Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Magical Realism author Marie LeClaire. Marie will be at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester on Saturday, August 17th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM to sign her books.
Marie LeClaire has spent the past thirty years as a mental health counselor encouraging others to look beyond our sometimes limited perspective and see a bigger picture of what influences our lives and guides our behavior. She has been writing novels and short stories for the past five years. She still does a little counseling part time but her love now is purely fiction – sort of. After all, art imitates life, doesn’t it? Wandering around much of her adult life, she has come full circle and calls Worcester, Massachusetts, home.
Thanks for being here with us, Marie. Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
It’s always hard for me to talk about myself so I’ll give you some of the facts. I currently live in Worcester, MA, which is where I was born and raised. I left home at age 18 to join the Air Force. Yup. I only served for four years, but I certainly got bit by the travel bug. I’ve lived all over the country at one time or another, always returning home to be with family.
I started writing in 2011 when a casual conversation with friends became my first novel. I didn’t set out to write it. It wrote itself, really, forming in my brain as I wrote. The second and third (still in progress) have come in the same manner.
Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester –though they should totally check here first!)
I have a website, MLeClaire.com and I’m listed on a dozen different readers websites, Amazon and Barnes and Noble among them. My books are on the shelf locally at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester and of Northboro, and at The Booklover’s Gourmet in Webster.
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
I’m on Facebook and Instagram mostly.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from The Last Yard Sale?
I write in a combination of genres, Magical Realism, is probably the closest. I use present day situations and add a little of the extraordinary. My first two stories have a ghost and some psychic visions. I address a few social issues too. And there’s also a little romance.
What was the inspiration for The Last Yard Sale? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
The inspiration for The Last Yard Sale came out of a lighthearted conversation with friends about getting rid of old stuff by having a yard sale. It turned into a “wouldn’t it be nice if” we could get rid of our emotional baggage in the same way. Divorce Resentments $5, Mother Issues $10 (Must take entire box). We had a lot of fun with it, but the idea kept stirring in my brain and I started to imagine it as more of a mystical reality. My book starts with such a yard sale. The prequel, which I probably should write someday, is that there is an old woman who dies and, upon getting to the other side, is told that she has to let go of the last of her attachments to her life. So, she has a yard sale. The story picks up with the young woman who purchases the items and how they upset her applecart, and ultimately affect her life for the better.
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Of the whole writing and publishing process? What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?
Imagining is easy and fun. Conveying it to paper is a little harder. Editing and formatting as an self-publisher is harder still. And the marketing? Well, that’s my brick wall. I love book store and library events because I get to meet people and answer questions. That’s the only marketing I enjoy.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
Just do it.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
My first book, The Last Yard Sale, is, well, my first book.
My second book, A Soldier’s Last Mission, is a sequel.
The book I’m currently writing, 1000 Buddhas (working title) is about an ancient Buddhist tradition that after 1000 Buddhas have been born, humanity will transform into the next level of understanding. It also has the same mystical piece as the first two. I like to sprinkle a little of the supernatural into ordinary life. I hope it will be out by October.
I also have a working story that includes ghosts and demons with locations in Massachusetts connected by magical portals. It ties Bridgewater State Hospital to Fall River and the Lizzy Borden story. I hope it will be out by Christmas.
Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions, Marie. We look forward to seeing you on the 17th!