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Lesley Pearse -From Accidental Bunny Girl to Best Selling Author

Article by Fabafterfifty

Author Lesley Pearse’s own life story almost reads like a novel in itself!  Her success as a novelist came in her 50s, showing that reinvention is always possible- especially when you are following your dream!  Lesley has sold more than 4 million copies of her books to date.

What was life like as a Bunny Girl?

I hadn’t planned on becoming a Bunny Girl. It was purely accidental! I was sharing a flat in London with some other girls- one had seen an ad and was going for an audition at the Playboy Club- she asked me to go along to lend some moral support. I did.  She didn’t get the job – I did! Not something my friend was too happy about at the time, but we got over it and we’re still friends!

Life as a Bunny Girl was all fairly innocent in those days. But being one gave me a tremendous confidence boost. It wasn’t as glamourous as people think. It was about the costumes, the make-up, the ears!! We were picked for our big boobs, long legs and accents- we had to be well spoken.  The set up was very vigilant – we weren’t allowed to associate with the men- they were all over 35 (seemed old to me then!) and I was living through the hippy years- much preferred younger men with long hair.

Did your experience as a Bunny Girl teach you anything?

It gave me confidence. After I left I went on to do promotion work – demonstrating melon ballers amongst other things-  I had always lacked confidence ( I had even lived in an orphanage before my father remarried) but now (thanks to my legs) I had an opportunity to shine. That confidence has stayed with me – I can stand up and talk in front of a group  for hours- although my legs are now better kept in tights!

My stepmother always told me to’ Dare to be Different!’ It was excellent advice

How did you come to be a writer?

I didn’t really do anything serious with my life until I was 40 I was quite happy being a mum. I had thought about writing, but there’s a huge difference between thinking and doing!! – I set myself 3 goals- to pass my driving test, set up a business and get something published.  3 months after turning 40 I set up a gift shop. My first short story was published in My Weekly.

Storytelling was in my blood. But it was very much telling stories as opposed to writing. I had always had a vivid imagination-  walking to school as a child I used to imagine myself rushing into burning houses  to rescue people or finding treasures in attics- I thought everyone else did too!

I always loved to read and find a book that could really take you out of yourself. I felt I knew what Cornwall was like just by reading Daphne Du Maurier’s books. I cannot imagine a life without books.

I was running my shop during the day and writing at night. I wrote 3 books before finding a publisher and I was 48 when my first book was accepted. My third marriage failed when I was 50 as did my business. I wrote my way out of trouble!
I am always coming up with ideas for books and can’t wait to start the next one! I’m lucky that I ‘m not tied in to one genre- I can write a thriller one day and my next book can be a romantic novel.

What about your latest book?

My latest book Belle, is about a girl who, through a twist of fate, ends up as a courtesan in New Orleans before finding her way back home. She is the character most like me that I have written about in as much as she is a fighter! So much so that I had to reassure a friend that the courtesan element is NOT based on my personal experience! I do love the character and the story- so much so that I have just finished writing a sequel- not something I normally do.

What’s next?

My next book will be a thriller. I ‘m also planning to spend time with my family and friends and enjoy my garden.  In fact if I had the chance to start all over I would have loved to have been a gardener

Many thanks to Lesley for taking the time to talk to Fabafterfifty.  I can’t wait to read ‘Belle’ – if she’s as interesting as the author who created her I won’t be able to put the book down!


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  1. Dez Robinson

    August 16, 2011

    I have read nearly all of lesley pearse books and enjoyed them emensley the first one i read was tara i could not put it down it really touch me to see a girl so brave to take on villains to save the love of her life harry. i have read a few more and they always got me gripped read read belle could not put it down cant wait for the follow up to be published to see what happens next in belles life.

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