Interview with author David LeRoy

Today’s guest, David LeRoy, did
extensive research on the German occupation of France for his debut novel
Siren of Paris
. This historical novel follows the journey of one American
from medical student, to artist, to political prisoner at Buchenwald
Concentration Camp during World War Two.  
David LeRoy is an accidental author. On his way to becoming an artist, he
suddenly came down with an incurable condition and began to write instead of
paint, to the horror of his instructors. He holds an undergraduate degree in
philosophy and religion, which are recurring themes through out his first
novel. Aside from writing, he continues to paint and draw on a regular
schedule, while holding down an unspeakable day job in telecommunications.
Welcome, David. Please
tell us about your current release, The Siren of Paris.
The story is a unique experience of World War
II, told from the perspective of a French-born American art student who becomes
trapped by the war. This transforms the protagonist from an innocent and rather
naïve young college student into a physically, emotionally, and spiritually
wounded member of the French underground resistance. Ultimately, he is faced
with the task of overcoming his own sense of survivor’s guilt as he re-enters
the world after his release from Buchenwald concentration camp. This is when
faces the loss of his comrades and struggles with facing his betrayer.
inspired you to write this book?
A single statue inspired me to
research this book. It is located in a small plaza in Antibes, France and
captured the sense of crushing oppression that members of the resistance faced.
I wondered if Americans living in Europe had become trapped by the war and if
any had joined the Resistance. My initial research confirmed that both were the
case. Forty-six books later, along with countless other documents, I had the
details that contribute to the story
The Siren of Paris.
exciting story are you working on next?
The Flower of
, which explores the effect of complex trauma upon a young child who
becomes an orphan twice before she is 12 years old. The book is about that
curious condition of being young, yet old and mature at the same time, which is
common in children who lose their childhood innocence due to tragedy.
In my
fantasies, I only write a book once, and it is brilliant. In reality, after I
have written the book once, I am condemned to a purgatory of re-writing and
editing for at least another 10 drafts. But my friends all seem to think I just
sat down and wrote it on a weekend, and I sometimes foster that fantasy if I
think there is a chance they actually will take the bait.
When did
you first consider yourself a writer?
After my very first really shitty
first draft, when I was staring at a huge collection of 50 to 60 thousand words
full of spelling errors and punctuation problems, I knew then I had become a
writer. Not because anyone could actually read the beast, but because I took it
out 30 days later and worked towards the next shitty draft that was slightly
better than the previous one. Some call this persistence and others an
addiction, and I will let you decide.
Do you
write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other
than write and how do you find time to write?
My day job does deal with writing,
but it is legal contracts. When I am working on a draft, I set aside time every
day to work towards at least 3,000 words. I am a goal driven “type A”
personality in recovery, so I keep track of everything on an excel worksheet so
that I know exactly where I am in the process and how much more I need to
complete. Each draft of
The Siren of Paris took me, on average, 22
working days to complete. Then I take a 30-day break from it all, making sure
not to read the text at all until the time is up. During this time, I terrorize
the world finding something else to obsess over.
Fun: When not writing, I am painting or
drawing. It is another form of the same creative process, but it quiets my
What would
you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I incorporate some of the same
design principles I use in composing a painting into my writing. Underneath my
stories, I often use numerical principles to construct scenes. But that is not
the only crazy thing I do. I choose music that captures the mood of the story,
and I listen to the music over and over again until it is in my consciousness. Then
I imagine the scenes of the book that go with this music. It sounds crazy, but
I am using the music to match my own emotions to the mood I am trying to create
in the story.
Since I am confessing my crazies, I
have been known to use a candle. I will take a candle and place it into the
bottom of a large bronze Tibetan singing bowl, (you will only get this show
here folks), and then I will rhythmically tap the bowl, focusing on the flame,
and imagine the life of my characters. I would just use pot, but it is boring
compared to a flame in a Tibetan singing bowl at midnight.
As a
child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was
obsessed with the dream of joining the merchant marines and working on some
ship. How I ended up studying philosophy and religion is a mystery to me, but
maybe it has something to do with the fact that my college was on the ocean.
additional you want to share with the readers?
Dream. Use
your imagination and dream before you write, and when someone shakes their
finger and says, “You can’t do that,” then jump on it until you have done it
like no one else. 

Thanks, David. Readers, you can purchase The Siren of Paris in Kindle e-book format from Amazon — and learn more about this author and novel at

For more information about this virtual book tour, please visit —

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