One of the reasons I love this interview series is it gives me a chance to get to know the contributing authors better too! I had no idea Leigh Anne was so active in the holistic living community. (I studied Herbalism for a year myself!)
The Debut Collective is a supportive tribe of authors (both published and aspiring), editors, formatters, and cover designers working together to foster a new generation of stories and authors. We will be publishing 5 short story anthologies in June 2016.
We are pleased to share the following interview with contributing author, Leigh Anne DuChene.
Please share a little about yourself and your background.
Hi, I’m Leigh Anne DuChene. I’m a homeschooling and work-at-home mother to three sprightly boys. I love to read, and I write in what little free time I can find. I am a natural living and parenting educator, coach, mentor. I’ve spent the past 10 years of my life in this work studying all areas of holistic living I could find. I like to infuse my writing with a flair of holistic and natural living to make my stories unique, intriguing, and pique interest in holistic living for all who read my work.
Please share information on any published or upcoming books.
I am working on 3 books right now. Wolf Valor the short story will be published in the Debut Collective anthology series. Wolf Valor the novel is still in the works and will be my first completed and published novel.
I am also working on The Oracle, book 1 of the Avi’el Series. I’ve been writing this book for a long time, like years. lol … A lot of research for world, character, and plot development has gone into this series.
Then, there is Soul Healers book 1 that is also almost done. It will likely be my second published novel.
Which Debut Collective anthology/anthologies will you be published in?
I wrote Wolf Valor for the Act of Bravery anthology of the Debut Collective anthology series.
Share a brief teaser or logline for your story/stories.
This Winter Solstice not only brings with it a full moon for Starla, but a life changing event that helps her discover the bravery she keeps hidden deep down inside. In order to save her best friend, Starla must face her fears of the unknown and the crazy new world she’s been thrust into.
The Oracle, Book 1 of The Avi’el Series:
Can Sirra fight the dark within before it is too late to save her people, the Avi’el? Sirra has to make it to her consecration ceremony to bind the dark Rephaim magic flowing in her veins. If Sirra succumbs to the lure of the Rephaim magic within her before she is consecrated as the Avi’el’s new Oracle, the delicate balance of light and dark powers in the world that her people have fought for centuries to maintain will be destroyed and the Rephaim will bring darkness upon the world.
Soul Healers Book 1 Teaser:
Cole takes our entwined hands and slowly and smoothly raises them above our heads. With his face still directly next to my right ear, he begins to trail soft, gentle kisses from my ear lobe, down the side of my next , to my right shoulder. Untangling our fingers he slowly starts to glide his hands down my arms toward my elbow. I let my elbows bend and my hands find his hair. I tangle my fingers into his lush locks, as he continues peppering my neck with kisses as he moves his hands down my arms toward my body. He never stops. Without missing a beat, Cole continues slowly roaming his hands down my sides as if he is trying to memorize through touch the feel of my body. He subtly grazing the sides of my breasts sending an intense tingling sensation through my core which causes my breath to hitch. In response, Cole stops peppering kisses on my next and begins suckling at the crook of my neck as my fingers comb through his hair and gently caress his neck. His hands now at my waist, Cole moves inward toward my stomach, splaying his hands firmly against my belly and gently squeezing me as if to draw me even closer to him. He finally stops his exquisite assault on my neck, and nuzzles close to my ear once more.
Share an insight into your main character. What made you want to write a story from their perspective?
Starla has been recently hurt by the man she loved and intended to marry. This pain has caused her to retreat from the world to protect her heart. She has spent months focused only on her business and best friend. Then, the unfathomable happens to her, and she has to buck up, move past the hurt, find her courage, save her friend, and open herself to love again.
We’ve all been burned by someone we care about. It is in how we choose to live our life following that shows who we are choosing to be. Do we let that event define who we are, or do we find our courage, be brave, and go live our life again?
I wanted to show that courage is found in many ways, in many situations, and for many reasons. Starla has to find her courage to live her life again, her courage to save her best friend, and probably the most difficult for many the courage to open her heart again.
Her acts of bravery are both personal and to save her friend’s life.
What genre(s) do you write and what draws you to that genre?
I write young adult, new adult, and adult contemporary and fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi romance.
I love fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction the best with a healthy dose of romance thrown in. I like to be taken out of reality and thrown into a fantastical world or experience. It’s a great escape and mental relaxer.
Sometimes, I prefer contemporary. Sometimes we need to see the romance in the real world, not just the fantastical.
Describe a typical writing day, or is there such a thing for you? Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Write in Scrivener, notebooks, or on cocktail napkins?
I don’t have a typical writing day. I write when I can fit it into my life. Usually that means evenings after the family is in bed.
I don’t aim for word counts or pages. I write till the inspiration for that session stops. I keep a notebook, or digital note file on my phone, with me at all times to write down ideas, scenes, lines, snip-its that come to me throughout my day so that I can later incorporate them into my stories when writing.
I use notebooks, napkins, scrap paper, phone, ipad, word processor file on computer, and Scrivener. I use whatever I have in the moment when I need it, and I use Scrivener to finalize it all. When I am stuck I find writing by hand helps inspire the creative juices.
Are you a plotter (outline plot) or a pantser (prefer to run with an idea)?
Depends on the story or series. I have one that I have thoroughly researched, planned, and detailed out. It has taken me years. I have 2 others that I haven’t planned out, I just write what comes to me. Both ways are great to me, and I enjoy both approaches. They work better for different types of stories and intentions of the author.
What book(s) are you currently reading or would you recommend?
I’m currently reading the “Off-Campus” Series by Elle Kennedy, just finished The Deal and already started The Mistake.
I’m also reading Dawn of Ash, book 6 of the Imdalind Series by Rebecca Ethington that just came out.
There are so many great authors, books, and series out there. My favorite New Adult fantasy romance that I recently finished is The Kricket Series by Amy Bartol. Under Different Stars, book 1 of the series, is just fabulous!
What is your favorite writing/reading related quote?
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison
Tell us 5 random facts about you:
I’m a Traditional Naturopath, Herbalist, Nutritionist, and Massage Therapist specializing in Maternal and Pediatric wellness.
I founded and have led a local holistic living and parenting community for the DFW, TX area for 9 years now.
I am a former chiropractic student.
I played the flute in junior high and high school band and love native flute music.
I make handcrafted herbal remedies and homemade holistic living products.
Does music influence your writing? If so, can you share a song that inspired your Debut Collective anthology story?
Music can influence my writing, but it isn’t a major influencer.
Demons by Imagine Dragons was the most recent major music influencer for me. It really helped me to write some of the scenes in The Oracle, book 1 of The Avi’el Series.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? How has participating in the collective and the anthology project inspired or pushed you creatively?
Just write. Make time to do what you love, even if it is carved out of the wee hours of the night. Don’t be afraid to share your work, to get critics, and to publish your work. Being part of the Debut Collective has allowed me to get published with a short story first, before the novel is published. It has eased some of my anxieties about completing a book and publishing it. (Love, love, LOVE this! That’s what I’d hoped would happen. <3)
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Website or Blog: www.author.leighanneduchene.com
Thank you for participating! Please join us on Friday, when the Debut Collective will feature the absolute best hugger in the world, Carol Kunz!