SHADOWS 5 star review on LIBRARY THING

I’d like to thank the readers on LIBRARY THING for their support of the written word and the reviewers who take the time to carefully consider each book. I was thrilled to be given a 5 star review for my novel “LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU:”

This is a wondrously written thriller that I couldn’t put down. Set in Canada, a young woman trying to escape her violent childhood cons her way onto an environmental research team where she falls in love with the team leader. When he inexplicably disappears into the Canadian wilderness, she returns home to sort out her past and, by default, her future.

The novel traverses three time periods: the protagonist’s early childhood, the present, and the not-so-distant past of her scientific expedition. The three time frames meld together perfectly and there is no confusion, only enhancement of the story.

This is a character-driven, psychological thriller that hooks you immediately and doesn’t let go until the last secret is revealed. The plot increases intensity to an almost feverish point, but the author does so with beautifully written prose. The sights, smells, sounds and emotions come alive.

Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a good thriller that isn’t just about car chases or explosions.

Thank you LIBRARY THING for celebrating what lies between the covers!

Advertisements

East Branch BOOK CLUB reads SHADOWS

I’d like to thank the book club at the east branch Saint John Library for reading my novel LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU.  I dropped by to visit them and thoroughly enjoyed their lively conversation.  Emily, the chief librarian, made delicious sweet treats and I brought chocolate.  Much sugar, caffiene and laughter was had by all.  What a thoughtful bunch of bibliophiles!

I especially loved the woman  who piped up at the end of our talk and asked me to read the last 2 paragraphs on page 251 which she felt summed up the heart of the book.  I agree one hundred percent!  It’s humbling and thrilling as a writer, when a reader connects with the soul of a story:

The tragedy was that everyone in the family had a story to tell. Brannagh could see that now. The leaver and the left behind.  And each person’s version would probably leave the impression that the teller of the tale was neither all sinner nor all saint, but simply human, with the struggle that being so entailed.  But they were stories that sometimes hid a dark truth that she had no way of  knowing completely. Ever.  She could only guess, take a blind leap, then let go.

And it seemed to her that the echoes of a family’s feeble attempts at love were at the heart of the anguish passed down from one generation to the next, an invisible inheritence undetectable to the naked eye, but skewered through the soul; a legacy of mistakes, fears, mistrust, disappearances, vulnerability, sickness, calluses formed around hearts, all these miserly clutchings threaded through one huge lump that a person blindly inherited with no say in the matter, that the universe left them on thier own to sort out.

Thank you East Branch for reading my novel and inviting me to talk about the book.  Until next time…happy reading!

 

 

 

Interviewing Me, Myself and I?

It seems like the ultimate self-centered thing to do,  doesn’t it?  Interview yourself.   But that’s what I’m doing today.  Why?  I do a lot of blog interviews and, occasionally for whatever reason, they don’t get posted.  I have a policy on principle that, after X number of weeks, I’ll post the interview myself.  While I don’t blame anyone for getting sick or falling behind or just succumbing to the myraid of things life throws our way, doing a blog interview takes a tremendous amount of work. So why let it go to waste? This particular interview was done for author, David Cole, who I met at  Bloody Words when we shared a panel together.  Being a wonderful writer himself, David has a legitmate reason for letting the interviews slide in favor of finishing a book.  Looking forward to reading your next, David!

In the meantime, here’s our interview:

 Q: In what ways do you think your upbringing has influenced the kind of writer you’ve become? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer, and how did you break this distressing news to your family?

Growing up, we spent weekends on my grandparent’s farm where the adults spoke Finnish (which my parents didn’t teach the children).  I slipped into the role of ‘observer’ and made up stories regarding what was unfolding using my imagination.  Coupled with that was a fascination with vanishings I developed early on.  A psychologist might say it was because we moved when I was 4-years-old, and the carefree world I’d known disappeared: the backyards I’d explored, the friends I’d loved, my favorite sister who had married and left.  From a child’s point of view, they seemed to vanish into thin air.  The new world in the new house in the middle of winter appeared deathly quiet and lonely.  I was a sensitive, dramatic and imaginative child.  It was at this time that I discovered books.   I learned to read very early and the first story to set my imagination on fire was C.S. Lewis The Narnia Series.  As soon as the kids stepped into the wardrobe and left that dusty attic for the land of Narnia I was hooked.  I immediately invented a story about elves in the garden who disappeared during the day to a mysterious land that I could not see, but could catch hints of if I looked closely.  Disappearances entered my fiction early on in short stories and, of course, the novel LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU. For the protagonist, Brannagh, Nikki’s disappearance from the bird count up north has a sinister dark side.  She doesn’t know if he voluntarily left or if there’s been foul play, as was the case in her mother’s murder many years ago.

