Sunday, April 08, 2018

Indie Author Interview: Sherry Leclerc


Indie Author Interview with Sherry Leclerc - Author of the Fantasy Novel The Guardians of Eastgate.

Sherry Leclerc is a science fiction and fantasy fanatic who lives in magical realms where swords and sorcery, action and adventure, seers, shifters and sorcerers abound.

Interview with Sherry Leclerc

Author Sherry Leclerc
Author Sherry Leclerc
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Sherry Leclerc: I have been writing and reading voraciously since childhood. I have written poetry and short stories from a young age. My love of reading and writing led me to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, minoring in French Language and Literature. I then followed that with a B.ED.
While pursing my B.A., I wrote for the University newspaper. While on a semester of immersion in St. Pierre and Miquelon, I wrote an article in French, which was published in a local magazine. For a time, I thought I wanted to be a journalist and I was building a portfolio to apply to schools of journalism. However, I realized this is not the kind of writing I really wanted to do.
I have long wanted to write novels in the fantasy genre, but I did not take the chance until recently. I love writing, and I am continually striving to improve my craft. I write the kind of stories I would enjoy reading, and I hope my readers enjoy them as well.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
One of my favorite all-time fantasy authors is J.R.R. Tolkien, who I first read in high school. I would say he was a huge influence on my love of the genre, and on the kind of stories I write.
Of course, I have read many authors in the years since that I have also loved, and who have been writing influences for me. Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels were an early influence. J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter books are a big love of mine as well. I also love the cross-genre fantasy novels by Sherrilyn Kenyon, in particular her Dark Hunters series and League series. I am also a fan of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood novels.
I am also a huge fan of comic books and comic-based movies. I don’t write super heroes, as such, in my novels. I rather write people or races who are different to our own, but still share many of our characteristics, problems and emotions. But I can’t help but add some of those high-action scenes you can find in comics and super-hero movies into my novels.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I think I have always considered myself a writer, as I was always writing something, even from a very young age. I had ideas for a couple of novels stored in my head since I was a teenager. I pursued by B.A. in Language and Literature with the hopes of eventually becoming a published author.
That was more than twenty years ago. Back then, I knew becoming a published author was a difficult road, unless one was very lucky, and could be a long process. I was a poor student with student loans that would need to be paid back once I graduated, so I completed a second degree in a subject I also loved and felt was very important: education.
Now, years later, life has settled some, and the upsurge in, and relative ease of, self-publishing rekindled that old desire to publish. The idea of writing my novel, publishing it and still retaining creative control to write the kinds of stories I know I would myself enjoy was so appealing to me that I finally found the courage to put myself and my writing out there.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote countless poems and lyrics when I was young, but the first story I wrote actually turned into an anthology of three or four short horror/paranormal stories that I put together for my friends and family for Halloween one year.

"[...] writing and researching"

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
With a full-time day job and a family to take care of, my writing routine generally consists of writing and researching in the evenings once the kids have gone to bed and trying to catch up more on the weekends and holidays, whenever I have a spare moment. It can be a slow process, given that I also love to read about writing and publishing whenever I can as well.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
My desk/workspace is pretty cluttered. I have a laptop that I use to write and research, and a space just to the left that I keep clear for whatever notes I am using as that particular time. I have a space on my right where I put my water, tea or coffee. But I also like to pile and/or spread out the things I think I may need on the rest of the desk, like research and informational books, the many notebooks I write my ideas in, and so on. I like to have things I might need within arm’s reach, so I can write with relatively few interruptions.
My husband hates the clutter, but when he mentions it, I just remind him of that Albert Einstein quote: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

"[...] the hardest is always being able to find the time to write."

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?

What I find easiest about writing is the stories. I have lots of story ideas from years of wanting to write but never taking the chance. I also know who my main characters are and what they are like before I even begin.
Spending a long day at work, in what can at times be a challenging job, does not deter me from writing in the evening in the least. Writing is actually a way for me to unwind, to get my thoughts on paper in a sometimes-abstract way. Then there is that sense of accomplishment you get in bringing your story-world and your characters to life.
What I find the hardest is always being able to find the time to write. I can sometimes be in the middle of a scene, knowing where I want it to go and what I want to say, but I am falling asleep at the keyboard and have to put it away. This is especially challenging now that I’ve published my first novel, since I now also need to devote time to promoting my book as well.

