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


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Leslie today.

MomJane said...

Your story sounds like such fun. I can hardly wait until March.

Leslie Soule said...

Thanks, MomJane!

And thanks for hosting me Today, Shea McMaster!

I will be away from the computer for most of the day, due to work, but I'll be back in the evening to reply to any comments left here. :)

-Leslie Soule

Catherine Lee said...

Hi Leslie,

Thanks for answering my question yesterday about "Why Fantasy" when it's such a challenging genre. I'm sure a debut in a different genre must be a bit nerve wracking.

I like a lot of sci-fi and fantasy in TV and movies but haven't read much in those genres. I look forward to reading yours.


Renald said...

I'm reading a sci-fi now,it's different. Can't wait to get to the end.

Leslie Soule said...

Hey there Renald and Catherine Lee!
I'd love to try my hand at sci-fi some time, but I really don't feel like I know enough about the genre or about technology in general to do a good job just yet. There's always time to learn I guess.
I did manage to find a story I wrote when I was a kid, and it's this sci-fi/fantasy hybrid story (traditionally a huge no-no), but I've heard that this kind of thing is becoming more popular and that there's a special genre for stuff that doesn't quite fit in with the norm, called Speculative Fiction.

Anyway though, thanks for joining me here! You guys have made the blog tour fun and interesting, and I love answering your questions and getting to interact with you.

I hope you'll join me at the next stop on the tour, which is tomorrow at The Character Connection

Shea McMaster said...

Leslie, I'm glad you left a link for tomorrow. Glad to have you here, We had about 50 page hits :) Good show!

Have fun with the rest of your tour.


Renald said...

Sorry never heard of the Wuzzles. Good luck with the tour.