A stroke survivor realizes his dream by publishing a sci-fi novel for young people

David Leblanc had time on his hands after his stroke and was able to pursue his creative endeavors

Before retiring from his job with a water company, David Leblanc traveled by truck to mining sites in Northern Ontario.

While traveling, Leblanc thought of stories to write and jotted them down on a palm pilot.

“I never went anywhere with it,” he said.

Leblanc, a 70-year-old grandfather, was forced into early retirement eight years ago when he suffered a stroke. To pass the time, he joined the Sudbury Writers Guild and began writing fiction.

“It’s something I’ve thought about doing for three decades,” he said. “Because of the stroke, I had free time and I could type with one hand. So I went out, and let my imagination take care of the rest.

The result is Leblanc’s first novel, a self-published science fiction book titled “Black Hole,” which is aimed at the middle-class market.

The novel features aliens, an Icelandic astrophysicist and a 7th grader who come together to save the world from a demented alien laden with dark matter.

The “good” alien in the novel is called “Piiuk”, after a saying jokingly coined by Leblanc and his colleagues, which they used when they didn’t like something or if it was something really good or different.

Leblanc actually held a contest for children to draw a picture of “Piiuk”, which was won by a young boy.

He said the project was originally intended to be a picture book for young children, but eventually turned into a novel for young people.

Leblanc said his original story was 80,000 words, but on the advice of the Sudbury Writers Guild and the publisher he was working with, the novel was whittled down to 45,000 words, which translates to about 180. pages.

“Black Hole” costs $20 and is available by emailing Leblanc at [email protected]