More About Me (Than You Ever Wanted to Know)

I recently read a social media post that referred to me as “she”. It’s not the first one I’ve ever seen. I’m not certain how this rumor ever got started because I’ve never stated my gender on any social media platform – and no one has ever asked me – but let me put it to rest once and for all:

I am a big, hairy, grumpy male. A big, hairy, grumpy male who happens to enjoy writing romance stories. Romance stories about kick-ass women and the big, hairy, grumpy males who love, cherish, and protect them. See a pattern?

I began the Casey Cane pen name almost 10 years ago. Back then, male writers of erotic romance (which is what I started writing) were not generally well-received by the romance reading public. This is not a belief I pulled out of my ass – I belonged to a large romance writers’ forum (back when they were still called forums) that was 99% women. I was one of the few males granted admission to the group. The women authors in the group said that, yes, it was difficult for male romance writers to get read. A few of them even said they would not ever consider reading a romance story written by a male. I would not be able to attend any romance writers’ conferences as they were limited to female authors only at that time. Because of this, I had concerns about my stories ever getting read.

The women in the group suggested that I choose a gender-neutral pen name, which I did. (Interesting fact: in a recent search for the top 50 most famous people named Casey/Kasey, 44 of them on the list are male.)

I have never read a novel, reached the end, and said, “I really liked that story because the writer was a man”, or, “I didn’t like that story because the author was female”. I liked the story because it was well-written and engaging. Or I didn’t like it because it was dreck. I trust that most of my readers approach a novel the same way. I trust that my work stands on its own, and would find it unsettling for my stories to be judged by my gender, rather than by their appeal. By the equipment I have in my engine room, rather than the words that come from my brain.

Anyway, I trust this puts the question of my gender to rest once and for all. Namaste. Now go read a book.