My daughter’s eleventh birthday was right around the corner and I needed to come up with a present. Being someone who grew up loving to read and having instilled the same habit in Amber, I decided to give her a book. Really a no-brainer, right? I even knew that she enjoyed books by Judy Blume so I picked up one at the local bookstore.
It was a winner! Amber loved it so much that she then passed it on to her mother to read. That’s when the you-know-what hit the fan, and I ended up spending a protracted length of time in the dog house.
“What are you doing giving my daughter (I noticed immediately that Amber was no longer our daughter) such a book?”
“What do you mean?” I replied as I started to retreat to a corner of the room just in case I needed to defend myself from a full-frontal attack. “She’s one of Amber’s favorite authors. What’s wrong with it?”
“Only that it’s filled with sexual scenes that include oral sex and masturbation,” Ann replied. “Now I’ve got to explain all that to her. I was hoping we could wait just a little longer.”
Turns out that Judy Blume writes fiction for kids, young adults, and adults all under Judy Blume. That’s when I decided I had to do whatever I could to keep other fathers out of the same kind of trouble. So, my fiction appropriate for kids and young adults is written under the name of W. Bradford Swift, and my adult fiction, a few of which have adult themes (like FreeForm: New Birth), are written as Orrin Jason Bradford. (Also, check out this blog post from 2011.)
And yes, writing under two names has presented a whole host of headaches. Looking back now, I’m not sure it was the best solution. At the same time, being a Gemini, I do tend to have a bit of a split personality, and for sure I don’t want to get any other innocent father into the trouble I faced.