"I love being able to share the story world and the characters [...]"

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is the process of creating, so to speak. I love it when the story, on the larger scale, and the scenes and characters on the smaller scale, go from the abstract to the concrete. I love when the writing flows for me and I can watch these stories and characters go from ideas floating unformed in my mind to something more solid and tangible. Then, I love being able to share the story world and the characters I love so much with my readers.

Sherry, please tell us a little about your Fantasy Novel The Guardians of Eastgate.
Sterrenvar is a fantastical, magical realm divided by differences, where the humans, sorcerers, and numerous shifter species keep mostly to their own kind. When a group of seers are warned through visions of an evil, dark sorcerer intent on ruling the realm, seer champion Maelona Sima must set out for Eastgate to defend a magical keystone that can help protect the realm. Along the way, she must gain allies and convince the differing peoples of the realm to stand together as one to save their world from its biggest threat in three-thousand years.

The Guardians of Eastgate (Sherry Leclerc)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
The Guardians of Eastgate, and the entire planned series, in fact, is based on a story idea I have had in my mind since I was a teenager. I have changed and tweaked it over the years, as other stories, and even movies, have come up with similar ideas in the 20+ years since I first came up with it.
The original idea was inspired by Tolkien, actually. In high school, I read the entire Lord of The Rings trilogy. I loved the books, of course, but there were times or sections that were difficult to get through or took me a long time to get through. I found myself thinking that most others my age would probably end up putting the books down at those more difficult parts. That would be a shame, though, since the books were worth it in the end. All of that detail and complexity made the stories that much richer and real.
So, I thought that an epic fantasy story that was rich and complex, but not to the degree or scale of TLOTR, might be appealing to teenagers and young adults who liked to read, but also had studies and schooling that took up a lot of their time.

Who do you see as your target audience?
The book is targeted to the young adult market. However, I believe it would also appeal to teenagers and adults of all ages who enjoy the fantasy genre.

"The story is timeless, and the underlying themes are particularly relevant in today’s social and political climate, at home and around the world."

What makes your book special?
In a time of social change and strife, where racial and gender inequality and prejudices are spoken of in the media daily, The Guardians of Eastgate: Book 1 of The Seers Series, is a fantasy novel that speaks of self-acceptance, as well as learning to appreciate others not despite their differences, but because of them.
The Guardians of Eastgate is about a world divided, whose different peoples must come together to stand against a dark force that threatens them all. The story follows the main character’s journey as she gathers allies and battles evil.
Underneath this story lies the deeper journey of self-acceptance, of getting to know and understand others’ cultures and ways of life, and of learning to appreciate how differences can help to strengthen the whole.
The story is timeless, and the underlying themes are particularly relevant in today’s social and political climate, at home and around the world.

How would you describe the success of your self-published books so far?
This second edition of my debut novel, The Guardians of Eastgate was published on February 19, 2018. So far, I have received much positive feedback. It has received the Literary Titan Gold Award and has 190 ratings so far on Goodreads with an average rating of 4.26 stars.
The biggest signifier of its success for me, however, is the feedback I have received from fans of the book. I have heard directly from fans via social media who have expressed their love of the book, and how it made them feel. This is exactly what I hoped for in writing and publishing my book: to resonate with people on a personal level with the story itself and with the underlying themes. This is what makes writing and publishing my books worth everything I have put into them.

"Let your story flow. Do not edit while you write, just get the story down."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
I have actually started a blog on my website for new and aspiring authors, telling them of what I have learned along the way, and giving advice based on my experiences thus far. There are also a couple of guest posts on the topic of writing. You can find these here: http://www.sherryleclerc.com/blog/
I think the biggest piece of advice I could give briefly in an interview, however, is to just write. If you are a new author or aspiring author in particular, push aside any self-doubt and hesitation and just write. Let your story flow. Do not edit while you write, just get the story down.
Finishing that first draft is a huge accomplishment in itself. Only once you are past that step should you go back and edit, rewrite, and adjust the story as needed.

