July 5, 2005

GCC: Three Questions with Deborah LeBlanc

Tomorrow I shall tell you the story of THE BLACK M&M (cue ominous music). It is a horror story. You will be shocked and amazed and a little bit grossed out. Perhaps you will feel sorry for me and be moved by all I have endured. Perhaps you will send me some delicious medication! But TODAY, in preparation for tomorrow's fright fest, we have an appropriately spooky guest...

Deborah LeBlanc's new book is called Grave Intent and it's set in a funeral home...here, have a scoop of jacket copy for the 411:

Janet and Michael Savoy had never seen anything like the viewing for nineteen-year-old Thalia Stevenson. That's because they had never witnessed a Gypsy funeral before, complete with rituals, incantations, and a very special gold coin placed beneath the dead girl's hands...

When that coin is stolen, a horror is unleashed. If the Savoys don't find the coin and return it to Thalia's grave before the rising of the second sun, someone in their family--perhaps their little daughter--will die a merciless death. The ticking away of each hour brings the Savoy family closer to a gruesome, inescapable nightmare. Only one thing is certain--Gypsies always have their revenge . . . even the dead ones.

"Iconic writers like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Peter Straub who have sold millions penning psychological thrillers designed to scare the living daylights out of readers had better beware—they’ve all just met their match and her name is Deborah LeBlanc. An irresistible blend of horror, mystery and dark fantasy, Grave Intent is like a wild roller coaster ride through the seven levels of Hell that doesn’t stop until readers are all suitably slack jawed in shock and delirious with all-consuming fear. In a word: Awesome!"
--Paul Goat Allen- Ransom Notes- B&N.Com

AND NOW! Three questions...

JJ: I find your books appealing in part because of the setting---I'm a southern girl myself. But your slice of the south is more mysterious and swampy than mine...How important is location to you as a writer, or, a better way to say that might be, could these books be set anywhere else?

DL: I don't believe Family Inheritance could have been written in another location because so much of it deals with Cajun folklore and culture. The same can probably be said about Grave Intent, I suppose. Though it's not as atmospheric and based around Cajun culture as Family Inheritance, the story is dependant on 'southern' topography--above ground tombs, heat and humidity, the way a funeral home operates in a southern state. Location is important to me as a writer due to comfort level. I know the south, understand it's people, history, and traditions. Although I can certainly establish a story in Chicago or Baltimore, it would still probably revolve around a southern character who may be visiting these locations. (As I often do.) What's important to me as a writer is that the story ring true to the reader. I know what it's like to be southerner visiting Chicago. And although I may be allowed some creative license as an author, I wouldn't do justice to the people born and raised in Chicago by trying to create a character who was.

JJ: Who did you dedicate your books to and why?

DL: My books are dedicated to the people who've made the biggest impact on my life. My family.

JJ: A lot of writers read this blog---I find it interesting that you have worked in so many "male dominated industries" and now you are writing horror which is a somewhat male dominated genre. And I know some of your work has crept into your writing because Grave Intent is set in a funeral home and you used to work in a funeral home---can you talk a little bit about how your work and your writing are connected?

DL: I never set out to specifically write horror. The industry gave me that genre title. My books
have been called psychological suspense, thrillers, dark fantasy, mystery/suspense, just about everything but romance and western. I'm an avid reader, so I believe I write what I love to read, anything that will keep me turning the pages and on the edge of my seat.

Working in male dominated industries gave me, and still does, a different persepective on life. And that is--if you can play and win in these industries, you can play and win anywhere. My hobbies are 'different' as well, which gives me an unlimited well from which to draw stories. I'm an avid ghost hunter, a licensed death scene investigator, still work in morgues and funeral homes as a management consultant, and ride a Harley Davidson named Alberta whenever I little spare extra time. :)

Posted by joshilyn at July 5, 2005 8:25 AM

Thanks, Joshilyn, for introducing me to new authors--particularly another female horror writer. I'm looking forward to reading Deborah's books. They sound yummy!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at July 5, 2005 9:44 AM

Yeah, yeah, file the black m&m story with the pink socks...
I know better than to get my hopes up any more.

Posted by: Kira at July 5, 2005 11:18 AM

Thanks for introducing me to an author new to me. I look forward to reading her book!

The black M&M story sounds a bit scary, though. But since I am avoiding writing, I will be checking back often for it. (If you tell me it was a bug, though, I will probably hurl in your comments. Just so you know.)

Posted by: Jenn at July 5, 2005 2:30 PM