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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Me, Myself, and I

Are you one of those people who gets pulled in 14 different directions because you desperately try to satisfy everyone's need for you to do something for them thus fulfilling their perception of you? Or, do you attempt to be /behave/react the way you think they feel you should? Lord, I fall into that trap so easily you'd think I had multiple personalities.

Wait. I do.

I'm my real name (not telling!), then Marianne Stephens, and also April Ash. The real me is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, cousin, niece, aunt, grandmother, friend, volunteer. Hmm. That's 11 personalities right there.

Marianne Stephens is an author, critique partner, promotions expert (yeah, right!), speaker on writing, writing groups member, blogger, loop joiner (way too many!), treasurer for an RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter, etc.

Of course, as April Ash I do all of the above and am just beginning my career as an erotic romance author.

How do I pull off switching personalities to suit everyone else...especially when it comes to my writing? A better question might be...should I?

The three of me (me, myself, and I) sometimes end up going in circles trying to please everyone while catering to others. Sometimes the grandmother encounters the speaker who's trying to help the erotic author explain why I write what I write as April Ash. That has been a difficult task as the real me has found out. Telling people I write erotic romance books as April Ash hasn't been embraced by some as an accomplishment. In fact, some think I've "crossed over to the dark side" by doing so.

Both my pen names write romances with happily-ever-afters. The differences occur in how they get there and the language/details I write for each book. While Marianne Stephens enjoys writing the more sensual, funny, paranormal and sometimes suspense type of romance stories, April Ash has only written one funny, very erotic romance story. More story ideas flood my head for each to write. In fact, I'm working on more than one book now.

Can I please everyone with my very different approaches to romance writing? No. In fact, hell no. I can no more keep everyone happy with their ideas of who I am/what I should or shouldn't do than I could fly minus the use of a plane.

While I try to compromise on some things to keep others happy with their image/expectations of me, it gets harder to do that the more I want to see how far I can get with my writing career.

So, how do you handle keeping everyone happy...or, do you? Not getting what you want or expect can be a valuable lesson, no matter how old you are. I've got to have a therapy session with the three of me and learn to help others accept my combined trio of personalities!

Good news!
"Strip Poker For Two" by April Ash will be available on 20 August from Ellora's Cave ( Think strip poker, boxers, love notes, chocolate fondue, and cannoli cream. AND, I forgot to mention a tuba! All play a part in this funny, erotic, romance story.

"Street of Dreams" by Marianne Stephens was "blurbed" on Barbara Vey's Publisher's Weekly Blog (

Don't forget to visit my websites:
Marianne Stephens
April Ash
At these sites, you'll find lots of information about my books, contests, newsletter, etc.


Diane Pollock said...

I know what you mean about juggling personalities...I often suffer cognotive dissonance myself! :)

Pollyanna said...

You don't have to write to please everybody. Just write with your own style and story and those who like your genres will read it.

Cheri2628 said...

Wow, you do have a lot to deal with in your life. You have many roles! Be true to yourself, and write what pleases you. Good luck in all you do!

Booksrforever123 said...

You can't please everyone all the time, just try to please yourself most of the time and you'll be doing good.

Cathy said...

In a housefull of men, I am the peacekeeper, which lucky for all of us fits my, go-with-the-flow personality.

There is just no way to keep every reader happy, but I for one,am looking forward to reading your upcoming April Ash story.

robynl said...

try to satisfy everyone's need for you to do something for them thus fulfilling their perception of you?
How true this is of me, also. My goodness now wonder a person is tired all the time. I totally understand.

clynsg said...

Good fantasy worlds are hard to come by. This one sounds as if it might succeed.
clynsg at

Sandy said...

Hi Marianne,

You're me to a T, but I'm learning. First, I learned to say 'no' to our chapter, and now I'm trying to say 'no' to friends, but that's a little harder. I can hardly wait to read your erotica. Love scenes are hard and erotica would be doubly hard. lol I'm dying to know what hubby thinks about your new story.



Dena said...

Wow, you sure have a lot on your plate Marianne. I wouldn't be able to keep up. I know some other Authors don't tell people they write erotic romance along with there other writing, not because there ashamed, it's because they know how some people will percieve them unfoundly.
I used to do a lot more when my daughter was younger but since she's out of the house now I'm a lot more mellow.

Marianne Stephens said...

Thanks to all who've commented so far! If you didn't put your email address in the comment box, let me know...for the newsletter list contest!

Maureen said...

The juggling act is not an easy one and I think it's because of time. There is only so much of it and everyone demands some.

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