Standing in the Whale’s Jaw

Whales Jaw - 5.5x8.5 COVER.inddI love the cover of my new novel “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw.”  It’s finally ready and will be available in a few weeks, but you can preorder it on Amazon or Indigo.  I have had a great time working with Tightrope Books (Toronto) to bring it all together.  They are a hard working bunch. It is always amazing to me that one tiny flash of inspiration can grow into a full-fledged book by putting pen to paper day after day. In the beginning the vision is fleeting and trying to nail it to the page is like trying to catch a wisp of floating pollen.  I have to remember that if I just show up, sooner or later it’s bound to land on me.  It’s astonishing to hold a finished book in your hand. My ego is always tempted to take all the credit, but the truth is, something much bigger collaborates with my efforts to turn the scribbles into a shining story; or tries to–depiste the fact that I keep getting in the way. I’m grateful for the mystery.

STANDING IN THE WHALE’S JAW: Fifteen-year-old  Elsa Byrd is on the verge of becoming a woman in the summer of 1935. In a world run by men, it could be more of a curse  than a blessing. Elsa’s father enters the TB sanitarium and she’s forced to live on her grandparents’ farm. She stumbles upon a stranger hiding in the barn and decides not to tell a soul. When a dead girl is discovered floating in a dory, it quickly shifts from the kind of secret Elsa wants to hug close, to the kind she doesn’t dare let out. Her mentor,  Lavinia Twigg, teams up with Inspector Gerard of the Saint John Police and Elsa is left teetering between risk and danger, silence and disclosure, trust and fear.

Stay tuned for details on the launch, signings and all the fun stuff.

Happy reading,

Kathy-Diane

“Standing in the Whale’s Jaw is a swirling, twisting tale of intrigue. Two bright and daring young women weave through a cast of characters… to solve one great mystery and open their minds to a greater one. A thoroughly enjoyable read, it’s a rollicking ride with many surprises along the way.” -Linda Little Author of Scotch River

Follow Tightrope on Twitter.

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Creative Courage

reflectIf you’ve always yearned to live more creatively, you must read the essay “Fail Safe” by Debbie Millman, given recently to a graduating class at San Jose University. It’s on BRAIN PICKINGS. Be sure to scroll down to the beginning: “For most of my life, I followed a safe path….”

I love this!!!! Especially the Robert Frost reference. My writing begins with fear and trembling, and a suspicion that I’m a little crazy to have the audicity to imagine this faint elusive germ of an idea will bloom into a full glorious body of work. It does anyway.
If you read Frost’s quote below and exchange the word writer for poem, it says it all for me.
 
A poem begins with a lump in the throat, a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where the emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words. —Robert Frost, American poet, letter, 1916
 
A writer begins with a lump in the throat, a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete writer is one whose emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words. —Robert Frost, American poet, letter, 1916
From the happy logophile,
Kathy-Diane
Roads Unravelling is a winding highway of quiet, still surfaces and yawning depths. Patrolling the flow are gape-jawed monsters and small glimmering pearls of real beauty. –The New   Brunswick Reader
COMING IN JUNE “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw” (Tightrope Books).  What happens when a secret you hug close becomes one you don’t dare let out?

True E-Book Confessions

Let the Shadows Fall Behind You and Roads Unravelling are now available on Kobo and Kindle. Very exciting! And yet….

I must confess I still don’t have an E-reader.  It’s true. I remain enthralled with the feel of the printed book in my hand: the unique smell, the shifting weight, the color.  It’s as if my imagination can only truly expand unfettered when my nose is buried between a book cover.  I feel as if I’d be disloyal leaving my paper books behind somehow; closing the door on one of my deepest friendships. My oldest son showed me an e-book he was reading on his i-Phone.  I was impressed and fascinated by how easy and convenient it was to browse.  He lives in a big city, so it makes sense that it would be ideal to have that at his fingertips on a morning commute or lunch break.   

I live in a rural area on the east coast. The pace of living is hectic for the average snail.   For some reason in my mind, it’s an atmosphere that goes hand in glove with the delicious anticipation of holding a traditional book….as if all the writer’s hopes for the narrative, the words put to page, the promise and fullfillment, have come full circle to be unleashed in these quiet surroundings.

Since something inside me would shrivel and die if I couldn’t read, I know it’s inevitable that I’ll eventually buy an e-reader in some form or another.  I’m already intrigued by the potential to read a few pages anywhere, anytime in places where a traditional book just wouldn’t be practical. Take travelling for instance.  It would be wonderful not to have my suitcase bursting at the seams with so many books. I’m always afraid the one I absolutely need will be forgotten at home. 

There’s a place for both types of books, I think.  I’m comforted knowing that, despite the package a book comes in, the imagination is still all that matters. It ignites from the words, however they arrive, in the same way it always has… and the worlds it creates in each reader can never be manufactured or replicated or downloaded at the click of a button.  Happy reading!

