Monday, April 22, 2013

Interview with Erotic Author Leslie Sanders!

Leslie Sanders
Erotic Romance

     Welcome to our meeting with Leslie! Be careful as we roam around the area here; don't trip on the car parts or broken bikes. It appears to be almost a collapsed city or post-apocalyptic wasteland of battered buildings. We're sure, at one time, this city bustled with people but now it's in ruins. There's Leslie - at what used to be a park over there. *waving* Wait for us, we're on our way!

Naughty Reader’s:  Hi Leslie! Thank you for meeting with us. Our readers are anxious to know how this setting fits with the books. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Leslie Lee:  I'm glad so many of you stopped in! Be sure to leave a comment to be included in my contest at the end. I'm giving away e-books to TWO commenters. Now, about me..not only am I an erotic romance writer, I am a home health aide and a certified medical assistance. I live in Queen Creek, Arizona, with my husband and three daughters. And I enjoy reading, writing and watching scary stories as much as I love MM or MMF erotic reads. I’m a publishing industry blogger and freelance writer as well.

Naughty Reader’s:  What made you want to become a writer?

Leslie Lee:  I was fascinated with horror tales since elementary school and began writing then. My dream was to see my name on the cover of a book. The first time that happened for me in 2005, I was over the moon elated! My dream had come true.

Naughty Reader’s:  Please share a bit about your new release, Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #1), without giving away any spoilers.

Leslie Lee:  In Before the Darkness, we meet Elliot and Adam, two survivors of an asteroid impact. We follow them along their quest to find the mysterious Refuge Inc. and learn more about them as we go. Book two of the Refuge Inc. series, Amid the Darkness, follows the budding lovers into what they think is a safe haven for survivors of an asteroid impact that left Phoenix an unrecognizable wasteland. It immediately follows the first book, Before the Darkness, and is action packed and suspenseful with plenty twists and turns. Beyond the Darkness is still a work in progress. I call the series an MM, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, erotic romance.

Naughty Reader’s:  Do you write under a pen name?

Leslie Lee:  No. I enjoy seeing my name on my creations, and personally have no issue with using my real name in the business.

Naughty Reader’s:  What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Leslie Lee:  I enjoy believable, true-to-life heroes. Men with flaws, that act and react like real human beings. However, no matter how flawed, they would have to have redeemable qualities by the end of the story.

Naughty Reader’s:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Leslie Lee:  The first thing I do when I get on my computer is check email, respond to email, check websites for comments, engage a little on Twitter and Facebook, then I start writing blog posts, stories or articles or pitches.

Naughty Reader’s:  Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Leslie Lee:  My Refuge Inc. series share common themes in the areas of lessons from the past, death and rebirth, leadership and companionship, etc. This series is one of my more deep, dark and emotionally in-depth stories.

Naughty Reader’s:  How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Leslie Lee:  Wow. For me, writing a story can take anywhere from a few months to a year. I’m a slow writer. Now I’m not talking words per minute but rather, it takes me a while to think about what I want to say and how I want to say it and getting it down on paper. In other words, I have to say it in my head before I can type it down. I’m sure there’s other writers like me out there somewhere.

Naughty Reader’s:  Do you have to be alone to write?

Leslie Lee:  Absolutely. When I’m alone is when my creative juices flow much easier. I think and type quicker, but being alone is rare in my household because I’m raising a two year old, a twelve year old, and a fourteen year old. Mommy/wifey duties always come first.

Naughty Reader’s:  How do you go about naming characters?

Leslie Lee:  I start writing them and throw a name out there. If it sticks, great. If not, I rummage through the names I keep in a file in my mind, searching for a name that fits the personality, back-story, and motive of my character. Sometimes it’s a quick and easy process, sometimes it takes a lot of thought.

Naughty Reader’s:  Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Leslie Lee:  I write first. However, I found that having cover art far ahead of time is definitely a motivator. I find inspiration, and even gather a few ideas from my cover art. It keeps me determined to finish my projects.

Naughty Reader’s:  How do you pick locations for your stories?

Leslie Lee:  I try to stick with locations I’m familiar with as well as locations that help build the story. I tend to think of locations and settings as characters themselves, so when it melds nicely to the overall theme, it’s perfect.

Naughty Reader’s:  What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

Leslie Lee:  Look forward to the third and final installment of the Refuge Inc. series, Beyond the Darkness, is my current work in progress. It wraps up all loose ends and answers all important questions, including the romance ones, which sprang up throughout the series. But expect more twists and surprises, for sure.

