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Well, yes, it is a grift

But what’s much more fun is the outrage:

Female Spanish thriller writer Carmen Mola revealed to be three men

And? Given that the entire field is about made up stories the problem is?

Beatriz Gimeno, a feminist, writer, activist – and former head of one of Spain’s national equality bodies, the Women’s Institute – attacked the men for creating a female persona in their publicity for Carmen Mola books, over several years.

“Quite apart from using a female pseudonym, these guys have spent years doing interviews. It’s not just the name – it’s the fake profile that they’ve used to take in readers and journalists. They are scammers,” she said on Twitter.

There goes the sound of a less successful writer screaming “Why the hell didn’t I think of that?”

Last year, a regional branch of the Women’s Institute recommended one of Mola’s works as part of a selection of books by female authors including Margaret Atwood that could “help us understand the reality and the experiences of women in different periods of history and contribute to raising awareness about rights and freedoms”.

Perhaps the correct reaction is to celebrate the manner in which at least some men are fully in touch with their feminine side.

16 thoughts on “Well, yes, it is a grift”

  1. George Eliot wasn’t available for comment.

    Also, isn’t there some bloke who writes Romance novels under a woman’s name?

  2. Jonathan, the only one that comes to mind is Peter O’Donnell who also wrote under the pseudonym Madeleine Brent.

  3. Excellent work chaps.

    I’m guessing from the outrage that Carmen Mola outsells Beatriz Gimeno by quite a margin….

  4. Perhaps three female writers could collaborate on a series of spy thrillers? If three women are capable of cooperating at this level without it descending into emotionally-destructive bitching within the first week….

  5. @Jonathan Many do/did, few ever admit to using a female pen name. It’s not as if writing romances/bodice rippers to publisher specs is hard.. And putting a male name on those rags …Doesn’t Work.

    What I’m more surprised about is that it took three authors to write stuff under a single pen name.

  6. @ OldYeoman

    Problem is that “passing the feminist author equivalent of the Turing Test” is a low bar.

    A slug pissed on beer spilt on the patio at a BBQ could do the same (even after been stood on).

  7. Don’t think this ploy is all that rare for marketing purposes. The psychological thriller writer “S.K. Tremayne” was originally marketed as a woman. Same author as “Tom Knox”, whose name appeared on macho religious-archaeological thrillers during the time of the Dan Brown fad. When psychological thrillers by the likes of Paula “Girl On The Train” Hawkins started topping the charts, it was felt a change of genre required a change of pen-name and a more feminine identity would be more conducive to sales. Turned out to be a successful approach – “The Ice Twins” topped the Sunday Times best-selling novel list. The actual author is the travel journalist Sean Thomas, son of the more high-brow D.M. Thomas, but who does write literary fiction under his own name. Strangely he was completely open with the media about the subterfuge, yet the publicity at the time stuck to the script of S.K. Tremayne being female.

  8. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    An author called Paula?

    I think women need to stop appropriating male names. Paula, Joanna, Andrea, all of them need to be cancelled for appropriation.

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