Historical romance author Jessica Blair was unmasked as 93 year-old British grandfather Bill Spence. In the past, female writers like Charlotte Brontë had to adopt male pen names in order to get their books published. But the tables were turned for former war hero Bill Spence after he wrote a series of romance sagas.
The grandfather from Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, was told his books would need to be printed under a feminine moniker if he wanted them to sell – and so his pseudonym Jessica Blair was born.
Bill has various genres published under another name but has written 26 novels under the female pen name. In 1993, his first book was “The Red Shawl” and in 2017 his current title is “The Life She Left Behind” about a young widow, with futures to secure for her two daughters, who is torn between remaining at her beloved estate Pinmuir in the Scottish Highlands, or following the plans her deceased husband made to join his brother in America. Hmm, that outcome could go either way.
My congratulations, Bill, on longevity in both writing and living!
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward