Thursday, July 12, 2012
The Janus in the writer
I tweeted a couple of hours ago about schizoid writers, of which I am obviously one! Why do it? Why be two people? Why write under different names? We know that for many reasons writers have (like stage and television celebrities) opted for an alias (in this case a pen name). This can enable them to lead a private life as well as a media focused one, or become a different gender more acceptable to the reading public of that genre, or disguise a profession which might not take kindly to a writer of outré fiction. Whatever.
For me there was a decision to be made. I had an academic career as Jack Sanger and when it ended I wanted to write at least one fine book. It turned out to be a trilogy and took me ten years. Azimuth was its name and you can read the early reviews at: www.azimuthtrilogy/reviews
I was happy with my name moving over to embrace fiction at this point. But what next? I felt the need to go on writing and many of the blogs before this one talk about the motivation and psychology of writing. I also wanted to be experimental in different genres to see how it went. I had already written plays that had been produced – though not in the West End? What about crime fiction? What about an intense sexual novel? What about sci fi, of which I am an expert but so far only as a reader? Yet writing these would not be the same as writing Azimuth. That book distilled so much knowledge and experience of what I had learned as an academic; philosophy, sociology, psychology and tried to transmute it into a saga, an odyssey of strange and fabulous adventures which would lead the reader to question the nature of reality just as I had.
So, wishing not to besmirch the brand of Azimuth, yet try to establish a reputation as an adept, amusing and highly capable author I opted to wear the garb of Eric le Sange
The name was half-lifted from a 1970s French film called Serail where an English writer named Eric Sange, stays in a French house to pen a novel. And here I am in France in my French house, penning away!