This Thursday is the lovely and luscious Leslie Lee Sanders’s turn to bare all. Read on for her interview and a scorching-sweet adults-only excerpt from her latest release, Beyond the Darkness.
So, Leslie, how long have you been writing romance?
In 2005 I published my first MMF erotic romance novel. It was a 60k word story I written in 30 days. I’ve learned so much about publishing and writing fiction since then. I like to look back and see how much I’ve grown.
What inspired you to start?
I was a huge reader of fanfic. A particular author, wrote a very popular MMM story which inspired me to write my own threesome tale. That began my career as an author of romance. Before erotic romance, I wrote short scary stories. Still enjoy writing the short horror though.
In what subgenres of romance do you write?
Besides some MMF erotic romance, I’ve transitioned to MM post-apocalyptic dystopian recently with my latest Refuge Inc. series. A mixture of the genres.
What’s the hardest thing about writing for you?
Finishing. I say it all the time. Starting a writing project is the simplest thing in the world. It’s finishing the project that takes the most effort. There’s so much that goes into good storytelling, it can create roadblocks that makes it harder to get to the finish line.
And what do you enjoy the most about the process?
Finishing. Hehe! For two reasons. First, the writing process, and all the hard work that comes with perfecting the story, is finally complete. A sigh of relief. Second, the readers can finally experience what you worked so hard to deliver. The most joy comes from sharing your project with those anticipating it.
Do you have a favorite type of male and female lead characters? Tough, tender, crafty, flawed, dangerous, voluptuous/muscular, lean/svelte…?
My favorite type of character is the realistic type. You know, flawed, sexy, quirky, odd, smart, tough, emotional, unemotional … real. Someone like you or me, who has inner and outer demons to battle. I like them to start out hurt, angry, unapologetic, etc., then grow into the true definition of a hero or heroine by slowly knocking down all the demons.
What’s special about your style of writing?
I like twists and surprises. Most of my stories have some sort of twist. I like to write in a way that pulls a reader in a certain direction, then suddenly push them in the opposite. I’m attracted to the gritty, unconventional, and the dark side of romance and all things.
What authors inspire you and why?
It may sound weird being that I write MM romance, but I’m inspired by horror writer Stephen King and science fiction writer Hugh Howey. With my Refuge Inc. series, I wanted to mix genres and blend a bit of science fiction and horror with the erotic romance. In order to take full advantage of unpredictability, I think fusing those genres keeps readers guessing the many possibilities of the plot and which direction the story may go. It’s not as straight forward as one genre may be, and therefore less predictable.
And here are some quickies, just for fun:
Your favorite beverage while writing?
Music or silence as you work?
Music (interesting! ~ Bebe)
Fave animal, real or imaginary?
Winged unicorn. A beautiful mythical creature, isn’t it? (yes indeed ~ Bebe)
Hottest man alive?
My hubby. Did I win extra points? No? Ryan Gosling’s pretty hot.
And most gorgeous woman?
Beyoncé. All the way. (love her! ~ Bebe)
The Prestige. I can watch it over and over. Love the twist! (oooh, haven’t seen this!! Love a good new movie recommendation! ~ Bebe)
Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey.
In three words, describe your personal style in high school:
Eccentric, colorful, unique.
And your personal style today:
Dark, comfortable, casual.
More about Leslie Lee ~
The author of several books of fiction and fiction with spice, I reside in Queen Creek, Arizona, with my husband, three daughters, and a wild beast I call my imagination. I’m known for writing erotic romance, mostly in the gay and ménage categories, and recently plunged into writing deep, dark romantic sci-fi with my post-apocalyptic and dystopian series, Refuge Inc.
Phoenix—a dark, vast ruin, speckled with sporadic rays of light pushing its way through the dark, dense clouds. Adam and Elliot wander the collapsed city for days before taking shelter at the nearly standing Arrowhead hospital. Their days are filled with hopes of rescue and a deep need for emotional and mental closeness, until a harsh reality take over their thoughts—their food and supplies are dwindling, and they are in desperate need of assistance and reprieve.
They’re forced to return to the devastation they narrowly escaped … the hellish compound, also known as Refuge Inc.
This time, armed with a handgun containing four bullets and a dangerous plan, they make their way across the devastated city and back to the compound. Adam’s determined to do whatever he must to survive, even allowing grief-stricken Elliot to take the lead and make some of the most life-changing decisions they would ever have to make.
Will they win their final fight for survival?
WARNING: Contains explicit male-male sexual practices, graphic language, violence and brief descriptions of the dead.
An adults-only excerpt from Beyond the Darkness ~
Elliot whimpered, breaking the silence. Adam glanced over. Elliot’s bare shoulder seemed to tremble in the barely-there moonlight. Adam gently pulled the sheet up and over Elliot’s arm. Still, Elliot trembled and groaned, “No, no, no.”
Was he dreaming? A nightmare?
Adam rolled over, pressing his chest to Elliot’s back. He placed a comforting hand on Elliot’s shoulder and he shrugged and jumped as if startled. He turned to look into Adam’s eyes. “What? What happened?”
Adam shook his head. “Were you dreaming? You sounded … scared.”
Elliot turned away, keeping his back to Adam. “I might’ve been dreaming but I’m not scared.”
“It’s okay if you’re…”
“I’m not scared,” Elliot repeated, talking away from him. “I’m a big boy, Adam.”
He knew Elliot couldn’t see him, but he nodded anyway. He rubbed Elliot’s shoulder to remind Elliot that he was there if needed. He gingerly glided his fingertips along the curve of Elliot’s shoulder and toward the dip of his neck. They traveled along the slope of Elliot’s long neck and up behind his ear, softly grazing the skin, then back down again.
Adam panted. He tried to control his breathing and his racing heartbeat but couldn’t. Elliot was bliss on his fingertips, and Adam’s body was involuntarily reacting. Heat radiated from Elliot’s skin and lingered on his palm as he caressed Elliot’s arm. Did his touch tell Elliot all he wished to say but couldn’t verbalize?
Without warning, Elliot quickly rolled to face Adam and grabbed the collar of his shirt, pulling Adam against him and crushing their lips together. He closed his eyes and savored the sweet taste of Elliot’s tongue as the wet muscle slithered between his lips.
“I can’t stand not touching you,” Elliot whispered in the kiss. With one hand, he caressed Adam’s waist, his abdominal muscles, and then glided his palm over Adam’s erection which strained against his pants. “I dream about it. Touching you.” Elliot’s breath caught when Adam’s did as Elliot’s palm slid over his hardened length. “I remember it.” Elliot gently nipped Adam’s bottom lip with his teeth, taking the lead. “I can’t forget it. I don’t want to forget.” Adam sighed and willfully surrendered control.
Out of nowhere, commotion in the distance startled them. Adam broke their kiss and sat straight up, his gaze fixed on nothing in particular beyond the broken window. “Hear that?”
“Yeah, I heard it,” Elliot whispered. “What do you think it is?”
“Don’t know.” Adam crawled off of their temporary mattress and to his satchel to retrieve the handgun. “Listen.”
A few seconds went by when commotion cut through the silence again, reminding Adam of rummaging. Was it coming from the nearby structures?
Leslie Lee’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/leslieleesandersAuthor
Leslie Lee’s site: http://www.leslieleesanders.com