I imagine that potential readers want to know why a writer would not want to claim authorship of a book. “What does she have to hide?” you might think. After all those years of writing and rewriting - riding the roller coaster of rejection and editing and finally getting it published - and then reaping the final reward of a positive public reaction (which I am humbly grateful to say it has been) – why wouldn’t an author be proud of the accomplishment and want others to know about it? Doesn’t everybody presumably want her fifteen minutes of recognition, if not fame? We live in a culture of celebrity, where people can become famous either for doing pretty much nothing (reality television) or for a significant contribution or achievement. Anonymity – even plain privacy like J.D. Salinger’s, which drove everybody nuts - simply isn’t something we accept as a culture.
I set out to create a believable, likable, quirky original heroine, who is a renowned and sought-after dominatrix specializing in rope bondage. On the face of it, Dominique would be repellent to many people, who would have negative preconceptions about her profession – and they might then project those reactions on me, her creator. My pseudonym protects me and the successful non-writing career I have, insulating me. Some people who know me in my other life would be dismayed to learn that I had written a shocking erotic political thriller. and also how those same people are protected from reality and consequences of their actions, and facts and projections about the trickery that goes on in the political arena. Who am I? How do I know details about the sexual predilections of the High and Mighty? Is this my personal world? Are other peoples’ identities in jeopardy if I reveal who I am?
Anonymity raises curiosity in readers (Is this real? Is the author a dominatrix herself? Do things like this really happen?) while also creating personal and creative freedom for the writer. There are readers who are convinced that this novel could have been written only by someone with vast personal knowledge of BDSM andThe Lifestyle (as it is referred to by those in it). I won’t reply to that, but I will say I believe that regardless of one’s own experience, education or passion for a topic that the more knowledge and detail a writer has about a place, period or character, the better the writing will be.
My pseudonym has allowed me to discover the profound value to the creative process of having one’s ego removed from a book – it’s actually quite liberating to have one’s persona removed from the equation. I think the cult of the writer as celebrity does nothing for the creative spirit of the author: it shifts the focus away from the printed page and misplaces it in showing photos of an author dressed a certain way in a particular setting, with interviews attempting to delve into as much of a writer’s life as she will allow. I think only good can come from a little more mystery about the creative process and more emphasis on the written word, not who wrote it and what kind of car she drives.
In the end of the day it comes down to The Work - the words on paper, the images, ideas, characters, that are created – and whether the book successfully transports the reader. Nothing else should matter. The book should stand on its own, quite apart from the author and the particulars of who she is and how she lives her life. I hope THE KNOT ARTIST will succeed in doing this and I can quietly enjoy peoples’ appreciation of it while continuing the creative process in the next book of what will be a trilogy about Dominique.
Give away Give away Giveaway!!
The author is giving away two paperback copies of THE KNOT ARTIST for US residents and two e-book copies for international bloggers!
All you have to do is follow me, leave a comment with your name and email or if you don't want to leave your email, just comment and send me your email here : firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "India Wilson give away". This give away will end on March 14 and the winner will be announced on March 15.