Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent, an author living in Virginia with a beautiful family and quite a few pets. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. As Gayle Leeson, I write the Down South Cafe mystery series, the Ghostly Fashionista mystery series, and the Kinsey Falls women's fiction series.
I started out writing for small presses. While doing that, I decided that if I was going to write and promote, why should I give part of my money to someone else? So I started my own publishing company called Grace Abraham Publishing.
When I formed Grace Abraham Publishing, I thought I knew just about everything there was to know about book marketing. As the old saying goes, I had another think coming. Not only was this whole marketing and promotion thing more intense than I'd originally thought, it was constantly changing. I also found that my some of my authors--I had a nonfiction and a mystery fiction line under the imprint Dark & Stormies--either didn't know how to promote themselves and their books or they didn't want to. I was spending most of my time designing web pages, preparing press releases, and setting up events instead of writing. So I shut down Grace Abraham...for the most part. (More on that in a sec.)
After closing the doors to Grace Abraham Publishing, I was more determined than ever to become published by one of the Big Six (at that time, there still were six major publishing houses). So I began querying agents. I knew so much more by this time than I had when I was publishing with small presses. Now, not only was I a published author, I truly understood the importance of marketing and the impression a solid marketing plan would have on an agent. I was even able to show them where the Dark & Stormies line had been featured in Woman's Day magazine's Halloween giveaway issue.
That said, I landed my first agent. She was wonderful, and she managed to get me through the door at NAL with the embroidery series. So I write cozy mystery series for NAL/Penguin Random House under the pseudonyms Amanda Lee (the embroidery series) and Gayle Leeson (the Down South Cafe series). Now a hybrid author, I'm both traditionally published and self-published under the Grace Abraham name.
I have so many pen names now that my new motto is, "An author by any other name might still be me."
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