Jack wrote this in March, 2006:
Sometimes trying to piece together our lives can be quite a chore. Peaceful Warrior posted something on one of the groups about the way his name has been a problem to him, got me thinking about it.
I was given a name at birth that nobody since was able to pronounce. They followed that with another one nobody’d ever heard of. So when I exited that berg at the age of 15 or so, I left those two names behind and became Jack for most purposes.
But as a struggling young writer in the late ’60s I found myself needing yet another handle…. I was writing for the hairy chested men magazines… Men, For Men Only, a genre of magazines that vanished by the mid-1970s.
They usually had a picture on the cover of a Marine with a machete struggling with python wrapped around a half-naked woman in some jungle. That sort of thing.
Well, fact was, in those days I thought there was half-a-chance I’d want to be president, or try to get a decent job sometime. Didn’t want stories like, Viet-Cong Seductress, or The Half-Million Dollar Sex Salon The Texas Rangers Can’t Find following old Jack around the remainder of his life.
Adopted the pseudonym, Frank C. Riley, which worked well enough.
Then the market collapsed for hairy chested men stories. Best paying hack-writer market left was something called ‘Confession‘ mags, which must have been read by the mothers of Romance Novel readers of today. I figured, what the hell.
Popped out, I Was An Outlaw Motorcycle Mama, sent it off, got a nice letter back telling me there was a middling amount of what they read they liked, but that I needed to work on my female perspective a bit. Eventually they published it, but they never bought another, though I tried. But unless I’m mistaken, Motorcycle Mama was the only time I ever succeeded in passing myself off as a woman. Only time I really ever tried, during that confessions market thing.
Amazing the things a man will do for money.