Interview with Deborah Leblanc, author of over a dozen books with elements of mystery and horror, paranormal suspense, and paranormal romance.
What’s her advice for beginner writers? Read our interview and find out!
Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also why you decided to become a writer.
Well, I'm an author, a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, a licensed private investigator, worked in funeral service for 12 years, have been a paranormal investigator for almost thirty years and started a non-profit called Literacy Inc., to help fight the growing illiteracy rate in America's teens. I'm also the house 'clairsendium' for the upcoming television show, Through the Veil, which should be airing the fourth quarter of this year on Destination America. I served four years as the president of the Horror Writers Association, 2 years as the Southwest President of the Mystery Writers of America and eight years as President of the Writers' Guild of Acadiana.
As to why I decided to become a writer, I have to admit that it wasn't something I aspired to as a kid. Although books were my saving grace growing up, I never thought about becoming a writer. It wasn't until I was in my late thirties that I woke up one morning, brushed my teeth, and while staring in the mirror simply said...."I think I'll write a book." And write it I did. I was too naive at the time to know that most authors don't sell their first book, much less get an agent. By some stroke of luck, however, a month after writing the book, I had a New York agent who sold my novel within weeks to a New York publisher.
How did you start writing?
I simply sat down at my computer and started telling a story that had been ruminating in my head for some time. I had never written a novel before, so to understand pacing and cliff hangers and point of view changes, I took four books from different authors I admired and literally typed half of each book until I got the 'feel' of how their language flowed. Doing that helped me get a better handle on how to tell my story.
What are your writing habits? How often do you write, and how long at one time?
My writing habits are a bit obsessive. Once I get a story in my head, I'm anxious to see it written on paper. I write every day, and, depending on my life responsibilities, write anywhere from 2 to 18 hours a day.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer - so, to someone like you the person you were before you became a published author?
Have a great story to tell, then plop your backside down in a chair, fingers to your computer keyboard and start writing. Don't give up and don't keep going over the same chapter forty-five times before moving on. Just get the story told, then you can clean it up once you rewrite. So the advice is basically: Read, read, read---write, write, write...and NEVER give up!
Who are your favorite authors and have they inspired you in any way?
I have so many favorite authors it's difficult to name them all. I enjoy Jodi Picoult, James Lee Burke, Janet Evanovich, J.D. Robb, Sandra Brown, Steven King, and Dean Koontz to name but a few. All of the ones I've named have special qualities that I appreciate as a reader. Characterization, the simple art of storytelling, intertwining romance elements, and laughter.
What would you like to say to your readers? What do they need to know about your books?
That I appreciate every reader who takes the time to read one of my books. Out of all the books available to them, having them choose one of mine to add to their library is truly an honor. Many of my books include paranormal suspense and paranormal romance.
Why do you write such scary stuff? Do you like being scared yourself, or does little scare you anymore?
With my background, very little scares me anymore. I enjoy writing suspense, the unknown. To me, it gets people thinking that the tough situations in their present lives may not be so bad after all.
Do you only read books in the same genre as yours, or do you also enjoy very different stories - like happy romance?
Oh, I read all genres, romance, horror, paranormal, autobiographies, biographies, true crime, etc. As long as the story is well told, I'm a happy camper. :)