Loves being in the business for herself. Indie Interview with @LeslieLSanders

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Conversations with authors and writers from the self-publishing world.

Meet Leslie Lee Sanders

Genre: Sci-Fi
Best Known for: The Complete Darkness Collection

The author of several books of fiction with spice, Leslie Lee Sanders resides in Queen Creek, Arizona, with her husband, three daughters, and a wild beast she calls her imagination. She's known for writing erotic romance, mostly in the gay and ménage categories, and recently plunged into writing deep, dark romantic sci-fi with her post-apocalyptic and dystopian series, Refuge Inc.

Connect with Leslie

Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

Thank you for joining us today!

How did you get started writing, and why did you want to write?
I started writing in the 6th grade. As a class we would go to the library and were given 45 minutes to find a book that we would later read and do a book report on. Reading Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books inspired me to write my own scary stories, which I did. Not long after, the dream of seeing my name on a book cover was born. 

What made you decide to go the "indie" route?
Having complete creative control was appealing to me and is one reason I indie publish. I like choosing who to work with on cover design, when my work will be available to the public, and giving away as many ARCs and e-book copies as I please. I choose which books will be available in audio and print without worrying about hitting a specific word count. And I enjoy keeping all the rights and getting a higher percentage of the return. In other words, I really like being in business for myself and making all the decisions.

Tell us about the books you have available now, and about those that you're working on.
The Refuge Inc. series (consisting of Before the Darkness, Amid the Darkness, and Beyond the Darkness) is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian, M/M story about two asteroid impact survivors who fall in love along their journey to survive and uncover the mysteries of an underground compound known as Refuge Inc. It's a story that's been dying to be told since early 2011 when the media was covering bizarre stories about hundreds of thousands of fish washing ashore on selected coastlines, and the thousands of birds falling from the skies in certain parts of the world. It was the year before the 2012 Mayan "end of the world" hype. 

What-if scenarios started playing in my head and I thought it would be great to create my own end of the world with an M/M erotic romance twist. The story of the mysterious "sanctuary" continues in the current WIP, Darkness Eternal, with different characters, a fresh plot, and a futuristic setting. 

Of the stories you have out now, which is your favorite? Do you have a favorite scene or character that stands out?
My favorite of all my books is the Refuge Inc. series, because I think my most recent work is better than the prior, and I push myself to write even better with each book I write. My favorite character of the series is Elliot. I think he's the most realistic and heroic of the two main characters. Adam is tough, brave and sexy, but considering where Elliot started and what he becomes by the end of their story, he deserves much respect. 

What would you like to tell your readers? What would you like to say to potential readers?
I appreciate every single reader. It's difficult to put into words how much without sounding cheesy. Still, when you have a passion for writing that runs as deep as mine, the only thing that makes a project truly feel complete is being able to share it with those who recognize its value. And that's where the readers come in. Thank you, readers. 

There are many, many indie books and authors out there right now. How do you work to stand out?
First, I believe a book is judged by its cover. A professional cover design is top priority in putting together a great book package. Also, I like to sway away from the mainstream a bit and try to be somewhat of a visionary about where reader's interest is headed. I believe in writing what comes from the heart and the story you've always wanted to tell. However, I don't like doing what everyone else is doing, what's already been done, or what's selling now, no matter how popular. I like to envision what would be hot in the future and be one of the first to blaze the trail.

What's your favorite part about being an author (both as writer and publishing books), and what's your least favorite part?
The best part of being an indie author is writing and publishing whatever I want. I can publish a story that only a select few would truly appreciate and be content with that. I don't need a middleman telling me to axe my book because the target market for said book is too small and blah, blah, blah. I like the direct relationship between author and reader.

The least favorite part of being an indie author is all the blood, sweat, tears, time, and money I must invest to be successful. The definition of success varies for each individual, but success in any form requires hard work. Work sucks! Just like a workout at the gym, no one really enjoys the time, the routine, and the pain, it's the results that truly motivates us.

Any parting words?
Thanks for having me! I love having the chance to speak to readers and allowing them to get to know a little more about me. Until next time …

Thank you, Leslie!

Check out the Crew reviews for The Complete Darkness Collection!