It has been a long process over the last year from dusting off a few musty old stories, to exploring new ones, to writing and releasing my first novel. Over that time, there have always been other things going on in the background of my life, things which have come to the foreground now and have impacted my time and motivation to continue to explore this journey. I almost called it a hobby, but for me this is a love affair of the highest order, and only the fact I make good money in my real career and have children to care and feed for keeps me from dumping my job and doing this full time.
Near the beginning of March, my spouse and I separated. I’ve been wanting to blog about this for a while now, but I couldn’t, because there’s a deeper secret I need to share with my six or seven fans about myself before I can. This secret limits how I can express myself on here when it comes to my personal life. Once I start talking, I would have to edit myself too much, and the emotional impact of what I need to say suddenly dries up. I no longer want to bother writing about it.
So… I’m coming out. Virginia Flowers is no more, or at least she will continue on as my pen name for now. But as a living, breathing entity, she will fade into the twilight of my subconscious again, where I dreamed her up so many months ago. Virginia – as in virgin. Flower – as in deflowering. Virgin Deflowering… both silly and yet expressive of how I felt as I immersed myself into this world of becoming an author.
My name is Jeffery. Jeffery Reynolds. I write a variety of stuff, but the only publishing I’ve ever done is as Virginia Flowers. I recently completed a novel for which I am immensely proud, though sales haven’t gone at all as I had hoped. I decided to write as a woman because I felt as though women erotica writers are viewed differently then men, that the market expects an erotica or romance writer to be a woman. This is backed up by my own experiences. When I was in college and took a creative writing course, I remember distinctly one of my favorite pieces being read aloud in class, and the discussion that followed. The author names were never given until after the story was read, and when a woman piped up and asked “who write this,” I raised my hand. Her next eight words thrilled me: “I thought it was written by a woman.”
To be able to write – just write without trying to be something I was not – and have others state they felt their expectations of what I had written were that it had to be written by a woman was an interesting dynamic. We as humans do this all the time, we take works and we judge them, label them, critique them, and try to wrap them up into neat categories. It’s part of who we are as a species, there’s no shame in that. I wanted to ensure that my erotica was not treated as “written for men” because I was a man. I wanted it to be read for what it was… hot, naughty, kinky stories of people getting it on. And sometimes falling in love while doing it (thank you, Erica, for showing us all that you can explore the ragged edges of your need, and still find the Mr. Dimples you wanted to spend your life with).
So I’m out now. I’ll probably start a new blog, but keep this one to post about new stories as I work on them and release them. I’ll keep the pen name of course, Virginia Flowers is as much a part of me as Jeffery is. She’s a touchstone for me now, a way of remembering that writing is not not meant to be specific to a gender, but writing – good romance and erotica, good writing that appeals to women – can also be written by men. Our categories will always continue to create pigeonholes for authors to overcome, but with luck Virginia Flowers has done just enough to show people that you can’t necessarily assume that a certain kind of writing is only created by a certain kind of person.
The rest of the tragedy that is my life will spill out soon enough, when I’m ready to share it. But I needed to get this part done first, and tell those of you who read my posts and my books what an honor it has been for me to create for you something you enjoyed over the past year. And how much I – and Virginia – look forward to continuing to do so in the next year, and for many years to come.