A local writer says her hidden identity made it possible to pursue her dreams.
Jamie Turner is a mother and wife, but as a woman she says she wasn’t taken seriously in the writing field, until she changed her name.
News Channel 6’s Margaret-Ann Carter spoke with Turner about the struggles women face in the writing field.
To her friends and family she’s known as Jamie Turner, but to her readers she’s known as author, Jae Johnson.
“I’ve found that in a man’s world or if you’re trying to compete, it kind of helps if they don’t really know if you’re male or female,” Turner explained.
She follows in the footsteps of famous authors like Jk Rowling and EL James, who use their initials to create a gender neutral persona.
“I went to the female boss that I had at the time, and I said please help me, I said I can not get any responses when I’m Jamie Turner, and she said they know you’re a girl, they know you’re a woman, sign it Jae Turner,” she explained.
Turner says that was the beginning for her, she immediately started receiving emails and phone calls wanting to learn more about her racy romance novels.
“As soon as I started signing my memos Jae Turner it was amazing the response that I got,” she said.
Book Tavern owner, David Hutchuison says there is a long history of women writing as men.
“The Bronte’s all wrote under a pseudonym… It’s probably not as common now as it once was, but if you don’t want to get pigeonholed yea it’s still a problem,” Hutchuison said.
Turner and independent writer Charles Campbell say gender isn’t the only issue plaguing local authors.
“She faces some of the similar struggles that I face, how to market her material, figuring out how to get her name out there,” Campbell explained.
You can find Campbell’s latest suspense novel, ‘Cinnamon Tea’, as well as Turner’s books at the Book Tavern on Broad Street in Downtown Augusta.