Females of Fright: Deborah LeBlanc
Back in 2006, I was still a rather neophyte writer. Although I had a dozen or so short stories under my belt, I certainly wasn’t lighting the world on fire. I’d joined the HWA a couple of years earlier, and I decided that it was time to sign up for their mentoring program. I had a novel I’d been trying to sell for 3 years and I knew it needed help. Well, Fate was looking out for me that day, because I got partnered with Deborah LeBlanc as my mentor.
For those of you who don’t know, Deb was the President of the HWA at that time. Never having had a mentor before, I didn’t know what to expect. As it turned out, my experience was nothing short of amazing. Deb guided me through the entire process of editing that book, tearing it apart and rebuilding it chapter by chapter. Along the way, I learned volumes about writing a book. When we finished, my manuscript was 20,000 words shorter and ready for publication.
When it finally sold a year or so later, she even wrote a cover blurb for it. Her help didn’t stop there. We workshopped several short stories as well, all of which eventually got published. More importantly, we became friends, and still remain friends to this day.
I know she’s helped many other writers over the years, and her dedication to mentoring was one of the big reasons I made sure to become a mentor for the HWA as soon as I was eligible. I can’t imagine where I’d be in this business without her. And, it goes without saying that she’s a helluva writer. Grave Intent, Water Witch, Family Inheritance – her take on southern horror is unique, dark, and addictive. So, thank you, Deb – you are truly a Woman in Horror to be admired.
Written by JG Faherty, author of Carnival of Fear, The Cure, Hellrider, and Sins of the Father.
If you’re interested in working with a mentor in the Horror Writer’s Association, visit our Mentorship page.