Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Deborah LeBlanc, and I’m old enough to have grandchildren. lol
Fiona: Where are you from?
Born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Deborah LeBlanc is an multi-published, best-selling author from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is also a licensed death scene investigator, a licensed private investigator and has been an active paranormal investigator for over twenty-five years. Deborah is currently the house ‘clairsendium’ (clairvoyant, sensitive, medium) for the upcoming paranormal investigation television show, Through the Veil.
She served four years as president of the Horror Writers Association, eight years as president of the Writers’ Guild of Acadiana, and two years as president of Mystery Writers of America’s Southwest Chapter. In 2007, Deborah founded Literacy Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting illiteracy in America’s teens.
Spending time with my family is important to me. They make me smile and feel whole. I also have 2 German Shepherds named Quentin and Rajah, 2 Yorkies named Doc and Adele, and one rat terrier named Molly.
Aside from working with my dogs, my favourite pastimes are reading and doing paranormal investigations at new, supposedly haunted locations.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have three new books out at the moment. The first is called TOE to TOE, the second is VOICES, and the third is a nonfiction called The Tinkerbell Effect—A Writer’s Success Guide to Writing Multiple Books Per Year.
Another news flash is that our paranormal team, THROUGH THE VEIL, should start shooting for a television program on the Travel Channel this fall.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been an avid reader since I could read and started writing short stories in the sixth grade. It wasn’t until many years later, while brushing my teeth one morning, I said to myself, “I think I’ll write a book.” The rest is history. I became addicted from that point on.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I held my first, printed novel in my hand.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A friend of mine told me that her brother had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her entire family suffered greatly because of his disease. Psychiatry seemed to be taking a throw-some-spaghetti-on-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach, which disheartened the family all the more. As I listened to her story, I wondered why some of the Cajun Healers around here, known as treaeteurs, had never healed someone with mental illness. Then I wondered….what if one could? The story took off from there.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Mental Illness is often genetically predisposed. So the offspring of those who have the disease can easily pass it along to their children. It’s the same with a treateur. A healer’s children often become healers themselves. Thus the name Family Inheritance was born.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I had some issues with writing style in the beginning because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. However, after deciding to make the story as true to life as possible without giving away specifics, I stopped worrying if I was writing like Stephen King or Nora Roberts. I had to make sure to tell the story in my own voice. The one genre I find challenging is romance. I can write about the paranormal and things that go bump in the night until the cows come home, but romance was a different animal to me. The first one I wrote, THE WOLVEN, was the third book in a trilogy started by Heather Graham. I boned up on how the romantic novel flowed and haven’t had any issues with it since.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All of my books carry an element of truth in them or are based on an experience I had happen to me. Except for werewolves…I’ve yet to have sex with one!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have done a lot of crazy things for my craft. I’ve had myself locked in a casket so I could get a good feel for how a secondary character might feel locked in one. I’ve crept through an abandoned insane asylum. That just to name a couple. I do sometimes travel to certain areas to get a ‘lay of the land and people’ if I’m writing about an area I’m unfamiliar with.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The art department at the publishing houses typically do the covers. When I tried my hand at self publishing, I used Su, with Earthly Charms. I’ve worked with her for years, and she has a good feel for what I write and what I like and don’t like on a cover.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. That although things look or seem tough, there’s always a way out. And that no matter how dysfunctional a family may be, if they can but come together for a short time, love beats evil every time.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
To be honest, I haven’t had a chance to read many new writers these days because my own writing schedule is so hectic. I enjoy reading Janet Evanovich, for the humor, James Lee Burke, for his use of the English language, Stephen King, for a little fright now and then and Dan Brown, for the twists and turns in his story line.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
A sixth grade teacher who gave us a writing assignment about what we did that summer. I received an A on that paper and special note from her at the bottom of my work. She wrote—“You will be published one day.” I still think about her to this day.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see writing as part of my life, not my entire life. Work-wise, however, I do see it as a career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned quite a bit from my last book, VOICES. Mostly about how orphan train children were treated at some of the orphanages, where many wound up.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Oh, yes…Read, read, read—-write, write, write….and never give up!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’d like to thank ever reader who has purchased one of my books then took the time to either email me directly about how much they enjoyed it or gave it a stellar review on Amazon. It’s little things like that that keep a writer writing on the hard days.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’ve got an affinity to audio books so right now I’m listening to Jana Deleon’s Storm Team 3.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I know I read a hundreds of children’s books back in the day, “See Jane run.” But honestly the one book I remember reading then re-reading again was the Exorcist. I was about 10 when I got my hands on a copy. I had to read it at night under the covers so my mom wouldn’t find it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The sound of children laughing makes me laugh and fills my heart.
Death makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
This may sound silly as I’m not an overtly religious person, but there are two people I would love to meet. Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa. Both were the quintessential people person. I would have loved to simply been around them to feel their energy.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
My hobbies are horseback riding, reading, and paranormal investigations.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t get a chance to watch much television, although I do have to admit to binge watching Breaking Bad. Great character arcs in that story.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite foods: anything made with crawfish and anything made with chocolate
Favorite colors: Blue, emerald
Favorite music: This is a tough one. I’m a late baby boomer so I don’t get the message many of the rap stars are putting out there today. Aside from that, I enjoy just about another other type of music. Especially the ones I can sing along with.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Wither away. Lol I can’t imagine a future without writing. My heads too full of stories waiting to be told.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my family, making sure that each of them knew just how much I loved them, how much they mean to me, and recount all the things they did during my life that were either a blessing, made me laugh, or simply made me happy.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
SHE FINALLY RETIRED
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes, they can visit my website at http://www.deborahleblanc.com