Coming in 2013!

I’m thrilled to announce that my new novel “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw” will be published by Tightrope Books in the spring of 2013. Set in 1935, it takes place in Atlantic Canada on the east coast:

Fifteen-year-old Elsa Bird discovers an injured man hiding in the barn on her grandparent’s farm, the same day a dead girl appears floating in a dory on Lost Creek. Elsa’s life turned upside down when her father entered the TB sanatorium and she and her mother were forced to leave Saint John. The stranger’s arrival is a welcome diversion from worry. After concluding he’s harmless, Elsa agrees to hide the vagrant and experiences the heady power of owning a secret. When her mentor, Lavinia Twigg, teams up with the police to uncover the identity of the dead girl, Elsa discovers that keeping secrets, while deliciously potent, is complicated, dangerous and can quickly escalate out of control.

More to come!

“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


Timeless Rilke

No matter how often I read Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet,” they always reverberate:

“You ask whether your verses are any good. You ask me. You have asked others before this…..I beg you to stop that sort of thing. You are looking outside, and that is what you should avoid right now. No one can advise or help you–no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would die if you were forbidden to write. then most of all: ask yourself in the silent hour of the night: must I write? and if this answer rings out an assent, if you meet this simply question with a strong, simple, “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”

Answering the Call: Writers’ Retreat

Answering the Call VIII: Releasing the Writer Within


WHERE: The Villa Madonna in Renforth, New Brunswick (just outside of Saint

WHEN: October 14, 15 and 16, 2011 


October 14, 2011: 5 p.m. Registration in foyer. 

6 p.m. Opening Address: Answering the Call by Kathy-Diane Leveille 

6 to 9 p.m. Meet and Greet Social

October 15, 2011: Full writing day.

7 to 9 p.m. Optional critique group

October 16, 2011: 11:00 a.m. Closing and wrap up. 

1:00 p.m. Heading home after lunch and out by mid-afternoon.

FEE: $168.00 which includes single room and board.

All writers dream of getting a block of time for themselves to write. The Villa provides the perfect opportunity. Over the years, we’ve created touchstones within the weekend’s framework that provide optional opportunities to connect with other writers to share work-in-progress and experience.  Rooms are single and private, so there is not excuse not to write.

E-mail for more information.

“All of us can see ourselves in Leveille’s characters. These are stories that speak to the complicated bonds we have with siblings and parents, who they were and who they are now and how we learn the truth of what we took for granted before.” – The Daily Gleaner

Words on flipped pages…

It’s been raining all week and what better way to spend it, but inventorying all the books I’ve collected over the years. There are lots of surprises found, rooting through the shelves, reconnecting with old friends, apologetically unearthing discarded half-read tomes. There’s a calling between the covers.  Words on flipped pages draw me like a magnet and refuse to let go.  The fresh cracked spines smell of wilting carnations, an abandoned celebration longing to be revived if only I’d sit and stay a while.  I carry one upstairs and slip it beneath my pillow to warm up, dreaming of Elizabeth Barrett Browning: 


Books, books, books!

I found the secret of the garret room

Piled high with cases in my father’s name;

Piled high, packed large–where, creeping in and out

Among the great fossils of my past

Like some small nimble mouse between the ribs

Of a mastadon, I nibbled here and there

At this or that box, pulling through the gap

In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy

The first book First. And how I felt it beat

Under my pillow in the morning’s dark

An hour before the sun would let me read

My books!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Poet or novel writer?

At writers’ workshops I always bemoan the fact that I’m too long winded as a writer to ever become a poet. I equate poetry to snapping a picture and novel writing to filming several wide pan shots.  I always want to explore the WHOLE story.  However, I was cleaning out my files and guess what?   Yep, I  found a poem I wrote.  This, however, does not in any way mean I won’t stop throwing a pity party when I have a word count to fullfill (as if poets have it any easier finding the right words to nail the creative vision onto the page). Ha!

Chicken Bone Fence

   Car tires

   humdrum humdrum

   rutted blacktop,

   drumhome drumhome

   dead dreams

    lost love. 

   Round the curve…                                                                             

   Chicken bone fence


   a swollen breast

   of farmer’s field,                                                                        


   the whipped butter tops

   of goldenrod,  

  snarling thistles

  onion sweet

  bales of hay,                                                                             

  reeling bees,                                                                               

  and daisies bowing

  their heads

  to pray. 

  All else is forgotten

  as we swell

  and ripen,

  bursting our skins


  this living Monet

  hung on a hillside

  in Cambridge Narrows.

 Kathy-Diane  Leveille

“Leveille uses rural New Brunswick to explore characters who, in the midst of emotional change, find emotional memory tugging at their sleeves.” -ATLANTIC BOOKS  TODAY


Black Cat by Rainer Maria Rilke

For Halloween and in the spirit of the novel I’m currently writing,  here is a poem I admire by Rilke.  It’s called BLACK CAT.  The line that reverberates in my imagination is:  ‘She seems to hide any looks that have ever fallen into her.’


A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke

“All of us can see ourselves in Leveille’s characters. These are stories that speak to the complicated bonds we have with siblings and parents, who they were and who they are now and how we learn the truth of what we took for granted before.” The Daily Gleanor

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year; and share a poem written by my wonderful creative friend, Sarah Leblanc. 


Pure Love

Unrepeatable grace


Face to face

Earth shattering

Soul shattering


Terrifying innocent

Awakening innocence

We sleep no more

Sarah LeBlanc © December 2005

Hope everyone’s holiday is filled with laughter, love and the true spirit of the season.

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