Thursday, March 5, 2015

Interview with fantasy author Leslie D. Soule

I’m happy to be the kick-off host of fantasy author Leslie D. Soule’s virtual book tour for Fallenwood. I have an interview that gives us some insight into the first book in her Fallenwood Chronicles series.

During her tour, Leslie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Leslie D. Soule is a writer from Sacramento, California. Fallenwood is the first book in her 4-book planned series known as the Fallenwood Chronicles.

Welcome, Leslie. Please tell us about your new release.
Well, Fallenwood is the first book in my Fallenwood Chronicles. It was recently re-released through Melange Books and is available both in e-book and print formats. It follows the journey of 23-year old Ash Kensington, who finds her way into a fantasy world called Fallenwood and it’s entering into this world and figuring out its problems that helps her work out her own.

What inspired you to write this book?
Well, my stepfather influenced me greatly, and when he died when I was nineteen, it had quite an impact on me. Suddenly, it was like my sense of security and the idea that everything was ok with the world, had been ripped away from me. So Ash is dealing with a lot of the things I was at the time, with a deep sense of depression, and she’s wondering what her purpose is, and trying to work through it all and keep going when no one around her seems to care what’s going on at all. Some of the characters are based on people I’ve met – people who walked out of my life that I still wanted to remember (like Will), or people who were just oh-so-charming until you got to really know them (like Akaji’s real-life counterpart). Then there are people who have never existed who I wish did. Fantasy is all about wish fulfillment. Greymalkin and Terces are part of this group. Part of the book deals with my generation – the Millennials – and their intense hatred of bureaucracy. We see that with the scene where Ash, Will, and Rupert are there in the woods:

Rupert: “You can’t do that,” the fire-haired royal servant sputtered. “As stated in Section 6 point 8, Subsection B of Article 1 dash 9, no one who is not a servant to the royal throne of any kingdom is permitted to…”
Will: “She’s still coming with me. You can argue about it ‘til the realms reconnect if you want, but that’s how it’s going to be.”

*Summons fireball*

So there. Hehehe. Fantasy is wish fulfillment, and sometimes my wish is to layeth a mighty smackdown upon the bureaucracies of this world.

Excerpt from Fallenwood:
Ah, that feels better. He yawned. Over the years, he’d become accustomed to the particulars of being a cat. He had not always been one. Once known as a man named Alexander Dorrin in a former life, he had been a royal messenger for the Kingdom of Evendown, and he always wore his favorite white boots trimmed with gold thread—a masterwork. In his messenger days, Alexander knew he just had to own them for himself. They made him feel like a king, and he had been transformed when wearing them. Now, as a cat, he still wore them. He sported other clothes, too, during his transformation, but his boots were the only item that seemed to transfer their colors. Having white paws was one of the only consolations to his change, as they reminded him of his boots and made him feel less naked. 

How completely heartbreaking and humiliating his transformation had been! The thought of it still brought tears to his eyes. 

What exciting story are you working on next?
Well, I completed NaNoWriMo this past year, where you challenge yourself to write a novel in a month. It’s really a wonderful challenge. There’s a site where you can talk to others and check your progress and everything. So technically I’ve finished book 3 of the Fallenwood Chronicles, which I’m calling Betrayer – but as all “finished” NaNoWriMo novels are, due to the nature of the exercise, it’s a jumbled and unpolished mess. So it’s still going to take quite a bit of editing. Meanwhile, I’ve also got a sci-fi novel I’m working on, adapted from a story I wrote back in high school. That one needs some work too, but not nearly as much as Betrayer does.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always considered myself a writer, but the first time I thought of myself as a “real” author was when I saw my work in print. That’s the goal I’ve always had, the dream I looked forward to for so long.

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?
I wish I could write full-time. My dog Ginger would certainly be happy if I could stay home all the time and write. But Alas, no! I work full-time for the state and I write when inspiration hits me and when I find the time to. As for how I find that time, it just happens when it happens, I guess. Sometimes inspiration hits on a lunch break and sometimes in the shower. It’s all up to the muse in my head. A typical work day involves me trekking over to downtown Sacramento, working in a cubicle at the top of a 19-story building, and then if I have a shift at job #2, heading over there for a couple more hours. I certainly stay busy.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have to physically write down what I’m working on. If I sit in front of a computer screen, the inspiration just won’t come. It won’t flow. Oh, and my guilty pleasure is those dollar store rollerball pens. I love those things.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer and/or a magician. As a fantasy author, I get to be both – to write, and to create things out of thin air.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes! Thank you for being a part of this blog tour and I would love to answer any questions you may have.

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Buy links:

Thanks, Leslie!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today

Leslie D. Soule said...

Thank you for hosting me!

Jess1 said...

I enjoyed your excerpt and the interview. I glad that you can use those non-positive people in your life for a purpose such as your story.

Leslie D. Soule said...

Thanks, Jess and Rita! Yeah, I think non-positive people are still an influence and can still be used in writing to bring realism and (in the case of book 3, which I'm currently working on) to serve as a kind of warning.

bn100 said...

nice interview