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

Actor Jon Voight joins gospel choir on stage during Restoring Unity event Watch

Image of Actor Jon Voight joins the choir at a Restoring Unity event and praised God.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jon Voight took to the stage and joined the gospel choir at a Restoring Unity event this weekend in Birmingham, Alabama. Held at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex Legacy Arena, the rally featured speakers Glenn Beck and Bishop Jim Lowe. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Star of 'Juno' confronts Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz over LGBT rights -and his response is PERFECT Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Actress Ellen Page recently put Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz in the hot seat, interrogating him about his policies for "LGBT people being fired for just strictly being gay or trans[gender]." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - In his ... continue reading


'Hunger Games' Jennifer Lawrence highest paid actress in Hollywood, earning $52 million Watch

Image of Twenty-five-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, who plays heroine Katniss Everdeen in the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Twenty-five-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, who plays heroine Katniss Everdeen in the "Hunger Games" sci-fi film series, is by far the best-paid actress currently working in film. Lawrence made $52 million before taxes in a 12-month period. The second highest paid ... continue reading


'Big Bang Theory' actress explains why her faith is important, even if it's not trendy in Hollywood Watch

Image of Mayim Bialik is proud of her religion and expresses her values in modesty and chastity.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Actress Mayim Bialik, popularly known as Amy Farrh Fowler in the series "The Big Bang Theory," explained the importance of modesty and chastity, in a recent interview with The Blaze. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Bialik, whose rise to fame started in ... continue reading


A positive role model for young women, TV's 'Batgirl,' Yvonne Craig dies at 78 Watch

Image of On the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A trained ballet dancer, Yvonne Craig took a delicate dance move - a high kick, and used it to pummel the bad guys. Cast as TV's "Batgirl" on the final season of the "Batman" TV series, Craig told young women everywhere they could maintain their femininity and ... continue reading


Morgan Freeman's granddaughter tragically stabbed to death in 'cocaine-fueled exorcism' Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lamar Davenport, a.k.a. Lyric, was charged with second degree murder after stabbing girlfriend E'Dena Hines, Morgan Freeman's granddaughter, to her death inside her home in Washington Heights, New York City. The crime reportedly occurred early Sunday morning, which was ... continue reading


'We have lost our moral compass': Lord of the Rings actor fears the end of 'Western European Christian civilization' Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lord of the Rings actor John Rhys-Davies has spoken out about the "extraordinary silence in the West" in the face of the dangers of Islamic extremism. The actor stressed on the weight of political correctness. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Rhys-Davies, ... continue reading


Rumors spread that Pope Francis plans to discuss church portrayal in media with Oprah and Matt Damon in a special meeting Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oprah and Ari Emanuel, along with other Hollywood stare, were reportedly approached by Vatican representatives with Pope Francis' invitation for a special meeting. The meeting, according to the initial report done by The Hollywood Reporter, would be held this fall and ... continue reading


'We need a miracle': 'Duck Dynasty' star Sadie Robertson calls on fans to 'storm the gates of heaven' with prayers for terminally ill child Watch

Image of Sadie Robertson asks all fans to pray for sick girl.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With high hopes, the "Duck Dynasty" star Sadie Robertson once again put her celebrity status and star power to good use. To launch her cause, Robertson posted a photo of a little girl who has an inoperable brain tumor and begged her fans and followers to "storm the ... continue reading


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


All Celebrity News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:1-8
1 From Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2015 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skšnninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... 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