Why the Pen Name?



Regular readers of the many great books published by BSB are unfamiliar with the name Lesley Gowan. To tell you the truth, I am too, and I’m Lesley Gowan! But Leslie is a pen name, brand new for the publication of  The Collectors, which is out February 14. Let me explain a little about how this came about and why I’ve chosen to use a pen name for this novel.

Under my real name I have published a mystery novel with BSB (and an earlier mystery with another publisher) and plan to write more in that and who knows what other genres. I’m no less proud of , but it doesn’t take reading much past the first few pages of the novel to see it is clearly, most decidedly, most wickedly, erotica. No holds barred erotica. I like to think it’s also a very good story with some well-drawn characters, but let’s face it. When you write a book about one woman sexually dominating another, the talk isn’t concentrated on story arc, point of view, pace or any other writerly things. It’s about sex. Unconventional sex. For whatever reason, when I sat down to write an erotic novel, this is the story that came out, and when all is said and done, I think it may be some of the best writing I’ve done.

But. If I were making my living solely by my writing, or if I worked in any kind of job where my name never appeared on the internet, I wouldn’t have any qualms publishing The Collectors under my real name. In fact, I’m going to miss being directly associated with it. But, unfortunately, my career is such that current and potential clients often look me up online to either contact me or find out a little about me. I’m totally comfortable with them knowing I’m a writer of lesbian mysteries. But I don’t completely trust that they won’t blanch to find out I’ve also written a BDSM novel. Times are tough and a girl’s gotta eat. Lesley Gowan won’t miss any meals by people knowing what kind of book she’s written.

Earlier in my writing career I wrote some erotic short stories under the name Claire Martin, a couple of which were published in the Erotic Interludes series by BSB. I haven’t a clue why I didn’t use that name again. Frankly, it just slipped my mind. So now I have another identity to add to my own and the closet is getting a little crowded.

For those of you who may blanch yourselves at the idea of a BDSM novel, I encourage you to pick up The Collectors despite your doubts. I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with a number of very respected writers who have done me the favor of reading my manuscript before it went to press. They all have commented that even though the sex might not be the kind they practice, it was “inflaming,” to use one poet’s word. And the story is engaging. There’s actually stuff going on between the sex scenes! Even my partner, who was not thrilled that this book was going out in the world, loves the story and knows it has an audience. I hope you’ll be among the readership and that you’ll let me know what you think. I’ll be setting up a Facebook page for Lesley, as well as placing her email address in the biography section of the book. Let her (me!) know what you think.

And for those of you who think you’ve guessed my identity, please leave your guesses in the Comments section. I’ll contact the winners privately.

9 Responses to “Why the Pen Name?”

  1. 1 Jemma February 10, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    Looking forward to reading it. I have no clue what your other books are though.
    It’s pretty cool that it comes out on Valentine’s day. 😀


  2. 3 Cameron February 10, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Great read, Leslie! Remember,I’ll be waiting when you return from your European tour!


  3. 4 Jo February 10, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    I loved The Collectors. I completely lost track of time when I was reading it and ended up reading it in one go.

    As to your real name – a complete guess at Anne Laughlin – but whoever you are you did a great job with The Collectors and I hope there will be more books!


  4. 5 Glo February 10, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    I think this is another facet of the wonderful writer Ann Laughlin


  5. 6 Mary February 10, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Hey Anne. Loved the Collectors. See you in PS.


  6. 7 Carol P. February 10, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    I will definately have to get this one to read.
    “Inflaming” huh?

    I will let you know what I think.


  7. 8 Sandy February 11, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    The Collectors is an incredible book, sexy, engaging and utterly compelling. I only wish it was longer. Thanks Lesley for writing this book and being brave enough to have it published. More, more, more!


  8. 9 djacksonleigh February 14, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Anne, I have to agree with you about the story. Often, when I really like a book as a writer and an incurable romantic, I’ll go back and bookmark the emotionally important scenes to reread later. I never expected to be doing that with a book on with this subject matter. But the moment of realization for your dom was wonderfully crafted and I found myself marking that and several other scenes.

    It’s a very well written, compelling book, ladies. Don’t let the BDSM scare you off.


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