Why do we use them? I write under DA Wallace for New Concepts Publishing, Debbie Wallace with Whiskey Creek Press and Tory Richards with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. You can probably guess what Tory writes:)
I don't use a pen name because I'm ashamed of what I write. Let's face it, this day and age a few steamy sex scenes are in just about every romance novel. The difference in writing a torrid romance is that you throw in a couple "C" words. Sex sells and the romance readers of today don't always want the softer side of sex.
The reason for the pen name, from my stand point, is to protect me from any unpleasant situations that might arise at work. You see, most of us have full time jobs on top of writing. It's the real world. It takes time to build relationships with your readers but in the mean time, we still have to pay the bills and eat. I like eating most of all:)
I work for a huge family oriented company. I doubt they'd like to find out one of their employees is writing smut. Tasteful smut, though. My stories have great plots and suspense and aren't just sex with no meaning. After all, they're romance novels. Besides, writing is a private side of me that is my business and no one else. People at work know I write, some have read my books, but no one there knows my pen name.
My first novel, "IT'S ALL IN THE JEANS", under Tory Richards comes out in February. And I was just offered a contract for a new book, "WICKED DESIRE" this past weekend! I hope you won't let the fact that they're a little more spicy than the others keep you from reading them.