I was asked recently if I told the truth in a blog post I wrote and just the other day I was asked if Fiona Murphy was my real name. While the first question pissed me off and led me to feel insulted does the fact the answer of no to the second question make me a hypocrite? I don't think so, and not just because it makes me feel better but because the discussion has been held often that most people writing erotica are not using their government name. Mainly to protect themselves and their family from embarrassment but also because I sometimes think there is an expectation of an erotica writer that 'normal' writers don't have to deal with.
There was the statement that Fiona Murphy was/is a persona, a part I play to or up and the simple fact is that's not true. Fiona is me, I don't act the same way at work that I do with my friends, is at work Fiona a persona, not really. Mainly, I just keep my mouth shut (seriously, I do not talk at work unless I have to and it's usually yes or agreeing and expanding on what the other person just said). My own family doesn't know how many boyfriends I've had or that I've been proposed to four times-just the one time). My family doesn't know my financial situation and there have been more times than I care to count that they didn't know or understand what I did for a living. (I have never done anything illegal they just didn't understand and it was easier to say I worked for a bank than I was a trader). I'm a very private person, even with my family, that's just who I am.
I don't make shit up because I have the memory of a gnat and if I can't remember what I did yesterday then I sure as fuck am not going to remember something I tweeted or blogged weeks ago. Also, I really couldn't give a fuck what people think about me. I've worked long and hard, both with and without a therapist to get to a place where I'm okay with who I am, what I believe and what I need to make me happy and I'm not going to go back on that for anyone.
I have lived in many different places, Phoenix, KC, Chicago my hometown in the midwest (I'm not going to name). I spent months in a city in Iowa, a city in Nebraska, Boston and DC and several weeks in San Francisco and visited several cities in the area. I had a boyfriend who lived in Dallas and I spent a lot of time there. In my family, my parents and their parents and even their parents have dealt with illegal issues (too long and nothing to boast about but something they told me led me to write the gangster's girlfriend and yes there was an aspect of a real love story). Here's the thing, there's really no difference between me and the name I use other than it's just a different name. I grew up upper middle class and that led to some of the habits and my comfort level with that environment, I've also been so poor and lived off food stamps and often I was the kid in the classroom who wasn't black and so my comfort level with people outside my race came from that experience). As far as the name I picked, it is special to me and a few people know the significance of it, it wasn't picked at random.
Here's the thing, if you pay real attention, and most people don't. The things I tweet and blog about are not that personal. I did write about the journey to publishing because although it was personal to me, I don't think it is all that different than what other writers have gone through. Yes, I have said I grew up in a dysfunctional home with a psychotic mother (I have come to realize I am so unalone in that) I have a gay brother and a shitload of brothers and sisters (7 brothers 2 sisters). I do not differentiate between them, half or step or full because for me there is none. I tweet hot pictures of gorgeous men (when I was in middle school I took a men's catalog to school because it had hypercolor underwear-I have always been a horndog and six years later a person I hadn't seen in all that time remembered me for the catalog). I have tweeted I hate my job-who doesn't when they aren't doing what they really want to do. I've tweeted about a few health issues that aren't really interesting and are pretty general.
I don't tweet about my personal life or take selfies or post pictures of my tattoos or my home or anything I deem too private because I believe the moment you open that door, it's damned hard to close. Unlike most of the people in my generation and younger I have no desire to put my life on blast. One, I'm boring as fuck and quite happy that way (for many years my life was like shit out of a soap opera until I took control and stepped the fuck out). Two, I don't judge people because I have no idea what lead them to be the people they are, the choices they made and the demons they are fighting so I refuse to open myself to judgement. Three, while I have met some great people through Twitter and Facebook and I hope that continues I'm completely cool with never meeting or becoming besties with anyone because too often in my past I have opened myself up and it lead to disappointment and even a few times complete and utter disaster but it was too late to go back.
Who am I? Does it really matter? I don't want the focus to be on me, I want the focus to be on the stories but here's the thing, to quote Virginia Wolfe: Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.