Meet the Author… Sherry Leclerc
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. A teacher and mom by day, and an avid reader and writer by night, Sherry has a B.A. in Language and Literature, and a B.Ed.
What is your favorite childhood book, and why?
My parents had a big book of fairy tales that they would read to my sisters and me at night. Then as we got older I read it again myself—numerous times. I don’t remember what the book was called, but I remember some of the stories. My favorite story from the book was The Ugly Duckling. I was a shy kid, who never felt like I really fit in. I think that’s why the story resonated so strongly with me.
Then, in my teenaged years, I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It started as an Advanced English class requirement, but it soon turned into a passion. It’s what sparked my love for fantasy fiction.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t writing something, but the first short stories I wrote were a collection of three horror stories to try and scare my friends and family with at Halloween. I even drew some basic illustrations for the cover. They were paranormal stories with ghosts, spirits and poltergeists. They were handwritten on lined paper and stapled together into a booklet.
Who is your favorite author? How much is your work influenced by their work?
I have a few “favorite” authors, but the one who has influenced me the most is J.R.R. Tolkien. I remember having a difficult time getting into The Fellowship of the Ring when I first read it. There was so much back story and detail that the beginning felt slow-paced. Once the real action started in the book, I was glad for all the information that had come before as it made the story that much richer. By the time I finished the book, I was hooked on LOTR and fantasy fiction. I think I’ve read most of what he’s written since then.
Tolkien’s work made me realize that writing fantasy can be difficult and time consuming, but it can also be freeing. With fantasy, you are limited only by the depth of your imagination. The idea of being able to create a world and characters that feel real to the readers, that draw them in and allow them to connect with them, is both my goal and my inspiration in writing speculative fiction.
Have you read anything that has made you feel differently about fiction?
I have read many books over the years that have shaped and changed how I feel about fiction. Most recently, it was Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoire, part instructional book, it contained a lot of useful information and gave me much food for thought.
If you were deserted on an island, which three people would you want to have with you? Why?
One fictional character from your book: I would probably choose Maelona from my first book, The Guardians of Eastgate. She is a seer, a warrior and a hunter, and she has some knowledge of healing.
One fictional character from any other book: For a fictional character from another book, it would be a toss up between Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books and Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings. They are both wise and are very powerful wizards.
One famous person who is not a family member or friend: I think I would choose Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He is hard-working, motivating and inspirational. He’s funny and always seems to be smiling. He is also very strong, so he’d be helpful for all the manual labor that would need to be done, like building a treehouse like the one that was on The Swiss Family Robinson.
What are your books about? Can you tell us about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
I currently have two self-published books available. They are The Guardians of Eastgate and The Dragon Shifters at Southgate, books 1 and 2 of the Seers Series, respectively.
The series is about a race of people, the Seers, who have been getting visions about an evil sorcerer who wants to take over the realm. There are four Seer Champions, each one named a guardian of a certain kingdom and its keystone. They must travel to the kingdom they are responsible for to try and protect that keystone, which is the first line of defense against the dark sorcerer. Along the way, they recruit others to stand with them in protecting the realm.
In book 2, my most recently published book, Seer Champion Talwyn must protect the kingdom of Southgate and its keystone. Along the way, she tries to recruit a group of reclusive Dragon Shifters to help her.
Aside from the entertainment factor, I try to tackle issues I myself feel strongly about in real life. For example, I try to make gender a non-issue in my books to in order to promote gender equality. There is also the idea of accepting others for who they are and seeing the benefit in welcoming differences between people as a way of strengthening the whole.
What genre do you consider your books? Have you considered writing in another genre?
My current two books are epic fantasy with love story sub-plots. I’ve also started a second epic fantasy series. I consider myself a speculative fiction author because I have plans to write a sci-fi book and a paranormal romance. I’ve also considered writing contemporary romance, but if I do that I will likely use a pseudonym.
Do you have any difficulty writing characters of the opposite sex?
I don’t have much difficulty in writing male characters when they are secondary characters, probably because I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy. However, I do have some difficulty when a male is the MC and I have to delve deeper into how they think and what makes them tick. I try to read a lot of novels written by men or with men as the MC to help me in this area.
What motivated you to become an indie author? How did you break into publishing?
A big part of my choice to publish independently is due to desire to have complete creative control over these stories that mean so much to me.
For my first published book, I used an assisted self-publishing service to help me. I had to do a lot of research to find an honest company that has the authors’ interests at heart. I did this because I had no clue about the process. I learned a lot from that experience, and for the second edition of that same book, I took more control, finding and hiring people myself to do the cover, editing and formatting. For the second book, I ran into a couple of speed bumps with people I hired, but in the end I took on more of the work than in the past, only hiring a cover artist and editor and taking care of the rest myself.
I had a huge learning curve, and had to do a lot of reading, online courses and workshops in order to learn the process, but I’ve enjoyed it very much and I plan to keep on learning and publishing.
What do your fans mean to you?
Since I write the kinds of stories I myself would like to read, I consider my fans to be kindred spirits. I started writing and publishing to make a life-long dream of mine come true. Hearing from fans—heck, even having fans—and knowing there are people out there who have read and re-read my work and loved it, means more to me than I would have thought. They are the driving force that motivate me to keep going during moments of self-doubt and times of difficulty. I don’t feel like I need a huge, adoring fan base. I’d be happy to have even just a few people who seem to get me and my work.
Thank you so much, Sherry, for sharing all this with us. You have been very modest not to mention that your first book, The Guardians of Eastgate, has won a Golden Literary Titan Book Award last year. Only books that have unique writing, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas get these awards, so I take my hat off to you!
If you want to contact Sherry Leclerc or follow her on social media, you can do so via the following: