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Books and Authors Interview

Judy Azar LeBlanc

 

Many Faces to Many Places is a spell-binding three-part animated story of a courageous spirit who takes an extraordinary journey through the world of timeless knowledge.  Guided by faith, Many Faces is led through a land that reveals a succession of the hidden mysteries of the soul.  When she thinks that she has completed her journey, she loses her faith and finds herself in a land that is designed to satisfy the subtle but powerful passions of the flesh, and she then discovers that she had missed the ultimate truth.

“I thought the story wildly and wonderfully imaginative.  LeBlanc's ability to encapsulate many of life's experiences, whether they are the ups or the downs we all inevitably face, is phenomenal.  Who among us hasn't dealt with the temptations of greed, stinginess, and betrayal?  Who among us hasn't wondered about the elusiveness of happiness?  Who among us has never marveled at the passage of time?  The difference between Judy Azar LeBlanc and us (at least most of us),” says Jeffrey Leach from Amazon.com, “is that she not only sees all of these trials and tribulations as a contiguous whole but also sees how they one aspect of life leads to another. I'm quite impressed that anyone can sit down at a word processor and put most of life's experiences together in a logical narrative AND couch such events in eye grabbing allegory.”

Heather Froeschl of Bookreview.com says: "Judy LeBlanc has written a memorable book that is inspirational and timeless.  Her creativity abounds and her ability to impart words of wisdom through her characters is uniquely executed.  You won’t soon forget the journey in this tale and may be inspired to take a closer look at your own."

Paperback is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders Books, Amazon, Xulon Press and Mindtree.  Audio version is available at Spoken Books and bbotw.com and ebook version is available at www.ebookmall.com.

Judy Azar LeBlanc spent 19 years living in a small town in Mexico where she taught high school English and gave courses at the University Autonoma of Baja.  She is the author of "Things My Father Never Taught Me", "The Compromise" and "The Unveiling."  Shortly before returning to the United States, she completed her fourth and favorite work "Many Faces" which is available in electronic format, trade paperback, and as an audio book.  

Booksandauthors.net: Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?

Judy Azar LeBlanc:  Thank you for inviting me to Books and Authors and thank you for the opportunity of being able to share with the readers a part of me and a part of Many Faces to Many Places.  I grew up in a very small town in Northern New Mexico called Raton which is just on the border of Colorado.  At the age of 5, my mother took us to Albuquerque where I was raised and educated.  As I recall my childhood, I used to walk over to the public library and spend most of the day sitting on the floor reading books.  I actually didn’t get into writing until I was about twenty.  My love for philosophy and religion became intense and I spent a most of my time alone reading, mediating and writing all of my questions and thoughts down into a journal, which later became a book.

Booksandauthors.net:  Why do you write?

Judy Azar LeBlanc:  Hmmmm.  That is a good question.  Well, I can't really say that at some point in my life I decided that I "wanted to write".  What I have always done is to keep a journal.  Between college and my professional career, I always had to write what everyone else wanted me to write and I actually disliked it so much that after I retired, I swore that I would never pick up another pen again.  Then one day, while I was reviewing my journals, it hit me.  I can finally start to write about my favorite subject - and that is how my books were born.

Books and authors.net:  "Many Faces to Many Places is described as "a story of the adventurous journey of a courageous spirit" in search of freedom.  Please explain.  

Judy Azar LeBlanc:  the courageous spirit that I created as the character named Many Faces is allegorical.  It is a representation of a non gender soul that searches for internal freedom.  It is a spiritual allegory.  Society puts pressures on us to be what they want us to be and to think in boxes, andGod tells us to follow the spirit.  We all have the same questions and feelings of emptiness, and no matter how hard we try to fill that void with staying busy and filling our lives with what we think will make us happy, the void gets deeper.  As Many Faces evolves, the age old questions of life are answered for her in a unique way.

Booksandauthors.net:  How did "Many Faces to Many Places" come to be - What was your inspiration for this book?

