Marcelle, welcome to the blog today! I’m thrilled to have you here. Please tell us some more about yourself:
I’ve been writing for ::mumble:: years and have published 14—about to be 15—novels and over 30 short stories. My most popular novels are in the Mendenhall Mystery series, which features Chief of Police Kate Williams and her small-town police force in Mendenhall, Manitoba. But I also love writing fantasy and science fiction, and alternate history. I’ve managed to combine most of these loves in the A’lle Chronicles Mystery series, in which the A’lle crash-landed on Earth in 1711 and have been trying to fit in ever since. The Chronicles feature Constance A’lle, the first A’lle Investigator for Lower Canada and her efforts to uncover a conspiracy that is killing A’lle.
I’m enjoying your Mendenhall series but have yet to start the A’lle Chronicles. They sound fascinating though and I do love alternate history books. Aliens landing in Canada in 1711 could explain a lot of things, lol!
Your latest book, Identity Withheld, just released from Falcon Publishing. Can you give us a teaser?
Identity Withheld: At 23, Cleo wants a permanent home. Let her parents keep wandering if they want. She’s done. Then someone rams her parents’ car into the river and just like that, the past has caught up to them.
What is the inspiration behind your story?
An idea popped into my head one day: what would you do if you suspected someone you loved of doing something bad? What if that someone was your parents?
How did you come up with the names of your hero and/or heroine?
Cleo’s name just popped into my head, as if she’d been waiting for me to ask. Hugh’s name took a while longer to figure out, but when I came up with the combination Hugh Ondrak, it stuck.
Are you part of a writing group?
Not currently. I used to be, a long time ago, but when I started concentrating on novels, I found a writing group no longer worked for me. I couldn’t send in a chapter at a time and wait for comments before moving on. It would have taken me three years to finish a first draft, not to mention how disruptive it would have been to the flow of the story. A writing group worked really well for me when I was doing mostly short stories. And I learned a great deal from the other writers in the group.
Now I have a trusted first reader, another writer, who is very good at the stuff in which I’m weak. When I’ve addressed the gaping plot holes that she points out, I send the revised version to another reader, who is not a writer, to get a reader’s perspective of the story.
Do you experience writer’s block? What do you do to get through it?
I’ve gone through fallow periods in my writing. Sometimes it’s because I’m stuck in the story (that’s the problem with ‘pantsing’) and I have to wait for the boys in the basement to finish the heavy lifting so I can keep going. When that happens, I work on something else until they’re ready for me.
Sometimes, however, it’s because I’ve experienced a ‘life roll.’ When my dad died, I wasn’t able to write for almost a year and a half. Then Covid hit, and I couldn’t seem to put one word up on the screen. So, I waited. I did other creative things that helped refill my empty well. And sure enough, the writing came back.
And we’re so glad it did! What’s next for you as an author?
I seem to be in a very creative place right now. I finished Identity Withheld this year, as well as the sixth book in my Mendenhall Mystery series, which I hope to release early next year. As well, I’ve written half a dozen short stories in the past few months. Next on the agenda is the third A’lle Chronicles, in which our intrepid heroine moves to Upper Canada to continue her investigation into the shadowy figures that are creating such havoc for the A’lle.
Here’s Marcelle’s intriguing cover for Identity Withheld, and a brief excerpt from the book:
“At last she reached the edge of the porch roof where she remained crouched like an awkward gargoyle, her arms out, her tee-shirt plastering itself against her shivering body.
The chair under the doorknob in the bedroom squealed suddenly as someone tried to push the door open and she glanced down at the ground, fifteen feet below her. If she missed the tree, she could really hurt herself.
Then the bedroom door burst open in a shriek of splintering chair and she launched herself off the edge of the roof.
For a split second, she thought she would crash to the ground, a broken mess. Then her windmilling arms connected with the tree branch and she flung her arms around it, her feet scrambling for purchase on a lower branch.
She hung there, half supported by a flimsy branch barely within reach of her feet, her hands barely able to hang on to the upper branch. A movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention and she turned her head to see a man sticking his head out of her bedroom window. Even in the faint light she could see that he had dark eyes and dark hair and a hard, angular face.
His gaze caught hers and his eyes widened in horror as he grasped her situation.
Then the branch beneath her feet broke and she plummeted to the ground, the flesh on her legs and ribs tearing under the assault of tree branches.
She heard someone scream and had time to realize it was her before she landed. Her feet hit first, then the rest of her followed. She slammed her chin into her knee, her head snapped back, and everything went dark.”
©Marcelle Dubé 2021
If you think that’s intriguing, here’s the back cover blurb:
AFTER A LIFETIME OF RUNNING FROM HER PARENTS’ MYSTERIOUS PAST, IT FINALLY CATCHES UP TO CLEO.
Fredericton, New Brunswick: The sleepy town in Atlantic Canada is only the latest stop for Cleo Brennan’s nomad parents.
But Cleo’s tired of drifting from town to town. At 23, she wants a permanent home. Let her parents keep wandering if they want. She’s done.
While she’s long suspected that her parents are running from something—or someone—suspicion becomes fact when someone rams their car into the river.
Now Cleo must discover the identity of the shadowy individual threatening her parents’ lives… all while keeping an inquisitive detective at bay.
Then someone attacks Cleo and she must figure out, finally, what sent her parents running so long ago—before those behind the secret kill her.
You can buy IDENTITY WITHHELD here:
Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/3v45myB
You can find Marcelle online here:
Mysteries seem to be so appropriate for the month of November. What is your favourite kind of mystery: cozy, police procedural, traditional detective, or more of a thriller? Leave a comment to be entered in a draw and I’ll send you an e-copy of Marcelle’s Identity Withheld.
And if you’re an author who’d like to be interviewed on the blog, send me an email through my Contact Page here on my website and we can chat about it!