Jackie Leduc, teenager and twice-published author, recently sat down to discuss her journey to writing and what drives her to pursue her dreams.
When and why did you begin writing?
When I was six years old, I knew that I wanted to be an author when I grew up. When I was twelve, I finally started to make that a reality by writing my first novel. At fourteen, I got my first book published. Now I am sixteen and have two books published. I was always in love with reading which was partly the reason I started writing. The other reason was my vast imagination.
What have you written so far?
My two published works are The Demonic Eyes and Bloody Nightmares. The Demonic Eyes tells the story of a boy named Damian Winters. He goes through many hardships, including being bullied in school. But one day he discovers his true power. Bloody Nightmares tells the story of an unlikely hero who must save the world from the apocalypse. You can find more information here, and here.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite character is Skylar. She is a strong female character. Many books I read have strong female characters, yet even though there are bigger issues at hand, they are too busy fighting over which boy they should date. Skylar doesn’t have time for that. She is strong-willed, brave, and always focuses on the matter at hand. Though she has a hard exterior it does not erase her humility. She has a bad past that affects her life throughout the series, and the more the books go on the more vulnerable we see her. And she used to be an assassin, which is pretty cool.
What one person from history would you like to meet and why?
This is a great question and a very hard one to answer. Many people would expect me to pick another author, but many of the authors I enjoy were absolutely eccentric, such as Edgar Allan Poe. Besides, I would not want to meet one of my favorite long gone authors in fear that their personalities are not as great as their writing (in the sense that they are not humble). I would rather remember them as I would like to. If I were to meet anyone from the past, I would have to say Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I think it should be anyone’s goal to try to be like him. He was brave and confident. In a time where everyone was full of hate, he chose to change things by showing peace and love towards his neighbor. In a world today where hatred still poisons our society, we need to uphold these values. Many people try to stand up for a good cause but often stand up for it in the wrong ways. I think people need to be reminded of these values. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther, Jr.
What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?
Being a writer, I feel I am very good at reading people. Since I write about people, I understand them very well. I think this makes me a very compassionate person. I am always there for people when they are in need without expecting anything in return. I am also very charitable and volunteer for different charities in my spare time.
Tell us something unique about you.
For some reason, whenever someone asks this question people suddenly forget what to say. I am the same way, so instead I will tell you a little about myself. I am determined and strong-willed. I always fill my time with things to do and feel the worst emotion is boredom. There is nothing I loathe more than the feeling of boredom. For this reason, I always fill my life with things to do from writing to selling my books at comic conventions. I also have a thick Massachusetts accent.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
If I couldn’t be an author, boy would I be stuck! Writing is my passion. It is a part of me. I never even considered another option. I just knew ever since I was little that this is what I wanted to do, what I needed to do. I suppose if I couldn’t be a writer, I would find another way to live a story, like being an actor or being a video game designer. I also thought about being a news reporter, but who wants to get up that early.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
My advice to other aspiring authors would be to continue striving towards your dream no matter who tells you that it is a fluke. As long as you put hard work into it every day, it will happen.
How can you discover more about Jackie and her work?