Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/10/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Author Bill Spence says publisher convinced him to use female pseudonym

Romance novels, read voraciously by women, are dominated chiefly by women authors. Harlequin, the United States' foremost publisher of romance novels, for years had a females-only author policy. Many men submitted such novels under a female pen name, to see their work published - since then, Harlequin has accepted works by male authors. It still comes as a shock to discover that popular British author Jessica Blair is in fact, an 89-year-old grandfather. 

While there is heightened interest in the longtime held literary secret, Bill Spence says he has always been forthright about his secret identity and revealed it in a 2010 interview.

While there is heightened interest in the longtime held literary secret, Bill Spence says he has always been forthright about his secret identity and revealed it in a 2010 interview.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/10/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Celebrity

Keywords: Author, rmaqonce novels, pseudonym, Jessica Blair, Bill Spence


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Prolific author Bill Spence is celebrating the release of "In the Silence of the Snow," written under his female pseudonym used on nearly two dozen books since 1992.

"Jessica Blair came into being when my publisher, Piatkus, accepted my first historical saga and declared that, for various reasons, they would prefer to publish it under a female name," Spence writes on his Web site. "And they suggested Jessica Blair."

While there is heightened interest in the longtime held literary secret, Spence says he has always been forthright about his secret identity. He revealed in a 2010 interview how the alter-ego came about.

"Well when I first wrote the first Jessica Blair novel, 'The Red Shawl', it was submitted under my own name," he told a podcast on the U.K.'s Southside Broadcasting. "The publishers said 'We like this book but we would like to publish it under a female name. Would you mind if we published it under Jessica Blair?' Well, you don't say no to publishers."

Spence agrees it was good for the success of the books. "The chief character is a woman, and ladies buy more books and read more books than men do," he says. "So it was a marketing ploy, really."

In order to come across as a convincing female author, Spence said he often double-checked his work with the women in his family.

"With all writing, I've got to be every character in my book, good or bad, male or female," he said. "You've got to be something of an actor, I suppose. I'm fortunate in that my wife, my late wife, and my daughters were all interested in my writing and I would give them pieces to read and say, is that ok from a woman's point of view, and they would say yes or no."

A father of four, Spence once served in the Royal Air Force and has been writing since 1950. He says he didn't devote himself to the profession "full-time" until 1977.

Despite his willingness to reveal the truth behind Jessica Blair, don't expect to see Spence's name on his books anytime soon. "I'm Jessica Blair now and the publishers want me to keep producing them," he said.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Celebrity

Audrey Hepburn's son shares insider stories of life with a Hollywood icon Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Growing up with Audrey Hepburn could have been something wonderful, with life in the spotlight all the time. Hepburn is still one of Hollywood's most celebrated icon and legendary film actress even after her death. Surprisingly though, life was not abnormal for her ... continue reading


'We've got to open our eyes': Walking Dead's David Morrisey stands up for Middle East refugees living in fear Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Walking Dead actor David Morrissey's first glimpse with the coast guard is of a boat represented by tiny as a dot on a radar screen. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - When Morrissey boarded the coast guard's boat in Lesvos, he already witnessed long lines ... continue reading


Matinee idol Omar Sharif dies at 83 Watch

Image of Omar Sharif's son Tarek revealed earlier this year that his father had been suffering from Alzheimer's. He had stopped eating and drinking the three days before his death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Egyptian screen star and matinee idol Omar Sharif has died at the age of 83. Sharif was a screen heartthrob in his native land when producer Sam Spiegel cast him as Sherif Ali in 1962's "Lawrence of Arabia." Able to hold his own against lead Peter O'Toole, ... continue reading


From Christina Aguilera to Angelina Jolie, insider reveals how stars really behave during humanitarian missions Watch

Image of Angelina Jolie spending time with the children in one of her humanitarian missions.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A popular thing for celebrities to do nowadays is participate in humanitarian missions. In a report from the Guardian, an anonymous tipster revealed several "truths" behind these "orchestrated" visits and how the stars really behave during there missions in other ... continue reading


Pop star Katy Perry fights with nuns over rights to convent Watch

Image of Katy Perry visited with nuns expressing her desires for the property, but did not win them over.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Katy Perry is not only famous for her record-breaking hits, but her widely publicized feud with singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has also garnered some spotlight. However, it seems that Taylor Swift isn't the only one Katy Perry shares "Bad Blood" with. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


'Pastors have got to wake their congregations up': 'God's Not Dead' actor calls on pastors to get people involved in politics Watch

Image of Kevin Sorbo is known for his part in

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hollywood actor, Kevin Sorbo expressed the need for pastors to do something to motivate their congregations and "wake them up to do something for America," in a recent appearance on the Church Boys podcast. Sorbo, who played an atheist professor in the film "God's Not ... continue reading


A family man with faith: The unknown refreshing life of movie star Chris Pratt Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chris Pratt, leading man in huge move blockbusters, like Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lego movie and more recently Jurassic World, which has earned $511.8 million in its opening weekend worldwide. Jurassic World is now dubbed the highest grossing global film. However, ... continue reading


'Rocky' movie producer Robert Chartoff dies at 81 Watch

Image of Robert Chartoff won the best picture Oscar for the first

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As a movie producer, he was prolific and tackled projects on various topics. He was most famous for the films he did on the sport of boxing. Oscar-winning producer Robert Chartoff, behind the "Rocky" series and "Raging Bull" has died in Santa Monica, ... continue reading


Iconic screen villain Christopher Lee dies at 93 Watch

Image of His turn as the Prince of Darkness in

By Greg Goodsell

When Christopher Lee assumed the cape of Count Dracula in the late 1950s in a series of films for Hammer Studios, there was talk among fans. Lee's Dracula was tall, imposing, lustful, a creature of violence, quite unlike the courtly gentleman as played by Bela ... continue reading


'Star Trek's' Nichelle Nichols suffers mild stroke Watch

Image of Among Nichelle Nichols' many fans was the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who called her role

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Nyota Uhura in the original "Star Trek" TV series and films, suffered a mild stroke this week. In a statement by Zach McGinnis of Galactic Productions, which books the 82-year-old Nichols and other actors for public ... continue reading


All Celebrity News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28
7 Moses used to take the Tent and pitch it outside ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13
6 Yahweh acts with uprightness, with justice to all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:35-43
35 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 28th, 2015 Image

St. Innocent I
July 28: Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became Pope, succeeding ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter