Jessica Stirling (AKA Hugh Rae), is the prolific author of more than 30 Scottish Romantic Fiction books, in more than 25 years of writing under his chosen female pseudonym.
One can argue forever, the fors and againsts of a male author, writing books in this genre, to be almost exclusively read by women, but one cannot deny the continued success Jessica Stirling still enjoys, in the popular fiction marketplace.
Personally, I think that one should rather argue the morality and ethics of the publishing company, on insisting, way back in the 1980s, that such fiction should necessarily be seen to be written by a woman, to attract its chosen audience.
Jessica’s words of good advice to unpublished authors, still holds true and contains more than a grain of common sense to me:
“Two pieces of advice frequently offered to unpublished writers, to which I do not wholeheartedly subscribe are:
‘write from the heart’ and ‘write about what you know’.
I genuinely believe that with a little bit of ‘head’ added to the ‘heart’, the passion and commitment all writers need to keep going, will smooth the way into print.
As for writing only about ‘what you know’ – there goes curiosity, imagination and the adventure of exploring other times, other places and situations that excite you which, for me, is more than half the fun.”
Even as a non-author, I think that both of these sentences are quite profound, especially the second one, about only writing about what you know. If all authors followed this maxim, I feel sure that we would not today be enjoying the vast and varied range of literature, that we are able to choose from. I hope you agree?