I’m happy to announce that my latest novel, Trixie, is now in print.
With Trixie I have taken uncertain steps as a writer. My previous novels were published under “Victoria N. Alexander,” the name that appears on my passport, not “Tori Alexander,” the name my family and friends use. The reason for the switch is to “disambiguate” myself, as they say these days, from a popular writer of Romance novels named “Victoria Alexander.” I am decidedly not a Romance writer. If any thing Trixie is anti-Romance as my heroine is not too keen on being “saved” by a good-looking millionaire, and (spoiler alert!) actually kills herself to avoid such a fate. Nevertheless, Romance readers are, apparently, buying my novel. I have noticed that on Amazon “people who have bought Trixie have also bought” kitschy novels by various authors, each featuring a cover with a woman dressed like Scarlet O’Hara, shoulders bared, being rescued –by force– by a guy with a sweet six-pack.
The sort of embarrassing thing for me is the realization that two out of three of my novels’ covers feature women with shoulders bared. And, if I may add a personal detail, my husband could easily pose for one of Victoria Alexander’s covers. Am I really a Romance writer and in denial? I wondered for a long time if I shouldn’t just go ahead let the confusion between me and Victoria Alexander continue. I am, after all, selling plenty of books to those who mistake me for her. Romance readers make up a whopping 50% of the reading public. Why not take advantage?
I’ve never actually read a Romance novel, so I don’t even know, really, what I would be getting into. I’ve heard that they are pretty racy. And knowing that my great aunt used to read them until she died at 97 makes me a bit uncomfortable. From what I gathered looking at the titles at her bedside –for example, Can’t Say No, Three Nights with a Scoundrel, A Most Scandalous Position (pun intended, I’m sure), and Tasting Candy– Romance novels are quite clearly pornography for women. I wonder if this stuff isn’t even more popular than visual pornography for men. Makes you rethink your notion of the average housewife, eh?
Although it may be unwise, professionally, for me to do so, I must confess that my book may not have enough sex in it to qualify as a Romance. The intimate bits that do appear in Trixie are veiled in an indirection that prevents them from being taken to be pornographic, but there is a lot of nudity. There is a lot of nudity. There is so much attention to the female body in this book that, people have said, it seems like a man wrote it. I rather like that judgement, as long as it’s understood that this male perspective is not that of an asshole. Other people have said it seems like a lesbian wrote it, which gives me yet another thing to worry about as I brave my identity crisis.