From Sexy To Saintly – The Transfiguration of Shoshanna Evers


Transfiguration

The Transfiguration. Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (Raphael)

By Elizabeth Shore

So, let’s say you’re a New York Times and USA Today bestselling erotic romance author. You have thousands of followers on Twitter, thousands of likes on Facebook, and have been called “One of the most popular authors in romance” by Amazon. Let’s also say that you and your agent are nearly done negotiating a well-paying, six-book publishing contract with a major publisher with little else to do but sign on the dotted line. Would you:

  1. Work like your ass is on fire to keep the momentum going and continue building your brand; OR
  2. Change your name, change your brand, drop your agent, give up your book deal, and let everyone know that from now on you’re going to be writing for the glory of God.

People who advise others on ways to further their professional livelihoods would tell you right quick that option 2 is what they call CAREER SUICIDE. An honest-to-goodness career buster. Or just a plain ol bat-sh*t crazy thing to do. But none of that matters to (former) erotic romance author Shoshanna Evers. As she let all her fans and followers know on November 12th, she’s choosing option 2.

Shoshanna Evers goes back a few years with LadySmut. Back in 2013 Madeleine Iva featured her in an interview that stemmed from her Enslaved trilogy and included comments on her controversial Held Captive by the Cavemen short novella, and her approach to her stories in general. But before New York Girl Shoshanna took up residence in northern Idaho, she was a member of the Hudson Valley RWA local chapter (still my local chapter) where I first met her several years ago. That’s why, when Shoshanna made her big announcement on her future career plans, I was keenly interesed in writing about it.

She blogs about what she’s going to do, and you can read all about it here. But the Cliff Notes version is this: after the Sandy Hook shooting Shoshanna turned to the bible for answers. While reading it she came to believe – which, she says, was admittedly difficult for a Jewish girl – that Jesus is the Messiah she’d been waiting for. After much reflective soul searching she realized that she’s no longer excited to write erotic romance and is going to change direction to focus on Christian inspirational. Her name, too, will be Shoshanna Gabriel instead of Shoshanna Evers so as not to confuse her readers. Probably a smart move there.

When I emailed Shoshanna to let her know I was going to be writing about her transformation and whether she wanted to add any comments, she wrote, “My word for this year is “new” –  as in new start, new name, new books, new agent, new publisher, new website, new career path, and new faith. And new babies, too! TWINS!” Happy news indeed as she and her DH are expecting twins from a Mumbai, India surrogate. The due date is June 28th.

Admittedly, not all of Shoshanna’s readers are as excited about her new direction as she is. On her Twitter feed she noted that since her announcement she’s had a lot of “unlikes.” Yet she remains steadfast in her belief that making the change from sexy to sweet is what she’s meant to do. It’s a risky move. She may have a challenge building her credibility. Will readers of Christian inspirational buy into Shoshanna’s change or will they approach it with a more-than-healthy dose of skepicism? After all, how would this author, writer of (among others) The Man Who Holds The Whip and Hollywood Spank and editor of Hot to Write Hot Sex know anything about the Christian inspirational market and what those readers want? But as Shoshanna states on her blog, “God opens windows whenever he closes a door.” She genuinely feels that her new direction is where she’s meant to go.

What do you think? Comments welcome.  And feel free to keep up with Shoshanna’s new direction via the links below.

 Meet Shoshanna Gabriel… New WEBSITE, new NAME! ShoshannaGabriel.com
****From “Sexily” to “Faithfully” – leaving erotica for inspirational romance.
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10 Comments

  • Lisabet Sarai
    January 13, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I respect Shoshanna for following her heart and her soul. None of us can judge the path chosen by someone else.

  • elfahearn
    January 13, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Wow, our Shoshanna sure is taking a risk, but she’s a wonderful writer and she just might be able to pull this one off. Fingers crossed.

  • madeline iva
    January 13, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I’ve met her and I will say this: she is one of the sweetest people in the romance biz in person — certainly in that respect she won’t have a problem matching her personality to her new genre.

    But I have to say my eyes are simply crossing at such a radical change. However, there can be an addiction to the new. A high that comes with plunging off the cliff. Also, sometimes when you’re hurting and the world seems particularly grim, sometimes you get some of that feel-good-jesus juice in you, and you’re all like: How can I get me some more of that?

    Meanwhile – has anyone read her ginger-figging story at Ellora’s Cave? Oh. My. It’s the first story I ever read by her. Here’s a link:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HC36JF8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00HC36JF8&linkCode=as2&tag=ladysmcom-20&linkId=3QKMCYL5CEUBLMDN“>Ginger Snap (Christmas Encounters)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=ladysmcom-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00HC36JF8&quot; width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;

  • Liz Everly
    January 13, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I admire her so much for doing this. It’s hard to write if your heart isn’t in it. And why bother? It’s a tough business and if your passion isn’t there, what’s the point? The blog post said it was already showing up in some of her erotic romance writing. She obviously has a huge following and is taking quite a risk. If her inspirational writing doesn’t get too preachy, she might just do fine. Her core message is the same: romance, love, relationships, right? Okay, maybe I’m stretching it? I dunno. I will be watching. 🙂

  • Alexa Day
    January 14, 2016 at 12:38 am

    I met Shoshanna at Romanticon and have followed her on social media for some time. She has always struck me as more tenacious than sweet — I’ve seen her take a public stand on the events in Ferguson with the full, equally public recognition that she would lose followers. She stands by her convictions, and I admire that about her. I think she’ll do quite well, as tenacious people and savvy businesswomen often do.

    I know how it feels to work at something that pays quite well but doesn’t make you happy; my not-brief-enough brush with life at a large law firm taught me that pretty quickly. I love seeing people change course to pursue a path that’s more meaningful to them, and I’m so, so excited to see where this leads Shoshanna. I think she has what it takes to be successful wherever she lands. It’s a joy to watch people like that at work.

  • Laura
    January 15, 2016 at 3:05 am

    i had suspected this was coming for a while…there are lots of romance novels in church libraries. she is sweet enough to pull this off. i wish her well. will she still be accepting royalties from her erotic work? just a thought.

    • Madeline Iva
      January 15, 2016 at 10:48 am

      This is where I make a gratuitous snarky comment and say that since her early stuff was with Ellora’s Cave she may not ever see those royalties whether she wants them or not.

  • TymberDalton
    January 15, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I wish her well and hope she does well. Not a choice I’d make, but as a writer I understand needing to write what feeds your soul, however it does that. If this is right for her, more power to her.

  • Sue Barr
    January 15, 2016 at 10:12 am

    The simple definition for conversion is: a substitution of one component for another so as to effect a change. Shoshanna has absolutely done this and I am so happy for her. I was not as prolific an erotic author (under a pen name) as Shoshanna, but in November of 2014 I made the same decision. Some people will doubt your choices and wonder if it’s a true change. Are you just riding another wave? Only time will tell, but I know the path Shoshanna and I chose makes our hearts glad.

    • Madeline Iva
      January 15, 2016 at 10:54 am

      I hope you contact her Sue, if you aren’t in touch with her already. How many other people can relate to her exact situation and understand what she’s going through? I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s interested in making new romance friends.

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