Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Virtual Book Tour - Leslie Soule

In conjunction with Goddess Fish Promotions, I'd like you to help me welcome guest author Leslie Soule today. She getting out the word about her Fantasy novel, Fallenwood and below has some wonderful insights into the creation of fantasy characters and worlds. Please be sure to comment so you're entered to win a Barnes & Noble gift certificate!

Combination Theory and Other Madness
Leslie D. Soule

Does anyone remember The Wuzzles? When I was little, I loved The Wuzzles – as a matter of fact, I still have my Wuzzle, Hoppopotamus, that I used to snuggle up with every night. She was my personal destroyer of boogeymen hiding under the bed, and she is part hippopotamus, part rabbit, with wings. I kid you not. Each Wuzzle character in The Wuzzles was a combination of two things. There was Bumblelion – Bumble bee + Lion, Eleroo – Elephant + Kangaroo, Rhinokey – Rhino + Monkey, Moosel – Moose + Seal, and Butterbear – Butterfly + Bear.

Well, the creator of The Wuzzles may have been on to something with their combination idea. In writing fantasy, I often come up with original items for my stories by combining two common ideas. For example, what if I were to take a staple of fantasy novels – a dragon, and combine it with….fire? A dragon made purely out of fire. Oh wait, I think that’s been done – I’m getting a flashback from the movie Lord of the Rings, with the dragon firework soaring overhead. But you get the idea. You can do that with anything, not just elements. Let’s take…a mushroom, and combine it with….a toad. Poof! Mushroom Toad! Oh wait, Super Mario Brothers…the character Toad with the Mushroom hat. Umm…ok, so let’s take…(I’m really trying here) a rose, and combine it with…poison. Poisoned roses that harm all who touch them – but I think I’ve seen that in a movie somewhere. 

Hmm…anyway, that’s an example of how things can be combined in fantasy in a way that is pretty unique to it. I would consider The Wuzzles to be a work of fantasy. I think The Wuzzles gives us another good rule of thumb for writing – if it seems too silly to possibly work in something you’re writing or creating, it’s probably going to be pretty awesome. An example of this is a conversation that my friends and I frequently have. It goes something like this – 

“Hey, how do you think the creator of Super Mario Bros. came up with the idea for the storyline? You think it just popped into his head and he was like, ‘Hey, I have this great idea. So there are these two plumbers, right, and they walk around eating mushrooms and they travel through tubes and when they eat flowers, they can spit fire…’ And then the guy’s friends were probably like, ‘Whoa, man, what did you eat for breakfast?’”

Anyway, my point is, when you think about it, the idea for Super Mario Bros. and for The Wuzzles, and anything fantasy-like, ends up being really, ridiculously silly – only these things have turned out to be really awesome and unique and wonderful. 

Thank you for listening to my crazy ranting today! If you’re interested in entering to win a Barnes & Noble gift card, please leave a comment, along with your name and e-mail address.
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.
Website: www.lesliesoule.com

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.

Price: $4.99
Pages: 194
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Release date: March 2011
Buy link

Monday, January 23, 2012

Getting Revved Up - What's New for 2012

First of all, what's new is I discovered how to add pages to this site. 

Yeah, yeah, feel free to blow some raspberries or laugh. I'd rather spend my time writing than messing with setting up websites. I'm not quite as technology-challenged as my son thinks I am. Because he considers me barely computer literate (never mind I was rebuilding them when he was still in the crib) it means he does most of the work when setting up new stuff.

Example, this Christmas we bought him a super duper newer faster better stronger computer. Since his "old" computer was much newer than mine, I was gifted with the "old" Sony Vaio. Of course, this moved me from XP to Win7 OS. A huge necessity in his opinion. I'm not complaining. The machine is sleeker and faster. However, there is still some adjustment going on. Sort of like I'm still looking for baskets of yarn that were moved out of the living room to make room for the Christmas tree. Yeah. My files are all rearranged. Sigh.

So, since I discovered the ability to add pages, I've added one for each of my books. The Shea ones. Morgan's on her own for the moment.  You'll find the links to the right, at the top. Feel free to check them out, read excerpts, follow the buy links at the bottom. If you've read the books I'd sure love to read some positive commentary. The writer's ego is such a fragile thing... Ahem!

I'm also hosting some Virtual Book Tours. One or two a month, remember that writing gig I do, so if you'd like a day on my blog, just send me a note! We'll check the schedule and see what works best.  Generally speaking, Wednesdays and Thursdays are pretty much wide open. 

Speaking of VBTs, tomorrow Leslie D. Soule will be here with a blog on where ideas for fantasy books/stories come from. Personally, I find them under cabbage leaves. Or in really, really weird dreams. Be sure to stop by and comment to be entered in her drawing for a B&N gift card. 

So, 2012 is here, the Chinese New Year is here, as well as a record level snow fall for South Central Alaska. What's new with you? Have goals for 2012? Still going strong with them? What's on your minds? Someone remind me that spring will come again, soon followed by summer. I'm really looking forward to summer!