Friday, January 27, 2012

Goddess Fish Blog Tour with Leslie Soule/Contest

Tour Contest Information: Leslie will be giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour as well as to the host with the most comments. Comment on each blog tour stop to be entered. Full tour stop details can be found HERE

Writing As Therapy by Leslie D. Soule

            Hey there! Thanks for having me as your guest today!

            So today I’m going to talk about what inspired me to write my fantasy novel Fallenwood, the first novel I’ve ever written. It took me three years to write it and has gone through numerous rewrites and lots of revision. I started writing the story originally as a form of therapy for myself after my stepfather passed away due to diabetes (which is chronicled in the story itself). It was very difficult for me to explain to other people what I was going through at the time, and also I’m an introvert, which is surprising to even my close friends because I’m a rather extroverted introvert. What it means to be introverted, though, is that you draw your energy ultimately from being alone and isolated and working on things yourself, pretty much. It’s not shyness – I’d never describe myself as a shy person or someone who shies away from meeting people or being in social situations. Rather, it’s a need to work things through in isolation, is I guess a good way to describe it. So writing Fallenwood was a way for me to express myself in words and to work through all of the difficult emotions and ideas that were going through my head. 

            Also, I was working retail, and found it to be a rather boring thing with a lot of “down time”, but the schedule allowed me to take college courses, which might have been more difficult with another type of job. So in order to keep my mind occupied during the down time at work, I began writing on scraps of receipt tape when ideas would come to me. In this way, I tried to keep myself from becoming sour and jaded, because no matter how people treated me at work – co-workers or customers – at the end of the day, I had my little scraps of paper that would form a story, and that was something, at least. 

            A lot of writing guide books talk about the idea of character motivation, and how you always have to keep in mind what a particular character wants. In the case of my main character Ash, I believe that she wants peace in all forms – world peace, peace of mind, etc. She wants to make sense of the crazy world and crazy situations she finds herself in. When I wrote Fallenwood, that’s what I was also searching for in life – a sense of peace, and calm, and for things to make sense, even though I didn’t know how to make that happen. 

            In conclusion, writing is a great form of self-therapy and writing Fallenwood has been one of the best things I feel that I’ve ever done. I hope you enjoy the story if you get a chance to read it. If you’d like to enter to win a gift card to Barnes & Noble, please leave a comment and leave your name as well.

            Thank you for having me as your guest today! 

 Fallenwood by Leslie Soule
Decadent Publishing

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..."

About Leslie Soule:
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.



Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Leslie today.

MomJane said...

I have visions of you going through all the receipts putting a story line together.

Leslie Soule said...

Hehehe! :) That's exactly what I did, too...!

Well, thanks for hosting me here today, Dawn!
I will be away from my computer for most of the day, due to work, but I'll be on here later tonight to reply to comments. :)

-Leslie Soule

Karen H in NC said...

Some interesting points in your post today. I agree that writing can be theraputic. And a lot cheaper than talking to a therapist.

As I read your post today, I was struck by the fact there is a lot more to the writing process itself than just sitting down and writing a book. In your opinion, what percentage of 1) book-learning including but not limited to, college courses, reading how-to books); 2) seminars, workshops, association membership; 3) talent/imagination; and 4) actual writing of a story is really involved in getting a finished published book? Do you belong to any writing groups or have a critique partner?

You also mentioned you did major re-writes of your story when you first started out, but it made me wonder…is that a case of overthinking something to the point of outsmarting yourself? Is it best to try to get the product perfect or wait for it to come back bleeding with edits?

Catherine Lee said...

Hi Leslie. Writing & journaling can be very therapeutic!

I like your comments about being an introvert. I, too, am an introvert...and many people where I work would be very surprised by that. The people right in my department know, but colleagues in other areas of the institution would probably not believe it. Professionally, I am extroverted. I have to be. BUT, it saps my energy. I have to cocoon to recharge.


Leslie Soule said...

Hey there, everyone! I'd like to apologize for my late reply here.

Karen H - great questions! Let's see...I think I'm gonna answer your questions in reverse order.

Is it best to get the product perfect or for it to come back bleeding w/ edits?
My answer: bleeding w/ edits
It's really hard to try and write something perfectly. Even when something's been edited over a million times, I still feel like there are problems with it. But if you get the concept down, a lot of the issues can be fixed in editing. Better to get the story down though, in whatever form it comes to you, even horribly jumbled, than to try and write a perfect story, in my opinion.

Rewriting the whole story as a case of overthinking to the point of outsmarting yourself...I agree. There's really no reason to beat yourself up with self-editing something, it seems. Wish I'd known that then. :)

I don't belong to any writing groups currently, though I'd definitely look into it. I think the single thing that helped the most in me creating a publishable story was that I took a creative writing course at my local community college and got valuable feedback on what worked and didn't work with my writing. Currently, my critique partner is Kimber An, who's amazing and also writes YA fiction.

I would say the breakdown is something like this:

Actual writing - 60%
Seminars/workshops - 20%
Talent/imagination - 10%
Book learning - 10%

I have mixed emotions about my educational background - I think it helped in that it introduced me to the realm of ideas and showed me the things that have been done before in literature, and yet I think I probably could have picked up a lot of this (and probably much cheaper) by teaching myself or learning through non-academic means.

And thanks, Catherine! It's odd, isn't it, that you can be introverted but seem extroverted because that's how you've had to be or learned to be, but it's true. :)

Thanks for joining me here. I hope you'll join me on the next stop on the blog tour, which is over at Romance That's Out of This World on January 30th.

-Leslie Soule

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