Name Leslie Lee Sanders
Where are you from
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Me and my siblings can literally separate ourselves into two halves of eight. I am considered a middle child and an oldest child, being the oldest of the four youngest. Oh, and an interesting tidbit…my mother has 50-something grandchildren, including great-grandkids. I have three daughters and happily in love with my husband for over ten years.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
You can now sink into Darkness Eternal, the fifth book in the Post-apocalyptic/dystopian Refuge Inc. series. Yes, you can read it if you haven’t read the other books in the series. YES, you will enjoy it, especially if you love stories of survival! http://amzn.to/1T7UngL
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
It all began in elementary school with the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books by Alvin Schwartz. Reading those stories made me fall in love with storytelling and suddenly seeing my name on the cover of a book became a lifelong goal.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I truly believed I was officially a writer when I written and published my first novel. I started calling myself an author when I sold my first book.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Fan fiction. I was so involved in this particular fan fiction, that I wanted to do something similar but make it original, using my own characters and world. And that’s what I did. Granted, my first novel wasn’t anything as good as it could have been, but we live and we learn.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My writing style has changed in the past couple years. It’s become more intense and in depth. I like to use first persona narrative for those reasons. To get inside of the character’s mind and feel what he’s feeling and know what he’s thinking. I got into the habit of using powerful words to create an atmosphere, a mood, a tone that carries through my stories from beginning to end. I only began writing this way since 2014, but readers point out the depth of my stories because of it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Darkness Eternal has several meanings. One reason for the title is because darkness plays a big role in the Refuge Inc. series as the stories take place in a post-apocalyptic world after an asteroid impact. The impact projects dirt and dust into the atmosphere, blocking out the sunlight, and cloaking what’s left of the world in utter blackness. Also, the darkness describes the emotional state of most of the survivors of this dystopian world, and the mood in which they overcome.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely. In order for me to write a story, first there has to be something I want to say. By writing Darkness Eternal, I wanted to remind people not to believe everything they see and hear, not to blindly follow, only if to follow your instinct. Sometimes the people we give authority to who supposed to look out for our best interest, may not always do the right thing, and it’s up to us to speak up and take positive action.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Well, Darkness Eternal is 69% fiction, 30% relatable emotion and events, and 1% what’s currently happening in the news, but it’s plot can 100% become a reality, which is a bit frightening.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In regards to the emotional aspects and the relationships that takes place within the pages of Darkness Eternal, those are based on personal experiences. For example, I have been in love, rejected in love, couldn’t return the love when discovering someone was secretly in love with me and vice versa, just like most people. Those sad, happy, confused, hurt, angry feelings that are a part of love I’ve experienced and most people can relate to.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Books that make me think at the last page, paragraph, or sentence most influence me. One in particular, the dystopian I read in elementary school, The Giver by Lois Lowry. Imagining a community where they strip away what makes you you, and commit horrible crimes in order to “make your life better.” Those themes in storytelling fascinates me and are a big influence on my writing life.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Hedon, a LGBT dystopian by Jason Werebeloff. I’m interested in this book for the same reasons The Giver interests me.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Sure. Oak Anderson and his book Take One With You caught my eye with a unique plot that follows characters who decides to take their own lives and the life of deserving persons along with them. I’m a huge fan of being original, because it’s difficult to do these days. So when something original is presented, I’m all on it. I wonder what other unique plots the author will come up with.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Since writing and publishing Darkness Eternal, I’m on a bit of a break. But I’m planning to get back to writing soon. I have a few ideas written down, so a project is right around the corner.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My readers. Their support is the reason why I do what I do. Writing wouldn’t be as pleasurable if there was no one to read and enjoy my work.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. A lucky few are able to make it a full-time career. It is a business, unless you do it for a hobby, or for family and friends.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Hmm. Good question. Honestly, I don’t know. Usually, I use the feedback I get on my projects to try and apply it to my next project, especially the constructive criticism. The positive feedback I get on my stories I use in future books to enhance the reading experience. So, no. I wouldn’t change anything. Just do better and better with my next projects.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finishing. It’s true. It is so much easier to start writing a book, but completing one takes a lot of drive, determination, and a little extra something most people don’t have. I admire anyone who does it. And bonus points to those who not only do it, but do it well. Kudos!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep learning. Improve, improve, improve. Become a better storyteller and better writer with every project.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your interest and your support. It’s because of you, my readers, that I write. It’s almost like my work doesn’t exists if there was no one to share it with. You make my projects come to life, you make them real, and you make them worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. So thank you!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy doing anything creative, where I can use my imagination and tell a story. I write and sing music in my home recording studio. I used to paint landscapes and seascapes too. I used to make home videos with my daughters that consisted of evil dolls coming to life, or funny commercials for fake products. I like to draw and come up with crazy worlds and characters. You mix creative and imagination and I’m interested!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Sure do. I like to give tips to writers at any stage, and provide information on the publishing industry on my blog: www.leslieleesanders.com
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A00QBCU
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01A00QBCU
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/leslieleesandersAuthor