    

“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

Thanks to Susan’s Book Club!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Susan’s Book Club in Maganetawan, Ontario for reading my novel LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU.    Susan informs me they had a sparked discussion over coffee regarding the three time lines.   The novel takes place in the  1970s.  After Brannagh’s lover, wildlife preservationist, Nikki Mirsky, disappears on a bird count in Northern Ontario she reluctantly returns to the east coast for a reunion of an all-girl childhood club.   The ‘present’ is interspersed with flashbacks of growing up in the 1950s, along with flashbacks of the previous summer during the bird count as the romance  developed between Nikki and Brannagh before he disappeared.   Some readers enjoy delving more deeply into the characters, while others  (usually those who want to find answers to plot questions’) don’t want to keep popping back into the past.   It’s so interesting to hear what one reader prefers and another doesn’t.   Being a fan of the TV series LOST, I do sometimes love the layers.  

Congratulations to Betty Soth who is the winner of the doorprize, a $25.00 gift certificate from Indigo/Coles/Chapters.  Thanks to all you readers for chosing my novel for your book club!  Have a great summer.  May it be filled with many wonderful, rivetting beach reads…

Kathy-Diane

“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

Congrats $100.00 Book Buying Spree Winner!

Congratulations to Mary McAuley who won the $100.00 book buying spree at Indigo/Chapters/Coles.  Everyone who subscribes to my newsletter was entered into the draw, along with people who dropped by my book signings over the spring.  Mary is a dedicated reader but, like me, always seems to spend far more than anticipated when she heads into the bookstore. In fact, she’d already busted her budget when she stopped by to chat, but couldn’t resist picking up a copy of LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU.  

When I called Mary with the good news, she told me she loved my novel and was reading far more than she usually does at night because she can’t put it down. Thank you, Mary. I always love to hear what readers think of my book.   Mary, enjoy shopping ‘guilt free’ on your next visit to the book store.

To subscribe to my quarterly newsletter, contact shadowsfall@kathy-dianeleveille.com

“LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU may by Kathy-Diane Leveille’s first novel, but if this book is any indication of her gifts both as a weaver of fascinating stories and a poet of natural expression then it will most assuredly not be her last! ….a fine debut.”  -Grady Harp, Top 10 Amazon Reviewer

Thank you Jan’s Book Club!

I had a wonderful time this week dropping by Jan’s Book Club in Riverview to meet the lovely ladies who make up its reading members.  They chose my novel LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU as their selection this month and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting and chatting with them about the writing process, inspiration, plot, setting and characters.  They are a lively, curious, insightful bunch.  Best of all, I was treated to a piece of blueberry cheesecake, the recipe for which will be featured in the summer edition of my newsletter.

Jan’s Book Club is supporting Canadian authors by reading their books.  Thank you!  They offered some interesting reflections on the writings they’ve sampled so far; particularly that we can sometimes be a somber bunch.  It’s true.  I wonder if it has something to do with the harsh and wild, ever changing landscape we live in.   Art feeds life and life feeds art. 

I was also interested to learn that the lovely quilt draped over the back of  the couch had been sewn by Jan.  Very talented!  It is really a stunning piece of work;  a lovely piece of art.  Writing is much like quilting, piecing together bits of this and that with a vision of the whole in mind; but not knowing for certain how it will all turn out.  It is always extremely rewarding to talk to readers who receive the work and add their own perspective to it.

Congratulations to Eleanor who won the doorprize I brought, a $25.00 gift certificate for Chapters/Indigo/Coles and a bag of chocolates. Thanks for having me and happy reading.

“Leveille’s settings and characters—their hopes and fears, verbal and behavioural ticks, even their smells—are keenly observed and full of sensual presence.” – The Globe and Mail

Tess Gerritsen’s thoughts on Canada

I really enjoyed meeting international best-selling author, Tess Gerritsen, at the Cantebury Tales Literary Festival last week.  It isn’t often you meet authors with the caliber of talent and fame on par with the likes of Stephen King who are so approachable and down to earth.  We were all rivetted in her workshops and readings.  I was interested to read Tess’s take on us on the Murderati blog recently and her thoughts on the Canadian Publishing Industry.  God bless her for giving me a nice plug at the end:

“One of the best parts about attending literary festivals is the chance to meet other authors, and in St. John, I was very happy indeed to hear readings by some truly gifted authors, including Kathy-Diane Leveille (LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU) and Robert Rayner, whose searing YA novel SCAB had the audience on the edges of their seats.  These authors deserve a far wider audience.  In Canada, where there seems to be far deeper support for such authors, they at least have the chance of being heard.”

In Canada we do have support for literary mainstream writers.  Personally, I dislike slotting writing and the snobbery that sometimes comes with those divisions.  As a writer, my job is to tell a good story, whatever form I chose to shape it in: genre, mainstream, literary.   I read ALL of those types of fiction and so, at various times, have written stories in those forms.  Believe me, all start with the blank page and take the same amount of hard work, perseverance and skill to accomplish.  I actually just finished writing a genre suspense which is different from my mainstream literary suspense in that it is plot driven not character driven with less poetry and layers. I loved the challenge! 

You can read Tess Gerritsen’s entire blog entry on Muderarit which is fittingly titled OH CANADA.

 “Leveille’s writing sings of heartbreak and redemption…and all the dizzy dancing moments in-between.” -Carol Bruneau

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