Meet Mark Adduci, writing as J. M. LeDuc.
He is is native Bostonian, who transplanted to
Florida in 1985. He shares his love and life with his wife, Sherri
and his daughter, Chelsea. Blessed to have had a mother who loved the written word, her
passion was passed on to him. It is in her maiden name he writes.
When he is not crafting the plot of his next thriller, his alter ego is busy working as a professor at The Academy of Nursing and Health Occupations, a nursing college in
. West Palm Beach, Florida
J.M. LeDuc’s first novel, “Cursed Blessing” won a Royal Palm Literary Award in 2008 as an unpublished manuscript in the thriller category. It was published in 2010. He has subsequently written "Cursed Presence" and "Cursed Days," books two and three of the Trilogy of The Chosen, as well as a novella, "Phantom Squad."
The next book in the Phantom Squad Series, "Cornerstone," was released yesterday on June 25, 2013 (and since I've read it, I have to say you're missing out if you don't).
He is a proud member of the Florida Writers Association (FWA) and the prestigious International Thriller Writers (ITW). He has so little time, but he willingly gave us a bit for the following interview:
QueenWriter (QW): Tell us something about you as a person that we won't see in your bio.
J.M. LeDuc (JML): That’s a tough one. I was very adventurous when I was younger. The crazier, the better. I’ll name two just to give you an idea. I spent two years riding bulls out in Colorado and Wyoming. I have done a lot of insane things, but that was probably the most insane. No matter if you make your eight second ride or not, there is no easy way to dismount a bull. To give you an idea of how rough it was, during my short stint as a professional cowboy, I broke almost every rib and fractured four vertebrae in my spine. Back then, there was no protective gear, so when you hit the ground or got trampled, you were injured, no ifs, ands or butts.
The second thing that isn’t part of my bio is that while in college I was recruited to work in conjunction with the USSS (the Secret Service). I was not officially an agent, although I do have my creds and shield. Bodies were needed for protection during the Northeastern Energy Conference back when President Carter was in office. This was during the time when nuclear energy was in huge debate. I was chosen because my father had been part of Naval Intelligence and because of other parameters of my background.
QW: What is your inspiration for writing? How did you start?
JML: My inspiration was my mother. She loved the written word in all its forms. When I was a kid, she was always reading, writing or playing word games. She passed away in 2001 from Pancreatic Cancer, so when I decided to write, I chose her maiden name to write under. I started writing as a purely cathartic activity. I had been very active in my twenties and thirties. At the age of thirty-seven, I had a bilateral hip replacement. Since that time, I have had an additional eight surgeries. Writing was first of all a way for me to release my anger and frustration for the situation I was in. From there, I began to develop characters and then the story line for “Cursed Blessing,” my first book began to develop.
QW: Tell us about "Cornerstone" that is not in a summary or on the back cover.
JML: I have a small amount of American Indian in my genes (from my mother) so I wanted to incorporate a bit of that in the book. That’s how the character of Tag emerged.
QW: As a pause in the interview, I want to give you a summary of "Cornerstone." Enjoy!
"Cornerstone" opens with Brent Venturi emotionally and spiritually lost. The death of his wife during childbirth has thrown him into a deep chasm of despair. He decides to leave Palm Cove and venture to what he calls ‘the beginning,’ the place where his journey started. He sees no other way to try to make sense of his life and he hopes that if he can find the beginning, he can recover the man he used to be. Along his way, he meets up with Rowtag Achak, an Army sniper who is fighting his own demons.
While all this is occurring, the Phantom Squad is having problems of their own. President Dupree has decided to take a trip to Afghanistan and Iraq to bolster the moral of the troops. His trip is found out by a mole in the intelligence communities and soon a terrorist organization, the Brotherhood of Gaza, that is bent on destroying Brent and the squad concoct a plan to capture the president and the squad in order to lure Brent into a trap.
Brent and Tag, along with the monks of Khor Virap, find out through Maddie and Joan that everyone has been captured and they leave to try an impossible rescue. Two weeks later, Brent and his best friend and second in command, Seven, lead separate attacks on the two men who fronted the capture of the president.
“Cornerstone” ends with a glimpse into the future and the role that Brent and Chloe’s daughter Faith may play.
QW's comments: I just wanted to say that I feel "Cornerstone" is rife with action, emotional roller coasters, and suspense. I personally loved it. Now, back to the interview...
QW: You are going to a deserted island and you can take one CD, one book, and one movie. What would they be?
JML: That’s a tough one. For a book, I would take “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoevsky. It is the standard by which I judge all other books. It has so many dimensions to it that I never get tired of reading it. For a CD, I’m not sure. It would either be “The Best of Metallica,” “Dan Folgelberg’s Greatest Hits,” or the soundtrack to “The Les Miserables.” I guess you can tell my music tastes are rather eclectic. The movie would be the hardest one. I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I do have a few that if they show up on TV, I always watch them no matter how many times I’ve seen them. At the top of that list would be “Eddie and The Cruisers,” so I suppose that would be my choice.
QW: I'm going to give you a name of a character. You can make him into anything you want him to be and he can do whatever you want him to do. Write us a short paragraph of how you would work him into a story line. His name is: Alfred Rumberto.
JML: The first thing that comes into my head is for Alfred to be a villain, so I would go in the opposite direction. I would have him be a forensic expert who specializes in Veterinarian forensics. I would like to write a book that involves a wolf or other wild animal. I’m not sure if the animal would be good or bad, but either way, there would be animal remains found and a forensic specialist needed.
QW: Do you consider yourself right-brained or left-brained? Or both? And why?
JML: Interesting question. I was a practicing Chiropractor for 27 years and I am now employed as a professor at a college, so my work can be very analytic and detail oriented at times.
But . . . I tend to look at the big picture and not at the details. I can’t outline a story. It just has to flow and take me where it wants to go. I’m not good at making lists and staying on schedule (if given the choice). I would like to say that I am both, but if I had to be honest, I would say that I am right-brained.
QW: What is next for you? Do you have a release coming out after this latest we are highlighting here? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Thanks for asking. I am currently writing a book titled “Sin.” It is the first in the Sinclair O’Malley Series and it is very different from my other books. She is a feisty, sexy young woman with a take no prisoners attitude. The first two chapters of the book will be included at the end of "Cornerstone" and I would love to hear from your readers and get their opinion on what they see.
There you have it, a little bit of who the author is and where he can take you as a reader. He loves to interact with his fans and can be reached at www.jmleduc.com and on Facebook.
Thank you, Mark (umm...J.M.) for taking a slice of time from your busy schedule to speak with us.