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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Featured Author - Leslie Soule! - Part 3

MLM: Why Fantasy? What was the draw for you?

LESLIE: I love writing about mythical creatures and magic. It makes writing a lot of fun. Also, I’ve read a lot of fantasy and that’s what first got me interested in writing it.

MLM: All of us are influenced and impacted by TV, movies, books and/or authors at different times in our lives. Who, what and which TV, movies, books and/or authors influenced you? When in your life did you discover them and why were they so influential for you? (Don’t be afraid to give us more than one of each kind!)

LESLIE: I have definitely been influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Brian Jacques’s Redwall series. As far as movies, I absolutely love older fantasy/mythology movies like Ladyhawke, Legend, and The Labyrinth. I discovered these books and movies in my teen years and I still think they’re great.

MLM: Considering the TV, movies, books and/or authors mentioned, is there one TV, movie, book and/or author in particular that you try to emulate in your writing? Which one(s) and why? Please be as specific as you can! J

LESLIE: I try to just borrow themes or ideas instead of emulating certain writers in their style. In my latest fantasy novel, Fallenwood, the dream chapter where Ash sees the Wolf King for the first time, was one I worked on in a creative writing class. The assignment was that we were supposed to take a scene from someone else’s work and adapt it to fit our own story. So I took the scene from Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” where Oberon and Titania are arguing, and that’s what became that little scene.

MLM: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please look beyond words like mysterious, suspenseful, creative, unique etc., and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.

LESLIE: I intended to write Fallenwood as a way for me to sort of “go home” to someplace familiar and comfortable after my stepfather’s death. So that’s how my writing ended up for me, is it talks a lot about comfort and friendship and homely things. So I would say that my writing style is “like going home”.

MLM: In Part 2 we asked if you believe in mystical Irish lore such as Leprechauns. Have you ever used any type of Irish lore in one of your stories? If so, which lore and what was the situation?

LESLIE: I haven’t yet, but that would be great! New story idea! Woo Hoo!

MLM: Also in Part 2 we asked you about your views on March. Does this show through in your writing? If so, give some examples how, please!

LESLIE: When I finished reading this question, the scene that instantly came to mind was a scene where Ash and Prince Edward wake up in a field of wildflowers. I definitely want to write about spring scenes more, but it’s been a bit difficult up to this point, since my writing has focused on dark ideas and themes.

MLM: Who decides what characters/creatures you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over their actions and the plot, or is the muse always the one deciding the adventure the characters take?

LESLIE: I would say it’s half and half. I wanted to write about Ash and Will, but the other characters definitely came from my muse for Fallenwood. As for how the adventure goes, I never know the path it’s going to take. I know where I want it to end up, and my muse fills in the rest.

MLM: Of all the stories you’ve written please tell us:
a.) Which character/creature did you have the most fun creating and why? What about this character/creature makes it stand out above all the others?

LESLIE: I really like Greymalkin from Fallenwood. He’s a talking cat who was once a man and he’s got these white paws. I love animals, so that’s what does it for me, I think.

b.) If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters/creatures in real life, who would it be and why?

LESLIE: I think I would actually want to meet Will Everett. He’s Ash’s mentor and I imagine that he’s got this huge library of magical texts. One of my reviewers said that he’s the unsung hero of the novel, and I definitely agree.

c.) Which of your characters/creatures would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?

LESLIE: I would say Akaji, but I’ve already met his real-life counterpart. He’s dead now (I didn’t kill him – cancer did). But even writing him into Fallenwood was very difficult for me because the memory of him still scares me. I recall my critique partner saying that every time he showed up in the story, I didn’t want to touch the relationship between him and Ash with a ten foot pole. So that’s one of the things that I had to work through in creating Fallenwood.

d.) If you could choose to visit one setting/world you’ve created which one is it, where is it and why this destination over all the others? What makes it stand out over all the others?

LESLIE: I would want to make a visit to the Pan-Experiential, which is this place where you’re tested through your dreams. I think I would want to go there mainly out of curiosity, to see what sort of tests there would be.

MLM: On that note, we’ll end our interview for this week. Thank you so much for joining us this week!

LESLIE: Thank you for having me!!!!

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