Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Visit with Deborah LeBlanc

Instead of my usual list of GCC tour questions, and in celebration of the spooky month of October (boo!), horror/thriller author Deborah LeBlanc has offered to share a few thoughts on publishing to coincide with the release of her latest novel WATER WITCH (Dorchester, Oct. 2008).

Hailed by Cemetery Dance as "One of the best new voices of modern horror," Deborah is an award-winning author from Lafayette, Louisiana. She's also a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, and an active member of two national paranormal investigation teams. She's currently the president of the Horror Writers Association, president of the Writers’ Guild of Acadiana, president of Mystery Writers of America’s Southwest Chapter, and an active member of Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Women Writers, and International Thriller Writers Inc. In 2004, Deborah created the LeBlanc Literacy Challenge, an annual, national campaign designed to encourage more people to read, and soon after founded Literacy Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting illiteracy in America’s teens.

A little about the book: Dunny knew from an early age what it meant to be an outsider. Her special abilities earned her many names, like freak and water witch. So she vowed to keep her powers a secret. But now her talents may be the only hope of two missing children. A young boy and girl have vanished, feared lost in the mysterious Louisiana bayous. But they didn’t just disappear, they were taken. And amid the ghosts and spirits of the swamp, there is a danger worse than any other, one with very special plans for the children—and for anyone who dares to interfere.

Being a fan of the TV show "Supernatural," this premise is definitely an eye catcher :). Welcome, Deborah! What has inspired you in this industry?

When I first started writing, I had been in business for more years than I cared to remember. At first, I thought the two entities (writing and business) had absolutely nothing in common, so I tried separating the two. It didn’t take long for me to realize how big a mistake that assumption was. Writing is a business, just different from the ones I was used to. Needless to say, though, as I restructured my thinking and attempted to merge the two together, I met with frustration of the highest order. Argg! As some of you have heard me spout off about before, publishing does not follow any standard business practice known to man, woman, or wooly-back orangutan. It’s its own worst enemy at times.

That being said, however, I decided to take the advice of a man I’d admired for years. One whose wisdom has helped me understand the meaning of success, which inevitably moved me up the ladder in quite a few corporations. I figured why not use those same principles in writing?

So I did. And I’ll be damn if they didn’t prove to be just as true in the publishing business as in any other venture.

I thought I’d share some of that guy’s wisdom with you today….

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will. The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel-these are the things that endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events that occasion them.

Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there. Once you agree upon the price you and your family must pay for success, it enables you to ignore the minor hurts, the opponent's pressure, and the temporary failures. If you'll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives. Remember, it's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up." ----Vince Lombardi

Ah, my Wisconsin friends and relatives (especially all you Packer fans out there!) will appreciate this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Deborah, and I know you're off on a busy book tour right now, but I'd LOVE to hear more about those "paranormal investigation teams" when you return! (What do you DO? How do you do it? Do you have a really cool tools??)

To everyone else, what or who has proven inspirational for you?

I had a chance to attend the Jane Austen Society of North America's annual conference this past weekend, and I'm still recovering! I had a wonderful time and was inspired not only by "my beloved Jane," but also by the many tremendously kind and intelligent people I met there. More on this later in the week...once I've fully returned from Regency times to our post-millennial present :-).


robin said...

Hi Marilyn! Thanks for the introduction to Deborah. I liked what she said and Vince Lombardi's words can definitely be applied to writers. I get so much inspiration from other writers like yourself, so thank you!

Marilyn Brant said...

Aw, Robin, you're so sweet :). I'm glad nothing I've said so far has sent you running away--ears covered, eyes shut--from the writing life!

And, btw, I've been meaning to add you to my Blog Roll for weeks--sorry it took this long!

L.A. Mitchell said...

Vince Lombardi's words were like a football smack on the behind. Very motivating today :)

This is SO my kind of book. I'm checking this one out.

Pamala Knight said...

Thanks for introducing Deborah to us, Marilyn. It's nice to see the words in print, hear them out loud even though deep down inside, we all know that the 'will' is what makes all the difference.

Excellent as always. And thanks for being such great company this past weekend.

Marilyn Brant said...

L.A.~glad you liked Vince's words and, yes, I thought of you immediately when I read the description of Deborah's book!

Pamala~it was *wonderful* spending the weekend with you...thank you.