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Deborah LeBlanc is an award-winning author from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is also a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, and an active member of two national paranormal investigation teams. Deborah's unique experiences, enthusiasm, and high-energy level make her a much sought-after speaker at writer's conferences across the nation. She also takes her Passion for literacy and a powerful ability to motivate to high schools around the country.

She is the president of the Horror Writers Association, the Writers' Guild of Acadiana, Mystery Writers of America's Southwest Chapter, and an active member of Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Women Writers, and International Thriller Writers Inc. In 2004, Deborah created the LeBlanc Literacy Challenge, an annual national campaign designed to encourage more people to read, and soon after founded Literacy Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting illiteracy in America.

For more information please visit http://www.theleblancchallenge.com/

For more information, view Deborah LeBlanc's Web site.

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An Interview with Deborah LeBlanc:

1. What was your biggest childhood ambition?
I dreamed of being an astronaut, Superman, a nun, a bull-rider, a singer, and a teacher. It wasn't until life had me well in the grips of adulthood that the storytelling urge overtook me, and I started penning tales.

2. What is your fondest memory?
Every time I went fishing with my dad.

3. What did you do for fun as a child?
I climbed trees, floated down a coulee on a tractor inner tube, pretending I was Huck Finn, and loaded up our mailbox with toad frogs at night so the mailman had a surprise waiting for him the next morning.

4. What was your worst job?
Working my way through college, I waited tables at a small diner that had more roaches than menu items. 

5. If you had another occupation than the one you are in now, what would it be?
Well, I actually have two occupations now. I own a fuel inventory management company, and I write.

6. What inspired you to write?
My love for storytelling, which came from my grandmother. She was the best tale-spinner on the planet. As a child, I'd sit at the foot of her rocker utterly spellbound as she told story after story, all of them factual, supernatural events that an uncle, aunt, or cousin had encountered 'back in the day.' Being Cajun, it was only natural that her entire body played a part in the telling of the tale. Her hand gestures were emphatic, her eyes widening or narrowing for effect, her entire body tensing and leaning forward as she reached the spookiest parts of the tale. I remember wishing I could be just like her.

7. What was your biggest challenge when writing this book?
Any story that has a supernatural or paranormal 'bend' to it can be a challenge to write because of the plausibility factor. Fortunately, the Louisiana bayous and swamps are already considered dark and mysterious by most folks, so that helps somewhat. Sprinkle in a few Cajun customs and a bit of New Orleans voodoo and before you know it, anything becomes plausible.

8. What do you dislike about writing?
When I sit at the computer for hours and barely manage to produce a decent paragraph, all because I couldn't find that just-right-word.

9. What book are you reading now?
I usually have more than one book going at any given time. Right now I'm reading:  Swan Peak by James Lee Burke--- Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich---and Relentless by Dean Koontz.

10. Where is your favorite place to write?
Although there's a huge advantage to writing at my desk, where everything I need is just a keystroke, drawer, or cubbyhole away, my favorite place to write is really anywhere that's quiet.

11. If your best friend was a celebrity, living or dead, who would it be?
Wow, that's a tough one. Instinctively, I want to say Mother Teresa because I so admired the woman. I don't know that she'd be considered a celebrity, though. That said, and sticking to a standard definition of 'celebrity', it would be a toss-up between Al Pacino and Jane Austen.

Copyright © 2009 Deborah LeBlanc, author of Water Witch.