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Anne C. Lemieux Books & Biography

Biography

Anne LeMieux, writing as A.C. LeMieux, is the winner of the Parents' Choice Silver medal for her novel Do Angels Sing the Blues? She is also the author of Fruit Flies, Fish & Fortune Cookies, the first novel about Mary Ellen and Justine, as well as the novel The Guidance Counselor, which was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Anne LeMieux lives in Southport, Connecticut, with her family.

In Her Own Words...

"For me, stories are parallel universes. If the world a writer creates is vital enough and populated by characters who ring with authenticity, be it a fantasy world of mice, or realistic fiction, I'm living in it when I'm reading it, and even after I close the book, part of me keeps living in the other world-or it keeps living in me.

"I was born in 1954 and grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, on a dead-end street with lots of big old houses filled with big families. I'm the second oldest of seven, six boys and me. When I wasn't inside devouring books, I was outdoors, trespassing on country Club property. Our street ran right up in the middle of a golf course, which all the neighborhood kids used like a huge backyard, dodging golf balls and running away from Fudge-belly the greens keeper in the warm weather, and sledding down the fairways and skating on frozen water hazards in the winter, I wrote my first book, From My Perch--a neighborhood saga written from the point of view of a crow who spied on all the neighborhood kidswhen I was eleven.

"At Simmons College in Boston, where I majored in writing and minored in illustration, I began keeping daily journals, developing the habit of observing life, collecting details and data, musing on the meaning of it all. My first published piece was an article on the Arthurian legends which I wrote while spending a semester living in England junior year. After I graduated from college, I felt that I didn't own an original thought or idea, so I decided to stop writing and concentrate on living. I went back to school to study music. I also got married and had children, which kept me very in touch with children's literature. Every once in a while, the urge to write would come over me like a spell, and I'd write an article about whatever I happened to be interested in at the time.

"After my son was born in 1987, 1 felt I had lived enough of life to have accumulated some original thoughts on it. I signed up for a children's book writing course at Fairfield University. Five years and a dozen manuscripts later, I sold my first book.

"I feel writing is a process of finding connections-not only connecting the right words into sentences, but connecting ideas, symbols, events-and connecting them to people. When I started Do Angels Sing the Blues?, I knew I wanted it to be about music and about the death of a best friend. My best friend died when I was 26. As I listened to Stevie Ray Vaughan one day, the connection sparked: the blues. When I was writing about King Arthur some twenty years ago, I really identified with the quest theme. That surfaced in Michael Madden's personality in The TV Guidance Counselor, which, more than being about divorce or attempted suicide, is about my conviction that life is searching, formulating questions, and seeking answers.

"Much of my day-to-day work involves asking questions and exploring possible answers on paper. When I begin the first draft of a story, I consider two things: what is going to happen, a general plot, but more important, to whom it i's going to happen. I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters, who they are, what they're like, how they think, so they really do take on a life of their own inside my head. Parts of me wind up in all my characters, both male and female, adult and young people."