Judy Azar LeBlanc: Many Faces to Many Places came to be from my journals.  During my own questioning of the purpose of life and the human existence, I discovered that we all as humans seem to want to know the answer to those questions.  At the time I began to write Many Faces, I was living in Mexico and was only a few blocks away from the beach.  With no outside interference, and surrounded by the beauty of nature, it became very clear to me that I should share this knowledge in a book.  Thus began the project of converting the journals into a book that would not only be fun to read, but one that everyone could identify with and at the same time, carry a meaningful message.

Booksandauthors.net: Was it difficult writing a young adult novel as an adult? Explain

Judy Azar LeBlanc: You know it wasn’t that difficult.  I had to think about how to convey the messages in the book without boring the reader.  Since I was a psychology major with a minor in philosophy, I somewhat knew that using everyday language would be a more difficult way to convey the story.  Therefore, I decided to direct it to the “child” in us.  Once I decided that, then I wrote from my child within which explains why the reviewers all say that it is a “childlike fantasy” written for the grown-up soul.  This to me is a big compliment as it tells me that I managed to accomplish that which I set out to do.

Booksandauthors.net:  How long did it take for you to write "Many Faces to Many Places" - And what did you learn from writing "Many Faces to Many Places”?

Judy Azar LeBlanc: Many Faces to Many Places took me one year to complete.  What did I learn?  I learned that it is quite a challenge to finish a work that one starts.  I spent 10 to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week on my manuscript.  If I was not inspired, then I would organize chapters and edit.  I knew that when the inspiration hit, I needed to grab it quickly.  Sometimes the characters and the dialogue would come to me while I was sleeping.  Then I would jump up and run to the computer to grab it while it was still fresh. 

Booksandauthors.net:  What do you hope to achieve with "Many Faces to Many Places"?  What do you hope readers will take away after reading "Many Faces to Many Places"? 

Judy Azar LeBlanc:  Gosh - my biggest aspiration for Many Faces to Many Places is just exactly what the title states - I hope that Many Faces goes Many Places because not only do I love and believe in this book, but I also know that each person who reads it is left with something personal for them.  That is the beauty of the book.

Booksandauthors.net What has been your feedback from readers? What's next?

Judy Azar LeBlanc: I am gratefully proud to be able to say that the readers have loved Many Faces to Many Places.

Here are what some reviewers are saying:

"Allegorically using the medium of fiction is done beautifully by the author" ... J. Kaval, Katha Kshetre International Literary Journal, First Quarter, 2006

"Short but powerful" ... Daniel Jolley - Top Amazon Reviewer

"Inspirational and Timeless" ... Heather Froeschl - Bookreview.com

"The real value of this work is in the allegorical nature of the piece”... Tami Brady - TCM Reviews.

"Wildly and wonderfully imaginative" ... Jeffrey Leach - Top Amazon Reviewer

"I especially liked the Style" ... Swamy Swarna - Book Pleasures

"Many Faces to Many Places is an effectively instructional read"  ...   R.R. Bowker - Bookwire 

"Each page begs the reader to stop and ponder”... Armchair Reviews

"It is well written and nearly every human frailty and strength makes an appearance”... Charles Ashbacher - Top Amazon Reviewer

Booksandauthors.net:  What’s next you ask?

Judy Azar Leblanc:  Well, I have two dreams - Audio and DVD - I think that a DVD would be absolutely fabulous as the characters in the book are all animated.  I am fortunate and grateful to be able to say that Many Faces to Many Places was just published in audio.  Now, it is available in all e-book formats, paperback and in the recently released audio format.

 Booksandauthors.net:  What was the last book you read?

Judy Azar LeBlanc: The last book that I read was a spiritual book by Deepak Chopra called The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.

Booksandauthors.net:  Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?

Judy Azar Leblanc: Truthfully I had a lot more hobbies before I began writing books - haa haa.  I used to love gardening, the outdoors, bicycling, fishing, meditating, walking and socializing a lot more than I do now.  Since I have completed my fourth book, Many Faces to Many Places, I find that I spend most of my time on the computer... So I guess I can now say that my new hobby is computers.  Does it enhance my writing?  I don’t know if it does or not.  I have been so busy with Many Faces to Many Places that I have not had a chance to return to my fifth book that I started to write 6 months ago.  Hopefully I will be able to do that soon.