Or how I outed my trashy self.
It happened on the same day I posted the cover for my upcoming release. While making dinner, I checked my email on my phone and found a reply to an email I’d sent my mom earlier: “Who is Amelia James?”
“Oh God.” Then the giggles hit. I panicked and posted on FB. “What do I do?” I got a lot of replies. Some along the lines of what I was thinking, some that made me laugh, but all 100% supportive. I wrote back to Mom and asked where she saw the name. And then I waited.
I hate waiting. All kinds of crazy shit went through my head. I got scared. I got angry. I imagined defending myself and my writing with some pretty choice words. Not knowing how she found out made my hands shake, and I wanted to puke.
She said the name was on the email I’d sent from my phone, but I couldn’t see it anywhere. Hubs and I did some test emails, and we discovered that I’d changed my name to Amelia James on my business email and my phone changed it on my personal email too. Dammit Hardison! I replied back with the word weird (from my phone again, idiot) and left it at that.
But I knew I had to ‘fess up. My secret identity was failing and I needed to be the one to tell her. So I wrote another email.
Amelia James is my pen name, and I write romance novels, the steamy kind you used to take away from me. I didn’t tell you because I knew you wouldn’t like them. I’m sorry I lied to you about my work. I told you most of the truth. I am editing. I just didn’t tell you the books I’m editing are mine.
I’m doing well. I have a good publisher, and my books are selling well. One of my books even knocked Fifty Shades out of the #1 spot on Amazon for a few hours. I’ve wanted to share my success with you so many times, but I didn’t think you would approve.
So you probably want to know why I chose to write trashy romance. Honestly, it chose me. Sex was a big dirty secret when I was growing up. You didn’t volunteer information, and I didn’t ask questions. The church told me to wait, but no one bothered to explain why. Reading romance became my escape and writing it is my therapy. And to tell you the truth, I enjoy it. I never got to enjoy exploring when I was young because I was made to feel ashamed. I’m not ashamed anymore.
I’m not asking for your approval. I’m an adult and this is my choice. It’s not your fault. You are a great mom. I love writing about love and relationships and everything that goes along with them. And I’m good at it. I’m making a living doing what I love and that’s all I’ve ever wanted. I chose my pen name to honor Dad. He spent his life doing what he loved, and I think he’d be proud of me for achieving my dream.
I don’t expect you to read my books, and I don’t want you to. They’re not your thing. I just wanted you to know who Amelia James is.
And I waited again. Hubs thought I shouldn’t have told her, but I got tired of hiding. I didn’t know what she’d say. I figured she’d feel like she’d failed and tell me she’d pray for me. Her actual response made me smile through tears. She said she’s proud of me. She was afraid I wasn’t writing and worried that I didn’t have a way to express myself. She knew she didn’t explain sex well to me or my sisters, but she wasn’t comfortable with it. And then she said she wants to read my books. Aaaaaaack! No no no no no! Now I’m a little weirded out that my mom might actually read the sex I’m writing.
So this is a rather anti-climactic ending, but I didn’t see it coming. And now I wonder if my Mom is the one who taught me to think for myself. I suspect this story isn’t over…. (It’s just getting started. Mom posted my pen name on her FB profile where all my conservative friends and family will see it. Here we go.)
And to everyone who helped me deal with this: thank you. Your support and encouragement is amazing and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. I am truly blessed.
Please follow and like us: