Popular British romance novelist 'Jessica Blair' proven to be an 89-year-old man
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/10/2013 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
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.
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.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JUNE 2017
National Leaders. That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.
Kim Kardashian may be one of the most famous American celebrities, and she is worth a fortune. That's why it's baffling she would desecrate ... continue reading
Ron Howard and Henry Winkler mourn the loss of 'Happy Days' costar Erin Moran, who passed away at only 56-years-old Watch
Erin Moran, the beautiful actress best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days" has passed away at only 56-years-old. LOS ... continue reading
On her fifth anniversary of sobriety, singer/songwriter Demi Lovato posted a message thanking God for breaking the curse of addiction from ... continue reading
Catholic nuns sickened by Katy Perry's link to witchcraft as they fight to stop her purchase of sacred convent Watch
In 2014, singer/songwriter Katy Perry paid a visit to Boston, MA and took place in an event called the Salem Witch Walk. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading
Bill Paxton, known for his roles in "Twister," "Aliens," and "Apollo 13" passed away on February 25, 2017. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- British Medical Association considers abortion until birth! 1,500 ...
- Central bankers warn of looming global recession HD Video
- Loch Ness Monster sighted again? New photo sparks debate
- Older Catholics play IMPORTANT role in shaping new generations, says ...
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- St. Cyril of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, June 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, June 25th, 2017 HD
- Pope Francis prepares an incredible gift of love and solidarity for South Sudan HD