How did my parents take the news that I wanted to write?  I think they viewed my creativity as a queer pass time (at best), an affliction (at worst) and, being from the old school, were distressed that I refused to study to be something traditional and stable like a nurse or teacher.

Q: If you were to appear on “Oprah,” what would you want the caption to say after your name: mystery writer? Author? novelist?

You know when I appear on Oprah she can darn well call me whatever the heck she wants because I’m going to be too excited to care!  But if Oprah asks?  I would say “Canadian author of intelligent psychological suspense.”  That handle would place me right up there with the writers I admire the most.

Q: Your house is on fire, and you can save only two books: one by yourself, one by another author. Which do you choose?

I would chose LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU and the second choice would be a tie between Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and Joy Fielding’s The Other Woman.   Both showed me that you could write about a woman’s life and the things that mattered most to her, mirrored against an act of foul play, and create all the degrees of psychological suspense and tension that thrill a reader.    

Q: What does the word “evil” mean to you?  True evil scares the crap out of me.  True evil infuriates me.  True evil is darkness so black it’s blinding; darkness so infinite, it wrings the soul dry.  The only antidote is the shining hope and pure intention for good that springs from love in action (if that isn’t the definition of a protagonist in crime fiction, I don’t know what is).

Q: You wash up on a desert island. Which three items would you wish to find awaiting you? (No boats and outboard motors allowed.)

A box of blue long-lasting pens, a box of thick coil notepads and an all-inclusive antique hardcover dictionary with thesaurus.  The reason the latter needs to be ‘antique’ is because the older dictionaries were a world unto their own pre-Google, mini encyclopedias and treasure troves with maps, measurements, biographies, history, anthropology, geography, grammar and all manner of obscure facts fascinating to uncover. 

Q: Before this showed up in your e-mail, what were you working on? I don’t want a general description of the book you’re on. Tell us about the very page you were writing. What was happening? What does it mean?

I was writing about a 15-year-old girl who is loosening the shirt cuffs and collar on a neighbor who fainted by Black creek, as her grandfather, a doctor, joins the county constable to inspect a drowned girl found in the bottom of a dory.  The novel is set in 1935.  The girl doesn’t know that the woman who appears to have fainted was really struck down by the murderer, and that the man she discovered earlier hiding in her grandfather’s barn is involved.  This is the first draft of a novel I’m calling STANDING IN THE WHALE’S JAW.

 

Q: Okay, you wake up regular time, you have a full work day in front of you. Just you and the pages. On a scale of one to ten, how happy are you about this? Would you rather be doing something else?

 

Yikes.  I daydream about having a full work day to write (I have a day job), but the truth is, getting myself to sit down in front of the computer is about as effortless as removing dirt from dropped bubble gum.  I’d rather do anything else.  Luckily, after all these years, I do know that about myself and set a schedule and system for accountability that keeps me on track.

Q: How does your training as a reporter help or hinder your fiction writing?

There’s a reason why old journalists never die, but often turn to a second career in fiction writing.  Journalism provides the skills needed to persevere in a tough business:  Research, editing, craft and productivity.  The latter is the most important.  When you work as a journalist, you have to feed ‘the beast’ on a regular basis. You soon learn that even when the idea well has run dry, if you just sit down at the keyboard and start typing, before too long a story will come.   You just can’t afford to sit around waiting for lightening inspiration to strike.   Most journalists love words and language.  I was born to live my life on the page.  Going from journalism to fiction, I simply made the transition from telling other people’s stories to telling my own.   

 

Your work has been adapted for radio and also for the theatre. What was that like?

 

CBC producer Bill Lane and Heather Black worked with me at the Banff Center of the Arts on the adaptation of the short story LEARNING TO SPIN for the Summer Drama Festival.   This is a mystery about a woman who walks along the river in winter, and every day she passes a queer old man who she gradually becomes convinced is involved in foul play.  We work-shopped my first draft of the play with writers and actors in Banff, which was great fun.  I had the chance to meet some of the people behind the ‘voices’ I’d heard on radio for years.   I especially loved one young actor, barely out of his teens, who managed to make the old man in the story sound creepier than Anthony Perkins in Psycho.

 

Afterwards, Bill asked me to help the technician select the sound effects.   I bet you didn’t know that the best way to get the sound of feet crunching on snow is by squeezing a box of cornstarch?  Even the top technology can’t accomplish a thing without creative imagination. 

 

Q: When you decided to write fiction, why did you choose crime fiction?

Actually it chose me.  The first short story I wrote and had published involved a little old lady burying a body in the back yard.  My children have never looked at me the same way since.

Q: What would you like to see more of, and less of, in crime writing these days?

