Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Interview with novelist Gerri LeClerc

Novelist Gerri LeClerc joins me today to talk about her new women’s fiction, Silent Grace.

Pennsylvania native Gerri LeClerc lives on Cape Cod with her husband Ron. The medical background Gerri gained as a Registered Nurse is reflected in her stories, which explore the complex ways in which children’s health challenges affect the lives of the adults around them. A passionate reader with a lifelong love of classic romantic suspense and contemporary women’s fiction, Gerri is the author of Missing Emily, the first book in the Knoll Cottage trilogy, which appeared in early 2016.

Welcome, Gerri. Please tell us about your current release.
Sisters Beth and Patrice Hensen have taken very different paths in life. When Patrice’s drug addiction interferes with her ability to raise her 8-year-old daughter Grace, the always-responsible Beth assumes temporary custody. Settling into Knoll Cottage, the small home on Cape Cod Beth has recently purchased, Beth and Grace struggle to adjust. Just as their lives stabilize and their bond solidifies, fate steps in with surprises that test their hearts, souls and strength yet again.

What inspired you to write this book?
The nurse in me! Deafness and the conflict in the deaf community over to treat or not, has always intrigued me. I thought about how lonely a child with hearing loss must be, how she might misconstrue communication from others. How hard it must be for Grace to build trust in people.

How a handsome doctor and a loving aunt might help her hear again. (Must have romance in my story, too.) The second issue in the book is addiction to prescription drugs, which is so prevalent today. How easy it is to relieve Patrice’s pain in her difficult life with easily obtained drugs. And the toll addiction takes on those who love her.

Excerpt from Silent Grace:
With sleet tapping at the window of her New Bedford, Massachusetts apartment, Beth Henson sat on the floor, packing a box of books. The phone rang with her sister’s unique ringtone and interrupted her off-key singing. Beth hesitated, pressing tape over the flaps of the box, and considered letting the call roll to voicemail. Instead, she wove her way through a maze of packed boxes, retrieved her phone and answered.
            It was a video call from Grace.
            “Mommy won’t wake up,” her niece said in her fragile voice, while she also signed at a frantic pace. “Scared.”
            “Is she breathing? Turn the phone so I can see Mommy,” Beth said, signing the main words. Grace understood and switched the phone’s camera to Patrice on the couch. Beth saw that she was breathing deeply.
            “I’m coming now, sweetie. Stay on the phone with me.” But the call ended. Beth must have signed wrong. She didn’t take time to call back. She grabbed her purse from the table by the front door. “Keys. Keys,” she said, dumping the contents on the floor. She scooped up the keys and left everything except her wallet where it landed. Grace had to be alarmed to use her voice. Beth was afraid she knew what it was; had seen it before.

What exciting story are you working on next?
While I work on book three in the Knoll Cottage trilogy, I’ve been busy revising another novel I wrote, A Marriage to Die For. It’s A suspense story about how an abused wife escapes her DEA Agent husband who promised to kill her if she leaves him. And how a raccoon that gets into your basement can lead to romance when the sheriff comes.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think when my friends began to read my first manuscript for me. I had such wonderful feedback and support. They saw me as a writer—and I began to believe it, too.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
My husband and I are best buds. We love to do things together—after many years of marriage! When I started writing, I became immersed in a surprisingly time-consuming effort. It’s not just writing, it’s a learning curve, it’s networking, it’s marketing. Everything takes time. So, I began to get up at 6 a.m. and work until 11 a.m. I’d sneak back to the computer if he was otherwise occupied later in the day. My husband’s on board now, and he’s learned to cook dinner—he likes to eat!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
St. Frances Cabrini. She’s my patron—it’s a long story. Her statue sits on my desk. And then Livia, my cat. She thinks she’s my muse. I think she is, too.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wore my mother’s nurse’s uniform for four consecutive years on Halloween.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks for being part of Lisa’s blog on my novel, Silent Grace. I hope you read it, and I hope you love it!


Thanks for being here today!

1 comment:

denise1025 said...

The mix of mystery, intrigue & romance in the first 2 books of Gerri LeClerc's Knoll Cottage series kept me turning pages until each book ended, absolutely ignoring commitments on my schedule. Gerri is one of those authors who can't write a book quickly enough to keep up with my reading of them! Her medical background is put to great use, but I believe the kind of compassionate person she is also shines thru her writings. Congratulations to her for entertaining so many with her works, & thanks to you also Lisa for sharing this interview with Gerri's fans.