Darby York... or is it?

Out of the Closet for a Change of Pace

I came out of the closet in September to members of my e-mail newsletter list. Yes, semi-sweet contemporary author, little old me, is Darby York of Turquoise Morning Press Dirty Bits fame!

I wanted to see if I could do it—write an erotic romance. To do so, I needed a new persona, someone who could help me release the old inhibitions drummed in me as a child of Depression-era parents. So I created Darby. I’ve been told she’s a “facet” of my personality.

I went to the Internet to try to figure out what that might mean. From an article about the “Big 5” Aspects of Personality, I learned that five personality traits have subordinate personality traits (facets) within them. For example, the “agreeableness” trait has the facets of “trust,” “morality,” “altruism,” “cooperation,” “modesty,” and “sympathy.”


All I know is that I enjoyed letting out this new facet of my personality. I’m not sure what the facet is—imagination, fantasy, playfulness . . . whatever.

For my first Dirty Bits short story, The Bridegroom, I selected a Medieval England setting. The middle ages are like a fantasy, but real. I wanted to depict the harshness of the time and the lack of control for women, who required courage just to meet their daily challenges. Hey, that’s like us today, don’t you think?

I also knew my writing “voice” changed when I write a “Medieval.” This time I used a technique made popular by author Phillipa Gregory: first person, present tense. It gives the story immediacy.

In The Bridegroom and The Betrothed, the heroines are forced to marry because they are pawns in their family’s economic game-playing. I’m working on The Troubadour where the heroine responds differently from her “sisters” in the first two stories. I’m sure she will also have a HEA ending too, but she’s going to make different choices getting there.

So, did I succeed in writing erotic romances? The stories are hot for me, but maybe not hot-hot or sizzling. I like what a reader said about them:

Darby York’s short stories are very sensual and erotic with love scenes depicted in such a way that give space to the imagination to do the rest.

Explore the various facets of your personality sometime. You might enjoy the outcome!

Jan Scarbrough writing as Darby York

The Bridegroom
Medieval life is hard for everyone, especially for noble women forced to marry their enemies. Yet even then women longed for love and fulfillment. Can a reluctant bride find true happiness in an arranged marriage?

The Betrothed
Marriage based on love is foreign to the medieval mind. Yet consent must be freely given for a marriage to be valid. Can a reluctant bride dare refuse her betrothed without suffering the consequences?

NOTE from Madison:
I knew Jan was Darby eons ago, but it was not my secret to tell. Congratulations on 'coming out of the erotic closet', Jan.  :)
Both of Darby's 'Dirty Bits' are bestsellers at All Romance e-books.


  1. Hi Jan, er, Darby! Since you are my writing buddy, I of course knew about Darby, too. I wonder if you feel more free even now, coming out of the closet? I'm glad you've found a "voice" for your inner playful facet. :) I love your Medieval erotic stories, they are just enough and perfectly written!

  2. Nice post. It's a big step to come out of the closet and try on a new voice. I hope your new books as Darby are super successful!

  3. I'm glad you came out of the closet!

  4. Congrats on coming out of the closet Darby! Both stories sound perfect, sorry i haven't read them yet but i'd love to. When will the third be out?? Great post as well.

  5. Wow, Jan!!! This is a different you but I love it! I just went and read the excerpts at ARe for both books....and I can't decide which one I like better. Guess I will have to get both of them!

    BTW, Jan....I knew you were Darby for a while now too. *wink* Just waited for you to gain some courage and announce it yourself.

    Well done!