According to Taylor University professor Dennis E. Hensley, “With today’s technology, if you live long enough, you can get famous twice for the same thing.” Dr. Hensley, a resident of Fort Wayne, is chairman of the Department of Professional Writing at Taylor and the author of 60 books.
“Back in the mid-1980s I coauthored a series of three mystery-romance novels with Holly G. Miller under our pen name of Leslie Holden,” recalls Hensley. “The books were published by Harvest House, and they stayed in print for about five years. Last spring, my current publisher, Whitaker House, approached me with the idea of spending the summer editing, revising, and reformatting those three original novels so they could be re-released this year as downloadable ebooks for Nook and Kindle readers. My literary agent arranged the deal, I did the work, and now the books are set for publication, one per month, in October, November, and December.”
The books will be given all new covers, and this time around they will carry the authors’ real names instead of the pen name. As a promotional effort to introduce new readers to this series, the first novel, The Legacy of Lillian Parker, will be offered free to the public for two months. The subsequent two novels in the series, The Compton Connection and The Caribbean Conspiracy, will be sold as $3.95 ebook downloads. Hensley’s latest novel for Whitaker House, titled Pseudonym, will be released in paperback and ebook formats in January.
“What’s funny is that when Holly and I wrote these novels in 1986, they were contemporary releases,” notes Dr. Hensley. “However, now they are being labeled “historical mystery-adventure novels” because the plots are 30 years old. Set in their context, the stories are still intriguing and fun reading. I never imagined they would have a second life 25 years after they went out of print, all because of advancements in publishing technology.”
Hensley said that at the time he and Miller wrote the novels, they both had careers they did not want to be confused with their fiction careers. That is why they chose to write under the pen name of Leslie Holden. Holden was a combination of the first three letters of each of their first names, and Leslie could have been a name for a man or a woman. Says Dr. Hensley, “The code was, it was less of a lie if we admitted we were Hol and Den.” At the time, Miller was senior editor of The Saturday Evening Post and Hensley was the author of a series of best-selling business books and a highly visible motivational speaker nationwide. In later years they wrote a suspense-thriller novel, The Gift, under their real names, as well as coauthored three nonfiction books.