Writing a double life

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My friend Laurie Cosbey, who’s working on a psychological thriller, spread the word about a storied novelist’s double life as a writer. Joyce Carol Oates has a well-known literary bibliography, including her more-than-autobiographical novel The Falls, based on Oates’ formative years in the Niagara Falls area of Western New York.

But Laurie told our manuscript response group that Oates has got two other outlets for her creativity.

She is a bestselling literary writer, but she also writes genre fiction under a pseudonym Rosamond Smith. She says her genre work is all about doubles. I think that’s something all writers are interested in, because we seem to be living double lives, one in our work and one in the world. She also writes suspense novels under the name Lauren Kelly.

There’s even more to Oates. She’s a prolific essayist, too.

In her book of essays, The Faith of a Writer, she’s interviewed about her 738-page epic Blonde: based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Oates won the National Book Award at age 32, one of the youngest winners ever for a novel.

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