People always ask, “Why do you write under so many names? Who are you?”

I’m all of them!

My birth name is Victoria Trautman, daughter of Mary Elizabeth Newton and Lowell Clare Trautman. My grandmother’s maiden name was Baxter, a name our family had encouraged my brother to call his daughter. When he didn’t, I took Baxter as my middle name.

A friend in the book selling business told me men rarely buy a book written by a woman so when I was ready to publish Spirit of the Valley I used my androgynous middle name.

After previewing my  first novel, Bleeding Out, a couple friends suggested it would be disturbing to fans of the bucolic Spirit, and that I might consider publishing it under another name. I was fond of Baxter by then but honestly can’t remember why I chose my father’s middle name for a lesbian mystery series.

The River Within, not a genteel natural history, nor a gory lesbian crime story, is by Baxter Clare Trautman, a synthesis of all my writing personalities. I think this will be my last incarnation…


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