Naughty Reader’s: Where can readers find out more about you and your books

Leslie Lee:  Here’s a list of where I hang out on the Web:

Twitter - @LeslieLSanders

Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #1) Excerpt:

      "See that dark color on the horizon?" Adam pointed to the east, suddenly looking somber. "That's a wall of smoke, ash, dust and who knows what else, and it's coming our way."
      "What? What do you mean?" A bit of panic began to stir in Elliot's stomach like a bowl of his mother's spicy and overly greasy chili. He'd thought the worst was over.
      "Ever heard of impact winter?" Adam's green eyes pierced his and neither moved. "What's headed for us isn't good. We're gonna have to take shelter somewhere and fast before it blocks out all light and it gets so dark we won't be able to tell which way is up. Can't run from it either," he added, as if predicting Elliot's next question. "Been watching it for a couple hours now and it's moving pretty fast."
      "What do you mean it's going to get dark?" He knew he looked like a wide-eyed idiot, but he didn't care much about his appearance at the moment.
      "Let me put it this way. Once the sun sets we're not gonna see it rise for quite some time. That wall of soot headed our way is so thick it will block out the sun. It will take months, maybe years, for all the crap to fall down."
      "Are you sure?" He dipped his eyebrows suspiciously. "How do you know all this?"
      "When those assholes finally told us that an asteroid might hit, I went looking for info about anything to do with asteroids hitting Earth and that's what I found out. We need to find some shelter."
      Elliot looked at the dark grey horizon. Indeed, the cloud of unnerving darkness grew bigger, wider, closer. His heart dropped, it sank in the pit of his stomach like a ton of concrete rubble. "We're not going to make it, huh?" He gulped, suddenly feeling defeated. Panic. "What's the point in finding shelter when we're not gonna live to see the sun again?"
      Adam grabbed his hand, gave it a gentle squeeze and let it loose before Elliot realized it had happened. The friendly squeeze hadn't been part of his imagination. A look of sincerity and concern painted Adam's handsome face. "I was beginning to think the same thing and then I saw you. Like I said, two heads are better than one."

Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #2) Excerpt:
     "I need to apologize." Elliot stayed close, millimeters away from Adam’s lips.
     "For forcing you to come out."
     "Elliot—" Adam huffed and pulled away.
     "Adam, wait. Please, let me finish." Elliot dropped his gaze to his feet again, taking on a rather bashful demeanor Adam wasn't used to. "I should’ve been more understanding. As a gay man myself, I know how important it is for you to come to terms with your homosexuality. By making you come out I was really being selfish and needy. And look what that's done to us."
     "What did it do?" Adam shook his head, eyebrows dipped.
     "It made us more distant than bring us closer. We never mention it. We just walk around, going on with our lives like everything’s okay."
     "It’s not okay." Adam stared at the cast on his arm, trying to distract himself from the awkward situation. "Things out there are not okay. And that’s the problem. Not us." Where was Elliot going with this conversation?
     "Even kissing you is weird." Elliot sighed. How he looked so distraught. "Can’t you feel it? You feel it, right? Like it's forced or something? You’re not ready for a relationship with a man, especially now that we’ve been thrown back into a life with other people. We're used to living again instead of fighting for our lives and being led by our emotions."
     Kissing was weird? He'd never felt that way. Adam couldn't even make eye contact with him, embarrassment keeping him from attempting. He cleared his throat, realizing what was happening. Elliot didn't feel connected anymore and wanted space. What a blow. "I’m not ready for a serious relationship at all." He looked up into Elliot’s fluttering brown eyes. Space between them would probably be for the best, especially since things change so drastically between them. It must've affected Elliot more than he thought. "You’re my only friend. The only person I trust. But—"
     Elliot scoffed. "You trust me?"
     "Yes, I trust you. And I know you got my back so I respect you for that. I’ll always have yours. Always, but … you're right. Things changed."
     Elliot stared at him for a while, probably processing the information and what it meant for them. Then he slowly nodded, understanding. A few awkward seconds ticked by without anyone making a sound. They both avoided eye contact. An odd energy lingered in the atmosphere. Finally, Elliot cleared his throat. "How’s the arm?"
     "Itchy. I hate this damn thing. The splintered bone should’ve healed by now. Can’t wait to take this cast off." Adam pushed a finger under the cast to try and satisfy the itch, somewhat thankful for the sudden change of subject.
     Elliot stood, scooping up his paper from the floor and his shirt from his bed. "Well, I’m gonna go check out the cafeteria. See how I’m gonna contribute." He made a face and walked to the door.
     Adam's heart ached. "Elliot?"
     He turned. "Yeah?"
     "You … okay?"
     Elliot huffed, chest rising and falling quickly. "It’s not the worse that’s happened." He chuckled and shrugged. "I’ll live." He attempted a crooked smile and left the room. 

Giveaway: TWO Winners!! Two e-books each!! Giving away ONE e-book copy of Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #1) and Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #2) both to TWO commenters as a choice of PDF, MOBI, or EPUB.
Comment to be in
the drawing!! 


  1. This sounds like a great premise. Good luck. I hope it's a bestseller!