"Can the past be forgiven, so the future can be saved?"

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am currently working on the audiobook version of The Guardians of Eastgate, and I have almost completed the first draft of the second book in The Seers Series.
The second book in The Seers Series follows another seer champion, Talwyn Sevi, as she visits the home of the Stone Dragons, a tribe of dragon shifters. Centuries before, the Stone Dragons were persecuted and hunted to the point of near-extinction, much as the seers themselves had once been. Since then, they have been in hiding, and have had very little contact with the others in the realm. Now Talwyn must try to convince the Dragon Lord to ally his people with hers to help protect the keystone of Southgate, and the humans who had once hunted them down. Then, when the young, dragon-shifter sorceress is kidnapped by demonkin, led by the same evil, dark sorcerer who has been threatening the realm, the Dragon Lord asks Talwyn for help in locating her.
Some mysteries introduced in the first book begin to unravel in this second book of the series, and more mysteries come to light. New plots reveal themselves, and the stakes are now higher than before.
Can the dragon shifters forgive the past and ally against old enemies to help Talwyn protect the keystone and the inhabitants of Southgate? Will the uneasy peace between them become a friendship, solid enough to provide a united front, and strong enough to stand against the most powerful sorcerer the realm has seen in millennia? Can the past be forgiven, so the future can be saved?

"[...] nothing more pleasurable for book lovers than to take the time to wander through a book store."

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I don’t think book stores will ever disappear completely. In fact, I have read some research that shows that, though the eBook market carries a majority of books sales these days, the brick-and-mortar market has been once again increasing.
It had once been predicted that the eBook market would essentially kill off the book store market by now. Yet, book stores are still responsible for a significant percentage of the world’s book sales. I believe this is because there is nothing more pleasurable for book lovers than to take the time to wander through a book store, browsing the physical books, turning the pages, and then choosing a book or a dozen to purchase. I don’t see book-lovers and devoted readers ever willingly giving up that experience completely.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use a Kindle app on my galaxy tablet and smartphone for reading e-books.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I do not write full-time, though I use every spare moment I have to write. I am a French teacher by day, and I am a wife and a mother with two young boys. Writing, and publishing- and promoting-related tasks, usually happen in the evenings after my kids go to bed, and in between family activities on weekends and holidays.

How can readers connect with you?
I try to connect with readers through local events when possible, and readers can connect with me in many ways on social media.
Website: www.sherryleclerc.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SherryLeclercAuthor/
Twitter: @sleclercauthor
Instagram: @sherryleclercauthor
Google +: https://plus.google.com/112138646094597241799
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sherry-leclerc-3235b458/

Thank you very much for the Interview, Sherry.



About the Book The Guardians of Eastgate

The Guardians of Eastgate (Sherry Leclerc)
Click to Read an Excerpt
Sterrenvar is a fantastical, magical realm divided by differences, where the humans, sorcerers, and numerous shifter species keep mostly to their own kind.

When a group of seers are warned through visions of an evil, dark sorcerer intent on ruling the realm, seer champion Maelona Sima must set out for Eastgate to defend a magical keystone that can help protect the realm.

Along the way, she must gain allies and convince the differing peoples of the realm to stand together as one to save their world from its biggest threat in three-thousand years.

"[...] Leclerc’s book is a fantastic fantasy novel accented with the inevitable threat of evil and darkness confronted by a ragtag group of “heroines and heroes”. Since this is the first book in a series there is a sense that there is plenty more story to come. There is something for everyone though, between world building, action and romance between Maelona and Blaez." - Reader Review (5-Stars)



Links to the Book

Link to the Hardcover The Guardians of Eastgate on Amazon

Link to the Paperback The Guardians of Eastgate on Amazon

Link to the eBook The Guardians of Eastgate on Amazon



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