The secret is out — what do I do now?

Okay, so here’s the thing, Grace Meadows isn’t my real name. I use this pen name when I write erotica. As a new author I’m not comfortable walking up to people, shaking their hand and saying, “Hi, did you hear my news I’m a soon to be published author of erotica.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my work. I’m excited that Decadent Publishing will be published Untouched Places as part of their launch.

However, I do write other things and I do have a different persona than Grace Meadows.

So what I did was tell a few friends. I told them to keep my secret. What didn’t know… What I found out last night at a party was that one of these friends was blabbing her mouth off about my secret.

What do I do now?

I feel hurt that this friend would use my secret so loosely. It was mine to tell when and where. I wasn’t hurting anyone.

She said that she was proud that I was going to be published and wanted to share my news with everyone.

Could she have done this without mentioning the erotica part? I think she could have.

When I suggested that she should have done this her response was — What? You’re not proud of your work?

She didn’t seem to understand my point of view at all. Fact is I don’t think she even tried.

I like this person. I feel that she is one of my closest friends. My other question for you is why would a so-called friend do this?

Feeling hurt and alone,

Grace

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20 Responses to The secret is out — what do I do now?

  1. Well, I’d have to say she’s not a very good friend. I too have a friend who writes erotica under a pen name. She is also querying a YA novel right now and wants to keep the two lines of work separate. It’s her place to tell who and when she wants, not mine. I’m sorry for your hurt.

    • Thank you, Danielle, for your support. I will have talk more with my friend. Hopefully I can determine her motive. Or prehaps it was just a case of lack of restraint — there was much alcohol involved.

  2. Nobilis Reed says:

    I’m an erotica author with a pen name as well. Pen names are pretty transparent–anyone who wants to penetrate one usually can. They exist mostly just in case you become famous and you want to keep good control of your “brand”.

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s pretty rare for erotica authors to get much grief for it.

    • Thank you so much for your words.
      Wanting to off-set some of the backfire I told a very approachable member of my older more conversative group of friends today. Her reaction was one that you suggest. In fact, she laughed and said that’s so cool. I never thought she would react like that. It felt like my whole being was validated.
      Writing erotica isn’t a flash in the pan for me. It’s something I want to do. I’m having tons of fun as well.
      This conversative friend even suggested that she would like to read some of my erotic short stories. I think I had way more trouble hearing that then she did hearing that I was an erotic author. : )
      I guess the lesson for me here is not to try and stereotype people. And, perhaps, more importantly that if you act positively with good intention go forth with the knowledge that it will be accepted positively.

  3. Lisa Omstead says:

    Alcohol will certainly loosen the tongue and people LOVE to tell secrets.
    Happiness to you:)
    Lisa

  4. I wouldn’t worry over this too much. The problem with a secret is that it is only safe if you keep it to yourself. This was bound to happen at some point, unfortunately, your friend was the first culprit. It will all workout. As long as she really was spreading the word about your fame because she was proud of you, it should be hard to stay mad. Best of luck and can’t wait to read. Keep us updated.

    • It really is hard to believe that she felt anything different than pride. This is a friendship that has been tried repeatedly. We do see things differently but I’ve found that she a friend.

  5. To echo some of the above comments, that sucks but don’t worry about it. Lots of authors have separate names for their erotic writing (to separate the brands) and are completely open about them :). Congrats on working in more than one genre.

  6. Eyre says:

    I’m terribly sorry this happened to you. I blog under a pseudonym, and I don’t let my online and offline lives mix. It’s not because I’m ashamed of anything that I do online, just like you aren’t ashamed of what you write. It’s simply a matter of privacy. Your friend should have respected your wishes and kept your secret.

    Someone (maybe Benjamin Franklin) once said that “Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.” That’s a maxim that I try to keep in mind.

    • Wise words. I guess I can feel thankful for at least two things 1) for kind people, like yourself, who are ready to lend support when called on. 2) that my friend doesn’t own a computer. : )

  7. Karen says:

    Am I right in thinking your friend is a non-writer? I suspect she simply didn’t understand the issues surrounding branding and wanting to do different kinds of writing, and keep those types of writing separate. While you’re wondering about her motivation in telling your secret, she may not fully understand your motivations in keeping it. I would try ecplaining that more fully to her. Regarding you ‘conservative’ friend: never be surprised by the type of people who are interested in your work. Well-written erotica has VERY wide appeal. Congrats on getting published and I wish you huge success with your new book ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you so much, Karen, for the well wishes.
      You’re right — my friend doesn’t write.
      I’ve been trying to work with a publishing house since 2005. My friend has witnessed my struggles.
      And to be complerely honest, I recall saying something like, “I’ve felt like such a loser for so long. Now I’ve finally got a chance and I feel like I can’t tell anyone.”
      I wonder how I would have reacted if I heard a friend say that.
      I wonder how much I can blame her for taking the action she did.

  8. Gina Gordon says:

    While I am not a fan of your friend blabbing your secret, I can’t fault her for wanting to share your success and tell people how proud she is of you. Hopefully, that was the reasoning behind her decision.

    I write under a pen name as well. I often feel like I am living a double life. There are only a handful of people who know about my writing successes. It is a bittersweet thing to get published when you choose to write erotica. You want to tell everyone and anyone but depending on your own personal situation, it isn’t that simple.

    Enjoy your success and don’t worry about what other people think. There is a whole community of erotica writers and readers out there that you can turn to if you need a little boost.

    BTW….this is my first time to your blog..love it. Congrats!

    • Thank you so much, Gina, for lending support. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay.

      You wrote: Enjoy your success and donโ€™t worry about what other people think.

      I reply: I will try to hold on to this wisedom. I don’t why I’m so sensitive is it writer’s sensitivity?

      You wrote: There is a whole community of erotica writers and readers out there that you can turn to if you need a little boost.

      I reply: I feel through sharing this issue that I’ve received a taste of what you are referring to and all I can say is that I’m very thankful and overwhelmed.

  9. When I started playing with the idea of publishing, my first instinct was to use a pen name. It wasn’t until my daughter brought up the fact the it might get weird if it went big and then everyone found out. My novel isn’t as heated as erotica, but still, the imagination is extremely personal and when you put your thoughts down on paper, you feel exposed to the world. As for your “friend”, while I appreciate that she was just proud of you, if she had been with you through all of the insecurities and struggles for years, surely she knew how you felt on this issue… I’d rethink trusting her ever again.

    • Iโ€™d rethink trusting her ever again.

      Wise words, Elizabeth, other friends has advised the same thing. This isn’t the first time she’s acted this way and I keep thinking about the definition of a fool. Hopefully I learn the lesson this time.

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