Interview with Sandra Glenn

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
"Books should be doors, not mirrors," writer Fran Liebowitz once said, and I agree. For me, the best part of writing is the act of whisking readers off to imaginary places filled with exotic delights and dangers, and later hearing their reactions.
What do your fans mean to you?
"Dangerous" is a deliberate departure from the style and structure of most modern erotica, almost a deconstruction of the genre. The book was aimed at a certain kind of reader, one who enjoys erotica but desperately wants something different, something more like literature and less like porn, where characters matter and plot is not just bridge material between sex scenes. It's what I hunger for, and I gambled that others must surely feel the same way.

So it's wonderful to find such readers do exist. I know this because of the warm reviews and the heartfelt emails they've sent.

What do my fans mean to me? In a word, everything.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite books are those which take me away to strange lands with exotic pleasures and perils, so those authors who can do that best are my favorites. They include J. R. R. Tolkien, Jacqueline Carey, William Gibson, Richard Adams, Frank Herbert, Greg Bear, Anne Desclos (writing as "Pauline Reage"), Catherine Robbe-Grillet (writing as "Jean de Berg"), Peter F. Hamilton, John Varley, Margaret Atwood, Anais Nin. There are many more, but that's a decent core-sample of my tastes.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first complete story I ever wrote was a tragic love triangle between a human starship pilot and two self-aware starships. One of the ships was an ex-lover, and now quite insane. It ended badly for everyone. If I'm feeling brave someday I may try to save it from terrible writing, and post it on my website.
What is your writing process?
As with any creative endeavor, making art is a synthesis of chaos and structure, raw inspiration joined with deliberate construction. I start with the germ of an idea, and sketch it out without worrying about the final product, just to see what the possibilities are. Then I put it aside and mull over the results. If it looks promising, I'll start more serious planning, and work toward that end. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. The trick is knowing when you're going down a dead end, and trying something fresh.

While writing "Dangerous" it went much the same way, but with every chapter there came a point -- about a third of the way in -- where I started looking for something I called "my trail of breadcrumbs". That is, the plot thread that would guide me through the rest of the chapter, and provide the extra thrill at the end.

For example, in chapter 10 Val, Koishi, and Millie go out to dinner at a fancy Japanese restaurant, where Val pits the two girls against one another in an increasingly tense competition for her favor. All very entertaining, but I needed a 'falling off the cliff' moment. It took a while to hit upon the missing valet ticket as the fulcrum (my friend V. may have suggested it) upon which Koi's fortunes turned, and again for the twist at the chapter's end. Once I had that, everything flowed very nicely.

The other thing I've learned about being creative is you must not be afraid of failure. There were many, many dreadful drafts involved in writing Dangerous, some even laugh-out-loud terrible. It takes time to separate the good from the bad. But even the terrible parts can serve as useful compost for later attempts.
How do you approach cover design?
Like all other aspects of "Dangerous", I wanted the cover to be just as iconoclastic as the story. Specifically, I wanted a tasteful design that readers would not be ashamed of if they read the printed book in public. That was my first consideration.

Next, the main character is Japanese-American who gets a koi tattoo as a symbol of her submission to Val, I thought a sumi-e style image of a koi fish would be the perfect symbol for the book, representing Koishi's beauty, vulnerability, and captivity. The splash of bright blood and the jagged title font inject a note of danger and instability to the otherwise tranquil composition.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
You'll laugh. I do all my e-book reading on my Samsung Galaxy III smartphone, because it's convenient and has a big bright screen. Back before there were things like the Kindle and smartphones, I kept my ebooks on a Casio Cassiopeia. I loved it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Believe it or not, word of mouth. Because I detest modern marketing techniques and I don't have the stomach for such things.

As an experiment, though, I actually took out a banner ad on a popular fetish site, but it cost me more than I got back in sales, so I didn't renew after that first month.
Describe your desk
I have a special desk that lets me work sitting down or standing up, as I like. It's so nice to be able to do both.
On my desk I have a mouse and illuminated keyboard, a printer and desk lamp, a small fan, and a few knicknacks. They include: a little 3D-printed Kerbal Space Program astronaut, a small globe of the moon, a lucite paperweight with a pod of dolphins laser-etched inside, and a glowing ghost-figure from Ikea. Oh, and an XBox 360 controller, for playing games with.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I sent my manuscript around to agents for several months and none of them could decide on an appropriate genre for it, nor really understood what I was going for with that particular story. It just made them too uncomfortable. That'll teach me to be an iconoclast! So in the end I decided to go it on my own, and speak directly to the audience, if there was one.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Word of mouth, or bumping into recommendations online.
Published 2015-08-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Dangerous
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 105,470. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
When young, talented Koishi Paz attends a posh Hollywood party, a chance encounter opens the door to a secret world of dark desires. At its heart stands the mysterious Valeria Stregazzi: a woman with a dark past, inner demons, and an irresistible magnetism. Her own hungers aroused, Koishi plunges into Val's world, believing she can stop any time she wants...only to find she cannot.