'm very sorry. I hope we hear from you in the future.


  37. Jamie, you have my sympathy and understanding. I too wonder why blood and gore is okay but sex isn't. Hopefully more of us have sex than commit murder. YOu will be sorely missed, but I promise to treat Jenna as if she were you.



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