The Artist Formerly Known As…

…me. Welcome to a new and improved Rabbit Hole. Ok, well not so much improved but definitely new. I had quite a few things to cover in this post (story changes, NaNoWriMo, addition of book reviews to the blog), but I need to address one thing first, and then I’ll get to the others in later posts. I apologize in advance; this is a bit of a longer post. What can I say? November was an interesting month.

So, notice anything different about me? Yes, I did get my hair done thank you, but that’s not it. That’s right! I have a new name!! Now, it’s not that I didn’t like my name. I actually love my name. But things happened and I felt the need to make a few changes. Gather round children, and I’ll tell you a tale…

This story really started with that book. That book which turned everyday housewives into lustful she-devils and made the term “safe word” part of the everyday vernacular. Yes, that’s right, “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Being a diehard science fiction girl, it was not my usual fare, but I’ll admit I was pulled into its pages by this weird notion that it was a fanfic of Twilight (which to this day I still don’t quite understand). Anyhoo, one book led to another; my Kindle quickly filled with naughty literature, and I’m sure Amazon quarterlies shot way up. It was so not the usual me. My husband began to just stare and shake his head. The running joke was that he’d ask about my porn. I would counter with “it’s not porn, it’s erotica.” Then he’d ask if the word “penis” was on the page I was reading, to which I would reply “not on this page”. I still giggle. He still mourns the days that we would share books. I’ve offered. He’s declined.

This all came on the heels of a few major upheavals in my life where I had to figure what was next for me. What was I going to contribute to the world? I began writing. Words were typed, characters were born, and I felt at home. I also started this blog, thinking it would be a fun little aside of writing my novel, something to follow the writing exploits of a novice author. I shared my blog on the Book of Face, but had to put a little disclaimer in my posting that the contents may not be appropriate for my son, nieces, nephews, children of friends or anyone who might not appreciate a little bit of smut in their lives. That was an issue that I actually worried about…a lot. I really didn’t need these kids to know about mom or auntie writing things like “love stick” or “rod of pleasure”. Total TMI. **Disclaimer – I have never actually used those terms nor have I any plans to.

Although I was writing, I was still reading. I was reading a LOT. I had found favourite authors, and I was quickly going through their catalogues. It was one such writer that sent me on a ninety degree spin. Not only did Cameron Dane write male/female romance, but she also had quite a few male/male stories published as well. Male/male. La Sigh. I was such a goner. After reading “A Younger Man”, I was obsessed. I had always had a deep appreciation of gay love, and these books were the fuel to the fire. I had found my new genre. And this is where things got a bit more complicated.

I had followed many mainstream authors on Facebook. These were large fan pages that asked you for a “like”. They were large cogs in the publishing machine. However, when I went to follow the new authors that I loved and adored, things were different. Things felt much more intimate. This was a smaller group of people writing what they loved in a not-so-mainstream genre. Many authors didn’t have “like” options, they had friend requests. RJ Scott was my first author friend. Piper Vaughn was my second. Kindle Alexander my third. They “liked” and commented on my page (I may have fangirl squee’d a few times). My list of author friends grew and I found they were an incredibly welcoming circle of people. And they had awesome status updates – updates that frequently included pictures of beautiful men in very few pieces of clothing. I’d “like”. I’d comment. Soon, however, I started to get comments from my family ranging from “what’s with the all the gay stuff on your page” to “can you stop commenting on those posts so my newsfeed isn’t filled up with half-naked men?” (that last one was from my hubby). I realized that not everyone in my family or that I was friends with was completely comfortable with this little world I was interacting with. I was finding I had to censor what I commented on to keep my page PG. It didn’t feel right. I felt like a had a dirty little secret. It actually kept me from writing reviews on Amazon and listing the books I had read on Goodreads. I actually felt like I was letting my authors, my friends, down.

I had also come to conclusion that after I finished my first story, I was going to write in the genre I loved. How was that going play out on social media? After some interesting feedback from my friends in the writing world, I decided that there was only one solution – a pen name.

I realize this post is a rather long backstory. Could I have just said “I’m now Saxon Hawke” and move on? I suppose so, but I’m still trying to justify something I feel a little weird about. You see, I’m a very open person online. I’m very much in the mindset that you stand by what you put out into the internet-verse. The only time I’ve ever changed my online name from my own was back in 1998 when I had to find an alternate spelling of my name when I starting using something called IRC (any old timers out there?). Mind you it turned out that I liked the alternate so much I kept it. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram…if you know my name you can find me. So deciding to create a pen name to compartmentalize my writing/reading world from my personal one was a really difficult decision for me. It’s not a state secret. Friends and family know where to find the “other” me, but they now know what they are getting into if they come looking for me.

So, yep, this is now me. Consider this the origin story of Saxon Hawke. Not a superhero…just a struggling writer, an avid reader, and a man love enthusiast.

‘Til Later.

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