In this week’s New York magazine, Emma Garman, articulate advocate of snarky criticism and foe to Caitlin Flanagan (whom I also deplore), conducts a bang-up interview with Shakespearean scholar Mary Bly, who moonlights as a successful romance novelist under the pen name Eloisa James.
Bly is the daughter of Men’s Movement founder Robert Bly and short story writer Carol Bly. Of her parents’ reaction to her novels, she says:
My dad is a huge supporter of my work. He reads the novels aloud! And he loves hearing about the sales–he’s like [in an incredulous tone], “What’s the print run?” And keeping the secret was very hard for him because he’s got a terrible memory. So he’ll go to all these schools, and I’ll get these e-mails: “Hi, I’ve been driving your father around and he told me all about your double life.” And I have to write back and say, “Nobody knows! And I’m coming to your school next week to give a paper. Please don’t tell anyone.” But my mother’s not happy, and never has been–with the whole idea, and the sex stuff. It’s, you know, “If you can write, why don’t you at least try to write great literature?”