I love the break from the traditional North American genre that is allowing deeper characterizations and layers in crime writing.  I think the British tradition began this way with Sherlock Holmes, but, of course, that doesn’t mean that writers, like Elizabeth George, don’t get mixed reviews when attempting to try something new.  In Canada, we have lovely books that cross genres like Gile Blunt’s detective series and Andrew Pyper’s LOST GIRLS.  It’s always a risk, but I get excited seeing the unusual, any writer in crime fiction who is brave enough to venture off the beaten path and surprise me. 

Q: As a writer, what have you not done yet that you’d like a chance to do?

I’d love to try writing a screen play.  COMING SOON to a theater near you!

Q: What are you working on now?

I just finished a suspense novel BLACK SECRET THAW that I wrote for a workshop I attended with New York Agent, Donald Maass (WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL).  It’s much more of a traditional suspense novel than my first.  I dissected Harlan Coben and Nicci French, 2 of my favorite suspense writers, to learn that style of plotting and make it my own.  I learned a lot.  I’m one of those writers who likes to be continually challenged.

Thank you so much for inviting me to be your guest and meeting all your readers.  Let me know what you think of Let the Shadows Fall Behind You.  You can read an excerpt at https://kathydiane.wordpress.com. 

Happy Sleuthing!

Kathy-Diane

http://kathy-dianeleveille.com

THE AUTHORS SHOW

serenitI’m a guest on THE AUTHORS SHOW today with Don McCauley.  It was fun being interviewed once I got past being nervous .

Thanks so much Don!

THE AUTHORS SHOW

LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU: Review on BOOKING MAMA

buck2Thanks Julie P for reviewing my new suspense novel LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU today on BOOKING MAMA:

 “When I started reading LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU by Kathy-Diane Leveille, I assumed it was going to be one of those part suspense/part mystery type of book. And there definitely was a suspense aspect to this novel, but I was a little surprised that there was so much more to this story. This book is actually much deeper than a just a typical mystery book. LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU is a deep, complex story that delves into a woman’s life and her attempts to resolve issues about her past.

What I most appreciate about this book was how Ms. Leveille developed all of the characters. In fact, I thought she did a wonderful job of bringing so many complicated characters to life. ”

READ FULL REVIEW

Kathy-Diane Leveille

Author of LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU (Kunati Books)

ISBN:978-1601641670

“It’s often said, but not usually with such eloquence, that the only one you can’t outrun is you. Kathy-Diane Leveille writes with passion and assurance of a woman who risks sacrificing far too much to try to erase the things she knows are true.” –Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean

Unsolved Disappearances

emailshadow-cover-250On my blog Unexplained Disappearances, I explore the vanishings that inspire my fiction, and document the mysteries I’ve encountered:  Urban Legends, Mythology, Paranormal Phenomenon, Fiction and Foul Play.

I hope you’ll read the cases here with fascination, empathy and scepticism.  I’ve always been an avid collector of the unexplained; an amateur sleuth, armchair traveller and seeker of curiosities. Unexplained Disappearances twig my imagination because of the questions and possibilities they raise.  Many of these mysteries remain unsolved; some, because they legitimately are unexplainable; others because they are pure fabrication.  Tragically, some disappearances, eventually lead to the revelation of cold hard facts that irrefutably prove the lead players are victims of foul play.

 READ MORE

 Kathy-Diane Leveille

Author of LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU

ISBN:978-1601641670

“Picturing ordinary people in extraordinary situations, and recording their impressions with an intense clarity we associate more with black and white photos, Leveille is blessed with a flash of insight that lets the readers see far beyond the surface. The Chronicle Journal

LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU: Interview in THE BIG THRILL

letemailtheshadow-cover-250LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU is a feature interview in this month’s BIG THRILL on-line magazine published by International Thrill Writers.  I had the pleasure of talking to journalist, Carolyn Haines, about my fascination with disappearances.  Here’s an excerpt: 

Kathy-Diane Leveille’s latest book and first novel is LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU, a suspense thriller just released by Kunati Books. Kathy-Diane is a former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation journalist. Her first book was a collection of short stories, ROADS UNRAVELING. While Kathy-Diane focuses on her writing, she also maintains an interesting blog on her web site http://www.kathy-dianeleveille.com listing “disappearances” that have caught her fancy. Her book explores a young woman who is no stranger to disappearances.

 READ MORE

Kathy-Diane Leveille

Author of LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU

ISBN:978-1601641670

“It’s often said, but not usually with such eloquence, that the only one you can’t outrun is you. Kathy-Diane Leveille writes with passion and assurance of a woman who risks sacrificing far too much to try to erase the things she knows are true.” –Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean

Previous Older Entries