Mystery Revealed: Author Casper Silk Unmasks!

The time has come to reveal the true identity of Hotel Noir’s author. Enjoy this guest post by the “shape-shifting” Germaine Shames.

Silk and Subterfuge…

For the past several years I have been dancing with a shady male alter ego, channeling his dark visions and lofty ideals into novels, and hiding my double identity from all but a few close friends. In short, dear reader, I am the mind and soul behind the mysterious Casper Silk, author of Hotel Noir.

How did Casper Silk come into being? At the end of the ‘90s my brother, author Laurence Shames, encouraged me to write a novel set in a hotel—sound advice, given my background as a roving junior exec for Hilton International. A first draft of Hotel Noir began innocently, even playfully, but soon took an ominous turn. Alongside the fussy frivolity of resort living spawned a Doomsday cult worshipping my sainted namesake, Germaine.

From that point on, the novel ceased to resemble anything I had written in the past. Though literary, it leaned toward genre; though dealing with intimate and emotional themes, the writing had a bracing “masculinity” about it.

My then publisher, McAdam/Cage, had first option on Hotel Noir. An editor there rejected the book, saying that he had expected a female protagonist and implying that I had breached some unwritten literary rule of gender jurisdiction.

A decade would pass before the novel was finally published.wave and tropical beach

Then things got interesting. Critics began comparing Casper Silk to such immortals as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Graham Greene, P.D. James “on steroids,” Thomas Mann and J. G. Ballard. These references imbued Hotel Noir’s reviews with a sort of reverence. No one questioned Silk’s gender. My directly authored works, in contrast, though consistently well reviewed, have never drawn comparisons to male authors of renown—or to any male author, for that matter.

It feels so good to be Casper Silk, in fact, that I hesitate to unmask. For the first time since beginning to write nearly three decades ago, I feel fully valued as an author.

I don’t profess to understand why gender apartheid persists in the 21st century. That it does is disheartening. For as long as it does, however, pseudonymous doubles like Casper Silk will find a way into the literary mainstream through some crafty combination of talent and subterfuge.

I, Germaine Shames, look forward to the day when talent will be enough.

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Hotel Noir can be purchased at Pale Fire Press and worldwide at most major online book retailers.

5 Responses to Mystery Revealed: Author Casper Silk Unmasks!

  1. Terrel July 3, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Germaine,

    For the hell of it, checked you out tonight. I’m delighted to learn that you are doing remarkably well.

    Curious about your success under the C.S. pseudonym, and might understand it if I read the stories. I won’t for lack of time. My offhand guess is that when writing under a male pseudonym you adopted a somewhat more male perspective, drawn from prior lives as a guy (reflected in your attraction to fems). It has nothing whatsoever to do with “gender bias” on the part of readers, except in this sense–

    After reading so many awful, liberal-biased, feminist stories and books by females, I, like other male readers with 3-digit I.Q.s get tired of the female perspective, and therefore do not read books by “female” authors. (For the same kind of reason, I don’t read the NY Times, or Time Magazine, or watch CNN or the chick channels. There’s a lot of material out there, and we all need to define selection criteria.)

    In this context, it is worth noting that for several years J.K. Rowling was a favorite author of mine. Then she blew the Harry Potter finale in book 7, restoring my distrust in the ability of female writers to grasp any metaphysical sense of reality.

    Alas.

    BTW, my latest book is self-published, and it sucks.

    Be well.
    Terrel

    • Pale Fire Press July 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      Thanks, old friend. Casper Silk and his many incarnations are thriving. All best wishes.

  2. Mallory Anne-Marie Forbes/Mallory Heart Reviews January 24, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Even though “gender apartheid” should NOT exist, it does; and you certainly have an illustrious background from the 19th and 18th centuries in women authors using masculine nom de plumes. I myself, unpublished author that I am, use two male authorial pseudonyms. Why not? None of us surely are “all” masculine or “all” feminine, do we not all possess both anima and animus?:)

    • Pale Fire Press January 24, 2013 at 11:55 am #

      Thank you for bringing a Jungian perspective to this question, Mallory aka Archie, and all the best in your writing career!

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