Monday, February 27, 2012

Guest Leslie Dubois

Today, my guest is Leslie Dubois. I first met Leslie under her other name, Sybil Nelson, via email. I met Sybil/Leslie at the Savannah Children's Book Festival in November. I caught up with Leslie in her busy life and asked her a few questions.

Leslie, thanks for being on my blog today. I must say I've really enjoyed your books so far (both as Sybil and Leslie and still have a few to read). I also apologize as I owe you a couple of book reviews (they are semi-drafted but not completed and I will work hard to get them completed and posted by the end of the week). I love the twists you put in your YA novels. Here are the questions I asked Leslie and her responses:

EE: Leslie, tell us a little bit about yourself, your likes, dislikes - who you are.
LD: Well, I’m a hard working mother of two who is also married and working on her PhD. I’m a mathematician but I also love to read and write and do so at every given opportunity. I also love Pop music which my husband finds completely embarrassing. But hey, listening to Pop music actually helps me write!

(EE: If your husband finds pop music embarrassing, what does he listen to? And I guess it's a good thing he tolerates you listening to whatever it is that helps you write because you are putting out some pretty awesome stories.)

EE: What's your favorite genre to read? to write?
LD: I’m a sucker for historical fiction. For some reason, I love reading about people from other centuries. My favorite genre to write, however, is Young Adult Romance. I think we can all remember a crush we had when we were teenagers and how it was the most important thing in the world and how it was so passionate. I think that kind of raw emotion is so beautiful. But I never write simple love stories. There is always some sort of twist in my books.

(EE: You hit that nail on the head - twists abound and I think that is what really keeps a reader interested.)

EE: What are your writing aspirations? aspirations in general?
LD: I’m hoping to be able to be a full time writer one day and be able to support myself and my family simply on royalties. That would be a dream come true. On a slightly higher scale of goals, I hope to become famous enough to be able to go on Dancing with the Stars!

EE: What's a typical day in your life like - do you have a set schedule or do you just play it by ear?
LD: I don’t have a set schedule outside of my class schedule, but I am a definite list maker. The first thing I do every day is make my To-Do list. Then I spend the rest of the day trying to scratch things off. Sadly, some days I end up scratching one thing off and adding two more. If I have a day where I get more than half the things on the list done, I consider it a success.

EE: You write under different names. How do you keep your identities separate and how do you manage to write totally different genres?
LD: Because I use different names for completely different genres, it’s pretty easy to keep them separate. I know immediately when I have an idea for a book whether it is going to be a Leslie or a Sybil book.

EE: How do you keep straight what you are working on at any given moment?
LD: Once again, I can tell by the voice of the characters and the subject matter whether it is a Leslie book or a Sybil book. I never get confused in that regard. The hard part is actually finding time to write down all the ideas I have for stories!

EE: What inspires you to write semi controversial stories as Leslie and fun, middle grade stories as Sybil?
LD: I wanted to keep my identities separate for just that reason. I didn’t want young middle school aged kids reading about topics that were above them. I use my pen name, Leslie, as a way to be a bit more edgy and take more chances than my Sybil brand name can do. I don’t think I set out to write controversial topics, I think the ideas just come to me and I can’t help but write it the way the characters want it. Several times I’ve wanted to change certain things in my book to make them more “acceptable” but it just didn’t feel right.

EE: If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
LD: Oddly enough, Canada. I have a slight obsession with that country. Especially Vancouver and Victoria. We’ve been there on vacation twice and I think it would be a great place to live.

(EE: Funny thing is my father's family is from Canada but in my life, I've never even visited the area. My father, of course, has been back several times, and my oldest son has even traveled with my parents to Maine (where my dad's family makes their home now) and to Canada but I have yet to go there; it's too cold for me - lol.)

Again, Leslie, thank you for being on my blog today and happy writing.

Leslie makes her home in Charleston, SC, along with her husband and two small children. She is also working on her PhD in biostatistics.

Leslie can be found on the following pages:

her website
her facebook page
her twitter page
her Amazon author page


Susanne Drazic said...

Enjoyed the interview with Leslie.

Molly said...

Leslie/Sybil is a fabulous and smart writer, who I was proud to have met "back when" on TheNextBigWriter. We all knew she was going to be one of the successes around there! Looking forward to reading more from her.

Karen said...

I love Leslie's books. Ain't No Sunshine is one of the best books I have read in a long, long time. The ends of her books never cease to amaze. Great interview also.

Sarah Renee said...

Really cool interview, Sybil. I also love listening to music to help me write. I'm really looking forward to meeting you again at the conference in March!

elysabeth said...

I have to agree - here endings amaze me - how twisted they are. I emailed her after reading Ain't No Sunshine and said "Wow" and then I was like shaking my head in disbelief as I couldn't believe she had done that ending - lol. I've downloaded everything but one story by Leslie and all but the latest of the Priscilla stories. Thanks for stopping by ladies. - E :)

(hoping Leslie will make a stop later too).

Sybil Nelson said...

Hey all! Thanks for stopping by! I'm giving prizes to the first ten commentators (Myself not included) so email me what ebook you want and I'll send it out.

sybilnelson at hotmail dot com

avery said...

You are an inspiration to me, and I'm sure all women, and especially all mothers if little girls! Wish you all the success you've worked so hard to deserve.

elysabeth said...

Thanks for stopping by ladies. I'm also going to offer a free ebook of one of two titles - "The Tulip Kiss" or "The Proposal" - so email me at eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know which title you would like and whether for noook or kindle or PDF file - E :)