Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Join Us on the Blog Tour For Leslie D. Soule's Forgetting Fallenwood
I have always been fascinated by what makes authors tick--the process by which they develop their stories and characters. It is almost as interesting to me as the book itself! Novelist Leslie D. Soule was kind enough to give us this peek into the creative inspiration for Forgetting Fallenwood.
Building A Fantasy World
By Leslie D. Soule
So when I was a child, I adored the movie Labyrinth. In the movie, we’re introduced to teenager Sara, and her room is filled with things that later show up in the actual fantasy-world labyrinth she enters with the help of Jareth, the goblin king. There’s a book, the board game, a statue of Jareth, stuffed animal goblins, etc. Personally, I’ve found that fantasy writing is a bit like that. In my own fantasy world, called Fallenwood (the old name is Terra Illumina), I’ve taken the things I like – the things that littered the walls of my room when I was a teenager – dragons and the wolf king, crystals and unicorns and the things of 80s fantasy. To me, the original Fallenwood novel has a very 80s feel to it.
As for my main character, I based her on myself because writing has always been a source of therapy for me, and for working out my own issues, on paper. It seems to me that nowadays, people are so eager to escape the past, forget their own histories, and always be wiping the slate clean. But as a writer, that feels so cheap – because there’s a lot to be gained from seeing how far you’ve come on your journey, even if it hasn’t been a particularly pleasant one. I guess that would really be the underlying message of the series.
But back to Fallenwood. I wanted to add some danger to this world, and what could be more dangerous to a human than a dragon? Much of fantasy has dealt with dragon-slaying or befriending dragons, but I feel like if I were transported back to a fantasy land, I would probably try and stay as far away from them as possible, because as the saying goes, “I am crunchy, and good with ketchup”.
Basically, I added the things I like, into Fallenwood – I like unicorns, but I feel like they’ve been made into overly-cute things. So I created the black unicorn. That, I can handle. Of course there is magic, and according to Orson Scott Card, you’ve got to have a price every time it’s used, to keep your characters believable and to keep them from becoming uber-powerful. That’s how/why I created the Curse that the magic-users have.
And…I should have thought of direwolves, and snatched up that bit of fantasy before George R.R. Martin could put his signature stamp all over it. Hrmph! Oh well. What would YOUR fantasy world look like and/or include?