You may or may not realize this, but I didn’t always write gay erotic romance. People ask me when I started writing, and the answer is simple ~ all my life. I remember being 8 years old and savoring the promise held in a blank notebook, ready to become a new story.
Of course, at 8, I didn’t write what I write now.
I started out writing fantasy because that was what I liked to read. But even before J.K. Rowling came along, fantasy was a difficult genre to break into for the simple reason that everyone wrote it. The market was saturated. I had a little success (more like microscopic, in retrospect) when one of my stories and several of my poems were published in small press ‘zines (remember those?). But I had a novel I couldn’t sell and more than a handful of short stories no one wanted to read.
When I stumbled upon slash fan fiction, I found a genre that, while heavily saturated as well, was apparently my calling because I quickly gathered fans and readers through publishing online. It was definitely my niche, and one I’m satisfied with. I don’t plan to go back to writing straight fiction, and I don’t think I’ll write lesbian stories, either (though on that one, I’m not going to say never). But I still enjoy my non-gay, non-erotic stories, most of which were written while I was in college. As I began self-publishing, I decided to dust those off and give them a whirl, too.
Unfortunately, when I first published my “feminist fantasy” short story collection, Bones of the Sea and Other Stories, I didn’t realize my “real” name had become synonymous with gay erotic writing. My non-gay, non-erotic stuff just didn’t sell. No one wanted to read a J.M. Snyder story without gay men.
And really? I don’t blame them.
After much thought, I decided to choose a pseudonym to republish the collection and the short stories in it. J.T. Marie is just a variation on my name ~ the first initial is the same, and the “T” comes from my confirmation name, Thomas (a version of which is found in my gay YA pseudonym). Marie is my real middle name … and what the “M” stands for in J.M. Snyder.
Since I’ve been publishing my older stories and poems under a different name, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that they’re selling here and there. Without the implications my real name carries, J.T. Marie is slowly coming into her own as an author. While I don’t see myself returning to that genre to create new fiction, I have a lot I wrote prior to the birth of J.M. Snyder, peddler of smut. It’s good to know someone out there is enjoying it!
I just spent the last two hours updating my J.T. Marie site, adding all the books currently available under that pseudonym. Be on the lookout for a new, short poetry anthology coming out at the end of the month!