One of the most asked questions I receive whenever I am asked to speak at an event is why did I start to write? In order to answer that question, let me explain a little bit about my past. I had been diagnosed with a very rare joint disease at the age of eight which prohibited me from engaging in any sports and most physical activity. My adventures came through the books I read. At the age of thirteen, I was given the okay by my doctors to become physically active. I threw myself into the fray. I started with snow skiing and as I got older I searched for a constant bigger and greater adrenaline rush. I found it through skydiving, scuba diving, triathlons, adventure/survival racing and ultimately riding bulls as a professional cowboy for two years. This all came to a crashing halt at the age of thirty seven due to a bilateral hip replacement.
All writers have heard the phrase, “Write what you know.” When I began to write, my mantra was “Write what inspires you.” At the time I began thinking seriously about writing, I was in a major crossroad in my life. My first bilateral hip replacement wasn’t my last. After numerous hip and knee surgeries, all the things that I thought helped define me as a person were taken away. I could no longer actively pursue those endeavors. I found peace by going back to my first loves—reading and writing.
I decided to try to read all the classics I hated to read when forced to in school and found a new found respect and a life changing admiration for these books. I was particularly enthralled with Russian literature and more specifically the works of Dostoevsky. I found Crime and Punishment to be a book of infinite dimension and I couldn’t get enough of it. I read it in three different editions just to make sure I picked up as much nuance as possible. This may seem crazy and it probably was, but it gave me a new perspective on my dilemma and opened up a new life for me.
How? Let me try to explain and tie it into how I became a writer.
First let me say that as a child, I had the privilege of growing up in a home that was filled with books and a love of the written word. My mother loved to read and write and some of my fondest memories of her involve her writing and playing various word games. It is with deep respect that I write under her maiden name.
Back to the topic: For those of you who have not read Crime and Punishment, it is a psychological drama. A young man kills his landlady in what is truly the perfect crime, but the mental and emotional anguish he goes through forces him to eventually turn himself in to the authorities.
When I began to formulate a storyline, I wanted that psychological drama to be at the epicenter of my writing. I realize action drives plots, but it’s the emotional attachment we have with the characters that keeps us turning the pages and wanting to know and read more about them. The emotion we feel for characters comes from their internal struggles and wanting them to be able to come to peace with their demons. So it was with Brent Venturi, the main protagonist in the Trilogy of the Chosen and Cornerstone. We find him in major psychological and emotion turmoil in Cursed Blessing book one of the trilogy, and he comes full circle and is again in a similar predicament at the beginning of Cornerstone.
I have woven faith into this series because in my own life I have found that it is what grounds me. Regardless of which faith you hold, I think we can agree that all our decisions ultimately take those covenants into account and when we are in our deepest despair, it is our faith we turn to help us climb out of it.
My writing started out to be cathartic in nature and ended up being one of the major loves of my life. I can’t imagine not writing and my characters have become a second family to me. I worry about them when they are in trouble, I cry with them when they are in pain and I celebrate their triumphs.
I write because it is part of who I am. Without it, I would not be whole!
About The Author
Mark Adduci, writing as J. M. LeDuc is native Bostonian, who transplanted to South 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. He is a proud member of the Florida Writers Association (FWA) and the prestigious International Thriller Writers (ITW).
Connect with J.M. Leduc Website | Facebook
Synopsis: In the blink of an eye, a life begins and another ends.
In a blink of an eye, Brent Venturi falls into the chasm of despair.
What do you do when everything is lost? When the person you loved is gone and all you have left is guilt? These are the questions that face Brent, the leader of the Phantom Squad and the latest in Noah’s line of descendants. His answer—go back to the beginning, back to where it all began—Mount Ararat.
The last known resting place of Noah’s Ark.
In his travels, Brent will meet Rowtag Achak, a Cree brave and Special Forces sniper who is on a similar path of self-destruction. Together, they will trace their steps from Palm Cove to Washington D.C., all the way to Armenia and the Khor Virap Monastery which sits at the base of Mount Ararat. Their travels will eventually take them to Alpha Camp and the Hindu Kush Mountains on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
When President Dupree and the Phantom Squad get captured by the Brotherhood of Gaza, time for introspection is over and time for action begins. Brent must find a way to get back to the man he was in order to save the people still left in his life.
What begins as a sabbatical of self-awareness turns into a mission of survival. His own, that of the squad and more importantly, that of the president of the United States. What man and nature takes away, only God can restore. The restoration of the Cornerstone.
To find the beginning, one must walk through the past and be willing to step into the future.
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