Authentic Anonymity


When I first decided to write erotica, I spent some time thinking about a pen name.  I had been using the name Cecilia over at Elliquiy, and it seemed like a no-brainer to stick with that as a first name.  I wanted a last name for some reason, so I played around with a lot of options until I ended up with Duvalle.   It’s a variant of a spelling of a town near where I live.  On the day where I said, “I’ve got to decide this damn pen name….”  there was an earthquake in the town of Duvall….so there’s my reasoning.  Besides, Cecilia Duvalle has a nice ring as does C.C. Duvalle.  I have two different options to use when it comes to publishing.

I’ve been plugging away at writing under my ‘real name’ as well as this pen name.  The erotica came along as a way to blow of steam, spend words and have fun but ended up being more than just that.   It sounds trite, but they do say to do what you love….the money will come later.  I’m still waiting for the money to come, but the rest–the love of writing and of writing erotica–that’s well under way.  But I have always felt a little bit like a cheat for using images that are not of me on this site, Facebook and Twitter.  They are designed for social networking, and I didn’t like the facade I was presenting to the world. 

I attended the local writers conference this last weekend.  This is a cross-genre conference that doesn’t actually include erotica per se, but spans the gamut and includes poetry, sci-fi, fantasy, literary, memoir, mystery, thriller, historical, young adult, romance,  and mainstream fiction.  There are workshops that border on the edge of sexy topics, but nothing in particular for erotica writers.  I went with a non-fiction idea to pitch since the conference sets attendees up with at least one agent as part of the conference.  I figured I’d go ahead and see if my proposal piqued any interest.  It did, but that’s for a different blog under a different name.  

The conference also brought in several vendors.  One of them was Mark Bennington Headshots.  For a reasonable price, he spends about twenty minutes shooting in natural light.  When I first stopped by the booth, I told him I didn’t need a headshot.  I told him I wanted something that didn’t show my face so I could still be anonymous, but yet something that was…me.  At first, I thought he was joking when he said, “What about your feet?”   I ambled off to another workshop with his proposal playing around in my head for a while.  I came back and asked him if he was serious.  He showed me a book he’s working on, and I made an appointment for the following day. 

I’ve wanted to use an image of myself that was authentically me.   I didn’t have to go shopping for the fishnets or the shoes. I already owned them.  The legs are mine.  God knows I’ve put enough effort into shaping them at the gym, and I like them.  The photos are entirely untouched by photoshop or any other editing program.  I’m in the process of switching out the fake, not-me avatars with the new pics.  So there you go.  CC revealed.  Sort of.