Introducing Anna Leigh Keaton – Queen of Smut

Someone at my local Romance Writers of America chapter in Vancouver, BC called me that not so long ago.
Actually, I stood up and defended the title when someone tried to claim it out from under me!

I’m Anna Leigh Keaton, and I’m a writer.

Sounds like I should be standing up in front of a group attending a 12-step program. *grin* Sometimes I think I belong in one… I write just about everything involving romance. Mainstream Romance, Erotic Romance, Erotica.

But I digress. I’m not so good at talking about myself, mostly because I think “who cares?” That’s why I write books. The characters are way more interesting than my life, at least to me. So I’m going to prattle for a while, and you can take what you like, and leave the rest. I also tend to talk too much when I’m the subject….

Anna Leigh Keaton was born Leanne Karella (and still uses that name now and again when she’s not in “writer” mode) in Fairbanks, Alaska the youngest of 10 kids, raised on a homestead outside of town on a road aptly named Deepfreeze.

I grew up there, survived into adulthood (though only barely because I had four big brothers who loved to torture me), married, had a daughter, and divorced.

Then I discovered this awesome thing called the Internet, where I met the love of my life. He lived in Ontario, Canada, wayyy on the other side of the universe (or so it felt) and in a different country. I wound up marrying him two years later and moving to the other side of the universe, into a strange land with tall buildings, humidity, lake effect snow, and a zillion people!

In Fairbanks, population about 35,000, the tallest building back then was a hotel with I believe twelve floors, and you didn’t go grocery shopping without bumping into either family or someone you knew.
Now I lived on the 12th floor of a 20-floor high rise, I didn’t know anyone but hubby and his new, very small, family, and I couldn’t work!—Immigration and all that.

It took me a while to settle in to being a stay-at-home mother and housewife. Never before (or since) has my house been cleaner or had more gourmet meals cooked in it. (Boredom) And then I went back to my first love—writing.

I’d written stories ever since junior high—mostly romances about crushes I had (They were more G-rated back then.) I gave it up when marriage (the first one) and struggling to make ends meet had taken over my life. Now, though, with no worries of working outside the home, I had time on my hands, and the little voices were back with a vengeance.

I knew I’d married the right guy the second time around when he didn’t offer to delivery me to the loony bin when I told him about the little voices—the little play actors that ran scenes in my head and then demanded I write those scenes down, or they’d never shut up and move on to the next scene.
So began my new career. For several years, when asked what I did for a living, I still claimed to be a housewife. Then after moving to the West Coast, finding a place I love that’s just a hop across from Washington state—sorry everyone who loves the Toronto area, it’s sooooo not for me!—I got published.

Eventually (after a couple more years) I started claiming my career for real. Most of the time I now proudly say, “I’m a romance author,” when asked. But depending on the company, sometimes I say, “I write erotic romance.” That’s the one I use when driving across the border when a border guard is hassling me about crossing the border on a Tuesday morning as if I should be at work. Shuts them up every time!

And yeah, the best part of my job? I can get up and leave the house, run down to Washington for lunch, a manicure, and a little shopping on a whim, or take a lovely vacation with my daughter and/or hubby and not worry about when I have to be home. I can do my job from anywhere as long as I lug along my laptop.

My other job, the one I consider my “day” job is just as lenient, because it’s all done on the computer. I’m
the Managing Editor at Cobblestone Press, LLC http://www.cobblestone-press.com, publisher of sensual and erotic romance.

I fell into that job by chance, and I’m sure glad I did because, you see, even though I’ve been published for six years, there’s no way to survive on it…yet. Oh, I still have hopes that one day my ship will come in and I’ll strike it rich—note to self to buy lottery ticket—but until then, a paying job definitely helps.

The second love of my life after writing (We’re not talking people anymore, because that’s been established.) is traveling. It doesn’t usually matter where I’m going, as long as I’m going. Summers and spring break are travel times for my daughter and me, and hubby takes time off in the fall.

Two summers ago, my daughter Lori and I took a six-week road trip from Washington State as far east as Wisconsin, and as far south as Las Vegas. We just returned two days ago from a twelve-day trip down the west coast from here to Northern California and the Redwood Forest. This coming summer is a proposed (because who knows exactly how long at this point) seven-week road trip all the way to Washington DC and back. Hubby likes the simpler trips, and we’ve gone to Banff and Jasper National Parks in the Canadian Rockies a couple of times, and we’ve spent a few lovely long weekends on Vancouver Island.

Now that you know my life in a rather large nutshell, I’ll mention my writing. All of my books are electronically published. My publishers are Carina Press, Cobblestone Press, and I have one short story written under my maiden name of Leanne Karella at Wild Rose Press. I used to write under the name Leanne, but she’s dying slowly of a terminal pseudonym disease, because for some reason Anna Leigh seems to sell more books.

I have a co-author I work with often. Her name is Madison Layle, and she’s an amazing writer in her own right. We tend to experiment with the naughtier subjects of the erotic romance genre, throwing in a big dose of things like BDSM, ménage, and such.

I believe that’s all for now, I’ll probably think of something clever or witty to say once I’ve sent this off, some earth-shattering piece of information everyone should know about me, but oh well, that’ll have to wait for later. If I’m smart, I’ll jot it down on the handy-dandy notepad I keep next to my computer, but I probably won’t. *grin*

You can find me here twice a month….

And then there’s http://www.AnnaLeighKeaton.com where all my books are stored with excerpts and all the pretty covers. And my co-author and I have a blog at http://www.LayleKeaton.com.

Hope to see you around!

~Anna Leigh

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3 responses to “Introducing Anna Leigh Keaton – Queen of Smut

  1. The Queen of Smut and the Library Goddess…I had no idea I’d be in such regal company! Your road trips sound grand. What a lovely experience to share with your daughter.

  2. Hello Anna,
    My last book was also published by Wild Rose Press. I came from the area across Lake Ontario so I’m well acquainted with “lake effect snow” — that’s one of the reasons left there 30 years ago! I can’t wait to read what you’ve got to say about the e-publishing world and erotica.
    Smut is in the mind of the beholder…. and let’s hope it stays that way. Otherwise someone might get arrested!

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