Saturday, February 19, 2011
I wrote romance for thirteen years, but it wasn’t until I changed my name to Frasier and started writing suspense that the snickers stopped. Really. The change was night and day. From ridicule to respect. Romance-friendly venues and bookstores were the only places a romance writer could go and not be treated poorly. After thirteen years of being looked down on, it was refreshing to walk away from that and start over. I remember taking ARCs of Hush (Frasier) to bookstores expecting the same old reaction. But no, I was treated as a legitimate writer! It was like finding and removing the kick-me sign from my back. So I’m experiencing anxiety over returning to the Weir name because it rarely elicited a positive response outside the romance world. I’m reluctant to let go of the Frasier name because I associate it with validation. So weird. Both are the same person, and yet they don’t feel the same at all, but I think that’s more about public perception of the two names rather than anything internal.
Of course it makes sense to use my real name, and even though The Orchard is considered literary memoir, I drew from those old romance roots when writing it. It's kind of a twisted romance.
I've seen a mockup cover of The Orchard and I hope to have the final version to show off soon!