Leslie Soule lives in Sacramento, California. Fallenwood is her first fantasy novel. She has received her B.A. in English from Sacramento State University and is currently working on her Master’s degree in English at National University.
Photo from Leslie's Website
Welcome to Immortality and Beyond Leslie. May I offer you a beverage?
A mystic brew would be great! Ooh….looks purple and misty…
Now that we're all settled in my lair, I'm de-bite-fully glad you stopped in.
BK: Please tell us a little bit about your current release...
LS: Well, I’m here promoting my novel Fallenwood, a fantasy novel that’s been chosen to be the Read For A Cure book at Decadent Publishing for October. It’s a story I wrote over the course of three years, and it follows the journey of a girl named Ash, as she finds her way into a fantasy world called Fallenwood.
BK: What inspired this particular novel/book?
LS: A lot of things, really. The main thing was that when my stepfather died, I was a month from turning nineteen years old and it felt like my world had ended. Both my stepfather and I were really interested in fantasy novels, and I started writing as a way of coping, back then.
BK: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
LS: When I was very little, I wrote all sorts of crazy stories. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I’ve always written for fun, for escape, and as therapy.
BK: How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?
LS: That’s a difficult thing to do, since there are so many fantasy writers out there. One of the things I like to do, though, is read a lot, so I know what already exists.
BK: What was the hardest thing about writing this story?
LS: The hardest thing about writing it was writing about the relationship between Ash and Akaji. One of my reviewers noted that I didn’t want to touch the relationship with a ten-foot pole, and it’s because I based Akaji on an ex-boyfriend of mine, who died of cancer.
BK: What character was your favorite to write for in this story? Why?
LS: I really enjoyed writing about Greymalkin. He’s a talking cat, and I love animals, so the idea of one intrigues me.
BK: Which was your favorite scene to write?
LS: Hmm….tough question. My favorite scene to write was the one where the black unicorn appears, because I enjoy the concept of a black unicorn on a rampage.
BK: Will this become a series? If so, what inspired it to be a series?
LS: Originally, I didn’t plan on it being a series. However, I’m not ready to let the characters go just yet. Also, I’ve realized that there are a lot of things in the original that would benefit from a full realization that a sequel would give it. So I’ve been writing a bit of the sequel in-between working on my master’s degree.
BK: Now for a little fun, and into your everyday life, What is a day in your life like?
LS: A typical day would be that I wake up and go to work, make a cup of tea, listen to music during my work day, talk to my co-workers, and then go home and work on master’s degree course work. For now, that’s about it. My life hasn’t been too exciting lately.
BK: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
LS: When I’m not writing, I love to do martial arts. I love what a workout it is, how you get to improve your skills, meet new people, and I have a lot of fun doing it.
BK: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
LS: That I nearly gave up on myself as a writer and scrapped Fallenwood early on. What kept me going with it was that I came to realize that the concept meant something to me – so I ended up re-writing it from nothing. I signed up for a creative writing course at my local community college, where I got to receive feedback and work on chapters, and that made all the difference between getting it written and becoming a published author, and not, I think.
BK: What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
LS: I absolutely love Jack London. I also really like Neil Gaiman. I’ve read many books by Brian Jacques.
BK: Please tell us one piece of advice you were given as an author that you carry with you when you write?
LS: During one of my courses, a professor of mine had us watch a few videos online. One of those videos was an interview of Dr. Cornell West, who said, “Never confuse your success with your greatness”. Another one was a writer named Louise Erdrich, who said, “Writing is a noble thing, really”. I repeat these quotes to myself a lot.
BK: What is one piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers/authors?
LS: The best two pieces of advice I can give are to not give up, and if at all possible, to sign up for a creative writing workshop. I gained invaluable experience from the one I took and it helped my writing immensely.
BK: What are you currently working on?
LS: I’m currently working on my master’s thesis, defending the writings of a philosopher named Quintilian. Other than that, I’ve been writing snippets of Fallenwood II, here and there.
BK: Where can readers connect with you?
LS: I have a Facebook page for Fallenwood, and they can also interact on my Coffee Time Romance forum, and on my website.
Fallenwood—a land where magic is the life force, dragons are sages, and wizards good and evil battle for supremacy. When 23-year-old Ash is thrust into the middle of Fallenwood’s power struggles, she is also forced to face her own inner battles. Life on Earth was hard enough on Ash, who is locked in grief for her stepfather. Now, the fate of Fallenwood rests on her shoulders. She must destroy the Great Crystal—the catalyst for all the land’s magic. As the kingdoms prepare for war, Ash must look inside to find the power to save the world, and herself.
The dragon’s eyes glowed, for a flickering moment, with white light.
“Ash,” the dragon continued, “Welcome to Terra Illumina…or as it is more commonly known, Fallenwood.” Then a fierce roaring laugh erupted from the stone, as though the dragon thought the new name a joke. “A dark, difficult, dangerous path lies before you, Ash Kensington.”
Ash’s heart grew heavy. In truth, she knew that she was destined to some terrible, dark fate. For so long, her life was filled with sadness and doubt, and one horrible thing after another. What else can I hope for?
“But Ash, you must not lose hope. Our world needs you..."
Leslie, thank you so much for stopping in and chatting today. Your book sounds amazing! Leslie is also offering a giveaway for her paranormal story, The Devil's Bidding, in PDF format. If you would like to win a copy, simply leave a comment for Leslie with your email to be entered. For more chances to win, you can check out all of her tour stops HERE. There will be a winner at every stop.