True Selves and Pseudonyms

My name is Jay, and I write erotica.

How I would love to shout this everywhere I go, bold as brass for the world to hear. But Jay Willowbay is just a pen name and play on words which reveals my true nature, but hidden from those who think they know the ‘real’ me.

Only it wasn’t all that hidden before. In a haze of creative hubris I thought I could run my two identities together, side by side and intertwining. I even decided to credit one of my books as a collaboration with myself; this erotic author contributing the saucy rom-com opening, with the other horror writer me weighing in with the shocking finale. They would be two sides of the same author and fans would stick with both, following me from genre to genre and letting me lead them to what they might not otherwise have read.

Sounds over-optimistic even to me. It might have worked. Probably not, but it might.

Instead, I realised that my responsibilities as a parent far outweigh my dreams and schemes as an erotic writer, and having such an obvious and prominent submissive pseudonym so easily traceable to my real name could cause problems. Not for me, I look forward to outing myself, but for a nearly teenage son. With all the stresses and troubles of puberty and senior school to deal with, the last thing he needs is to be bullied because he has a sissy for a dad.

So the last e-book release was switched to being the other me only, and this identity was put into stasis. I closed the Facebook account, announced on this site that I’d resume writing in a few years, and went back to my other life.

As you can see, that has changed. Instead, I am in the process of severing the links between the two identities. The Jay Willowbay Facebook account has been resurrected, but with date of birth and all grown up pictures of me removed. And I’ve even unfriended myself!

There are still a couple of loose ends to tie up; after that I’m running free as Jay Willowbay, and I have big plans: not just short stories and poetry, but also a six part novella series and even editing an anthology.

How soon and how deeply I can commit to these is uncertain: I may be on the verge of some pretty exciting times under my real name, and if these come about I will have to prioritise those for a while. But if they don’t, it might just be time for Jay Willowbay to step out of the shadows and claim centre stage. Just without showing his face, that’s all.