Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Facts About Me (#amwriting #erotica #author)

by Cameron D. James

I find the reality of being an erotica writer very different from people's expectations.

I've made no secret of the fact that I write under a variety of pen names, ranging from more vanilla than this one to ultra-kinky. When I present as those other pen names on Twitter, I attract a lot of attention -- particularly on the kinkier end of the spectrum. And it leaves me in an awkward spot.

I have a female pen name. My presence on Twitter for that name is largely automated promotional tweets. It is very rare that I go on and pretend to be this person. I also don't have a profile picture that pretends to be an image of this author -- it's a generic stock photo that I used for one of my covers.

Yet, this pen name gets hit on through private messages on Twitter quite regularly. Particularly by Nigerian soldiers. I don't know what draws people to that Twitter account and makes them think they should hit on me when they have no idea what I look like. (When I explained this to a friend of mine, she said, "Welcome to being a woman on the internet!")

For my ultra-kinky name (which is a male BDSM dom persona), I do sometimes tweet as if I'm that person. It's my biggest selling pen name so I want to put some effort into it. I get frequent private messages from men wanting me to be their dom. Like with my female pen name, I've never shared a photo that I pretend to be a real photo -- I use a stock photo there too. When people ask me if it's a photo of me, I'm up front and say it's not and that I don't share photos. For most people, this doesn't really matter and they still ask me to be their master. I have received a lot of dick pics to this account.

With both of those names, the assumption is the same. I'm a writer of erotica so I must be absolutely sex-crazed, promiscuous, and insanely nuts about dick.

I mean, I like dick. A lot. But that doesn't make me sex-crazed or promiscuous.

People who know me as an erotica writer first (particularly from those names), are shocked to find how boring and plain I really am. I have a little cozy house with my husband and our two cats. I assume I have sex as much as most average people do.

The flip-side is interesting. I generally don't talk about my writing to my friends unless someone spills the beans. So there are friends of mine who have no idea that I'm building a writing career and have nearly 100 publications. Even if they did, they'd never guess that I write about people fucking.

Like I said, I'm boring and plain. Really. And I'm very polite and friendly and innocent (or at least I appear to be). So when people find out what I write (and I don't even tell them about the filthy end of the spectrum), it takes them time to process that information. This then inevitably leads them to thinking that I have a secret sex life that is as wild as the stories I write. It's a running joke at my day job that I'm sex-obsessed and probably have frequent extra-marital hookups.


I let them believe it. I smile my little smile that makes them think I have a secret -- and I don't say a word.

Those who have seen the work side of being a writer -- like my writers group and my mom -- know that this is all work and it's really no different than a day job. (I'm a manager in my day job, but that doesn't mean my private life is full of promiscuous managering. I don't hire and fire friends.)

For the rest of the world, they have a belief of what it means to be an erotic writer. There's a fictional story of what it takes to create these stories.

While I don't really care for the unsolicited dick pics and I generally don't respond to people looking to woo my female pen name, I have come to accept it is part of the job. Really, that fiction helps sell books. Who are people going to buy filthy erotica from? The innocent-looking dork or the BDSM master?

Cameron D. James is a writer of gay smut. His most recent publication is New York Heat.

1 comment:

  1. All so true, Cameron! Honestly, I don't know what it is about sex. Nobody assumes that people who write thrillers have a personal history of murder.

    Nigerian soldiers! That's a well-known scam, I gather. They're after your money, not your bod.


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