Meet the Author… Sherry Leclerc

Meet the Author… Sherry Leclerc

She is an author of speculative fiction. The reason I contacted Sherry, however, was because her book cover had a dragon on it. I love dragons. I’m a big fan of Anne McAffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series and have been a sucker for anything dragon ever since. So, I wanted to know more about Sherry and her books. I found out her second book actually has dragon shifters in it, and she’s planning to write a paranormal romance. Awesome! Here’s her interview.

Sherry Leclerc

Author Sherry Leclerc

Author Biography

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.

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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:

Email: sherry@sherryleclerc.com

Website: www.sherryleclerc.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sleclercauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SherryLeclercAuthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sherryleclercauthor/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Leclerc/e/B0787V2JPJ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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Meet the Author… Rudi Jennings

I interview Rudi Jennings whom I met at The Darker Side of Fiction book signing in Peterborough October 2018

This week’s author is another Dark Sider (from The Darker Side of Fiction book signing in Peterborough last October). I only had a little time to chat with Rudi, but I immediately thought he was far too modest. His book intrigued me; the cover is simple yet compelling, the blurb even more so. Let’s find out more about this lovely author.

Rudi Jennings

Rudi Jennings

Biography

Rudi Michael Jennings spent the majority of his childhood growing up in the Norfolk, UK, countryside of fields and trees, really living amongst nature and possibly giving the basis of description in his book. Through travel, various professions ranging from pest controller to close protection officer, and a keen interest in psychology and fantasy writings, he developed a style of his very own and is keen to share it with the fantasy adventure world. This plans to be the first installment and adventure of many to come.

What do you love most about the writing process?

The total emersion into a world you have created, a world you can invent as you go along and I guess most of all, the amazing feedback I’ve been receiving. Not just the 5-star reviews, but people really taking time to explain what they like and all the questions. It really makes you feel like someone has lost themselves in your world.

Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

Rudi_Jennings_WaterstonesV2.jpgOne method I have been trying to get across to all the schools and colleges I’ve visited is my method. When I was at school we had to read authors’ works but had no instruction into their process of writing. So I always keep and pen and paper by the bed, as the first three chapters of my book was a dream I had. Also, I tell students I don’t pay attention to typical fantasy word counts; I just write scenes. Then I will place these scenes in some sort of order, then consider writing more scenes to join them up. Then again set them out in order and write more scenes to fill in the gaps. When you step back and look at your story, you’ve nearly got your word count without even knowing it.

Do consider yourself to be a successful writer? What do you think would make you successful?

On the scale of success this is a tricky one, what do you class as successful? I think money and fame tend to come and go, people are famous these days for just being on a reality show. Several different students have told me I have inspired them, I think that is the true height of success, inspiration. If you can get someone else to try writing, then really that’s about as successful as you can be.

Could you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?

The Last Myon on the Waterstones book shelfSo I am currently writing the second book to my Myon series. I plan to write one more, then a prequel, however not strictly in that order. It is just such an epic experience, people are always asking ‘how’s the next book coming?’ and ‘what happens to such and such?’ I love just having ideas pop into my head and the rush in excitement at getting them down on paper, I think the people that enjoyed my first book will love the second… Well, I hope.

What genre do you consider your book? Have you considered writing in another genre?

My book is Fantasy Adventure with a dark twist, it’s really just the sort of thing I’d love to read, so it was a bonus so many others felt the same. I have had ideas on a post-apocalyptic style novel, but I’m just concentrating all my mind on The Last Myon series for now, but who knows what the future will hold when I’m done here.

Does your book have a lesson, a moral?

Rudi_Jennings_TheLastMyon1I think it was an unintentional moral that has crept in from something my parents always taught my brother and me; never give up, never quit. I, like many people, have had to overcome some shocking huge obstacles, it’s only after these things we can really appreciate the goodness. That did bleed over into my main character and I tried to give this positive outlook for others to take away with them.

Can you give us an interesting fun fact about your book?

It was a dream, it sounds such a cliché, I know, but the first three chapters were a dream I had, I wasn’t even in the dream, just watching the event unfold. When I woke up I had to jot it all down, not with any real intention of writing a book. But a few weeks later I glanced at the notes, my mind went swimming back to that moment and I did wonder if I could actually write a book. After weeks of pros and cons, I thought what the hell, it’s for my own pleasure and I won’t even bother getting it published. Wow did that change.

What is your favorite part of the book?

It would have to be the few Chapters beginning with ‘The Pit’. So I had nearly finished the whole book, but I couldn’t for the life of me join two scenes together, I wracked my brains for weeks and suddenly when walking around in the supermarket one evening it came to me like a lightning strike to the head! I had to stand to one side of the aisle and text myself the plan, I really did enjoy writing that section and I’ve had some amazing feedback from readers.

What did you edit out of this book?

Rudi_Jennings_TheLastMyon4Very little, I have notebooks of other characters which didn’t make an appearance (this time), also this was one of my most feared moments. Sending it off to be edited was torture, I kept expecting to get it back cut to ribbons, turns out I had nothing to worry about, and the editor didn’t want to change anything, just a few grammatical errors so it really is how it was meant to be.

What has been the best compliment?

I did a signing at a library and a lady that worked there approached me. She said she had brought my book, not because she liked Fantasy, but because I was coming along and it would be a good thing to get me to sign it. Well, she said after reading my work, she felt she had totally missed out on a genre and will definitely be reading more fantasy works. That blew me away to think I had turned someone on to that whole genre.

Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Firstly, to my mum; I think now your one of my biggest fans. Thank you so much for reading to me as a little boy. I am confident this is what got me wanting to be an author. My dad; thank you for your unwavering support of every crazy idea and scheme I’ve come up with (which is a hell of a lot). Finally, to my readers, friends and fans; your words and ratings have blown me away, it still feels like a dream and with all your wanting to find out more, it helps me to focus and keep on going to fulfill my lifelong dream of being an accomplished writer. Thank you all.

Thank you, Rudi, for sharing your journey into authorship with us. I, too, had my first story come to me in a dream and never dreamt I’d be an author. I agree it’s a fantastic feeling to bring joy to others. I’m sure you’ll bring lots of joy in the years to come!

You can follow Rudi Jennings via the following social media:

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube Interview with Rudi Jennings

Amazon Author page

Rudi Jennings’s book The Last Myon is available in Waterstones, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, eBay, and many good bookstores and online retailers as well as from Olympia Publishers.