J.M. LeDuc was blessed to have had a mother who loved writing, and it’s in her maiden name he writes. J.M.’s first novel, Cursed Blessing, won a Royal Palm Literary Award. Cursed Presence and Cursed Days rounded out the Trilogy of the Chosen. Phantom Squad, a prequel was written soon after. Cornerstone, the continuation of the Phantom Squad series became a # 1 Best Seller on Amazon.
Sin, the first book in the Sinclair O’Malley series was published in 2014. Painted Beauty, the second in the series, followed in 2016. The Providence Journal called Painted Beauty “terrific crime noir and the best serial killer tale I’ve read in a long time.”
Evil Awakened (Oct. 21, 2017) marks his first foray into YA paranormal/fantasy.
Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of The Rising states “EVIL AWAKENED features a sultry balance of fantasy, thriller and epic YA adventure—a Native American-themed Game of Thrones!” Spirits Collide, the second book in the YA paranormal/fantasy series was released in January 2018.
1. What is your debut novel and what inspired its story?
If it’s okay, instead of talking about my debut novel, Cursed Blessing (2010), I’d like to talk about the two books I’m currently writing.
I write in two different genres, so I’ll talk about them one at a time.
- “They All Fall Down,” is the 3rd book in the Sinclair O’Malley series. This series is a Crime Thriller series starring a brash, feisty, 20-something, female FBI agent who doesn’t like playing by the rules. Each book in this series takes on a social injustice. The 1st (SIN) was written in the world of human trafficking, the 2nd, (Painted Beauty) revolved around a serial killer who had been “molded” into what he/she was through abuse.
“They All Fall Down” deals with greed in a political landscape while involving many different facets: extortion, street gangs, corrupt politicians, and the Calabrian Mafia to name a few. This book is in editing phase at the publishing house and should have a summer 2019 release date.
- The second book I am currently developing is the 3rd in my YA Paranormal / Dark Fantasy series. I’m excited about this series and its possibilities. It takes place in the world of Native American gods, demons, beasts, and humans. The series’ main protagonist is a Caucasian teenage girl, who turns 16 in book one (Evil Awakened). The backdrop is that Pamoon was left on the doorstep of a reservation medical center as an infant and adopted into the Cree tribe. On her 16th birthday, she discovers that she is the subject of Native American folklore: “A girl as white as winter’s snow will come to save a nation.”
What I love about this series is that it is multifaceted. It deals with Native American mythology while exploring a young girl’s road to maturity and what she is destined to become: The Kiche – Sky Spirit Goddess. **The series is titled The Kiche Chronicles but is undergoing a rebranding, meaning new covers and probably new series title. The rebranding will be complete sometime in March or April, with the 3rd book being released at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020.
2. Do you write one specific genre or are you a multi genre author?
LOL. As I stated above, I write in two different genres, YA Paranormal /Dark Fantasy and Crime Thriller.
3. Do you have any memorable quotations or ‘one-liners’ that you have written and love?
Great question. There are quite a few one-liners in the Sinclair O’Malley series, but she has a tendency to drop the f-bomb, so I’ll keep those to myself at the moment.
“Evil Awakened” has so many lines that I love: here are a few
White Eagle, the Cree chief is speaking to Pamoon about nature: “Every living thing has a spirit. Everything,” he emphasized. “Not just people. Everything from the largest lake to the smallest animal. And each can talk to you.”
Kisemanito (Kise) – The Creator, speaking to Pamoon on the Spirit Mount:
“You have seen glimpses of your power, but you must learn to harness and use it. Like the wind, it can provide welcome relief or it can bring bitter cold.”
Pamoon asks Kise where she can find the demons who were released from the Netherworld:
“How do I find them?”
“You don’t. Like any evil, it comes looking for you.”
Out of context, I don’t know how memorable they sound, but in context, these lines are special. At least to me . . . and I hope the readers.
4. Do you have a favourite character that you have penned to life and why is this your favourite character?
I’m starting to sound repetitive: Pamoon (Kiche Chronicles) and Sinclair (Sin) O’Malley are definitely my favorite protagonists. The characters in the Phantom Squad which are from my first series (Trilogy of the Chosen) and Cornerstone will always hold a special place in my life since they were the first characters I brought to life.
5. Are there any close friends/ family who have proven to be a pillar of support to you in your writing?
All of my family and friends have been supportive, especially my wife, Sherri and daughter, Chelsea. I’ve also been blessed to have very supportive publishing houses: Suspense Publishing (thrillers) and Magic Quill Press (YA Paranormal / Dark Fantasy).
6. What are you currently working on?
“They All Fall Down,” the 3rd in the Sinclair O’Malley series is in editing/revision.
“Dark Realm,” tentative title of the 3rd in the Kiche chronicles is in early development: plot, characters, setting, etc.
7. What has been your greatest challenge as an author thus far and how are you dealing/have dealt with it?
The greatest challenge for me has been promotion. Publishers only have so much they can do to help promote your work, the rest is up to the author. I am not a natural “salesman,” so this has been a struggle. I am dealing with it by trying to overcome my flaws and turn them into strengths.
8. How do you deal with criticism and how has it helped you as a writer?
At first, it was tough. I don’t think anyone likes criticism, but it’s part of the process. Once you understand that it actually makes you a better writer, you begin to embrace it. One of the first things you learn as a writer is that you cannot see your own mistakes, whether they are plot errors or grammar issues, you just tend to miss them. It takes outsiders, not family members or friends, to help point them out.
9. How has social media helped in promoting and marketing your books?
I believe Social media is the cornerstone of today’s marketing. It’s a great way to share your work with potential readers and reviewers. Nothing gets the word out faster than social media.
It can get a little confusing in today’s social media landscape because there are so many different platforms to use.
10. When writing your novel which aspect of the writing process do you find to be the most challenging?
Plotting and outlining. When I started writing, I was definitely a “seat of your pants” writer. I’d start with a seed of an idea and let it grow by organic ways . . . meaning, I’d let the characters dictate where the story went. This wasted a lot of time! I’m just starting to learn the power of plotting and outlining.
11. How do you measure success as a writer/ author?
This might be the toughest question to answer. I doubt there is an author out there who doesn’t want commercial success. That is probably the ultimate measure of success for any artist. But, when I think about it, I believe that as long as I see growth in my work, from book to book, and I continue to be passionate about writing, then I’m successful.
12. What short term and/or long term goals have you set?
Short term goals: To finish writing and releasing the two projects previously spoken about: The 3rd book in both the Sinclair O’Malley series and the Kiche Chronicles in 2019.
Long term goals: Keep writing what I love and have readers love it as much as I do.
Dream goals: To have the name J.M. LeDuc the name people look for when they think of both genres: YA Paranormal / Dark Fantasy and Crime Thrillers.
13. What are your favourite book(s) and/or author(s)?
There is not enough space to answer this question, but . . . :
Okay, here goes, as of today:
YA Fantasy: author: Sarah J. Maas
Fantasy (adult): author: George R.R. Martin
Crime Thriller: author: R. J. Ellory
Favorite book of all time: Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky.
14. What advice will you give to other Indie Authors or those who are thinking of writing and publishing?
Don’t give in to your own skepticism and self-doubt. Keep learning. Join a local critique group.
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