Once upon a venture to the Fresno Pirate Festival, I came upon an author displaying her literary wares. We exchanged chitchat and professional contact info – (as writer types are known to do when crossing paths in the wild) – and the next thing you know, she’s booked herself a free space on the Ever On Word blogging schedule. (Mine’s a hospitable soul, for a pirate.)
So settle ye in comfy for…
An Interview with Author Leslie D. Soule!
Me: Tell us about the first story you can remember writing.
Leslie: The first story I can remember writing is one called The Warrior’s Tale, in which my characters go on a series of adventures through the wilderness. It had a very Robin Hood feel to it, and I wrote it when I was really young, probably about 10 or so.
Me: A thousand brownie points to you for uttering the name Robin Hood in your first paragraph! You may stay! Question the next: What is your writing process like? Do you plan and research beforehand, or figure it out as you go? Any special writing habits or rituals you’ve developed over time?
Leslie: So my writing process varies a bit, each time I write a novel. I’ve been participating for the past couple of years in NaNoWriMo, where you try and write a novel in a month, and have to get in around 1,600 words or so per day.
Me: Hail, fellow Wrimo! Although I haven’t had the wherewithal to participate, the last few years, I have very fond memories of my past NaNo adventures. ^_^ But do go on. You were saying…?
Leslie: I usually try and get ahead of the game a bit by using a piece that I’ve already worked on, as I know that I’m bound to skip a day or two, and that extra bit makes me feel better, like I’m not lagging behind on the writing. I usually try and come up with a general idea of where I want the story to go, but I’ve found that it’s more of an organic process than I’d originally thought, and changes come up as you write it. Such as, for the novel I’m currently working on, I ran it by someone and they suggested that I add more characters. As for habits I’ve developed over time, my habit is to get a coffee at Starbucks and try not to write a novel, but just to come up with an interesting scene and sort of go from there.
Me: How do you find your characters? Have any of them just shown up fully-formed in your head and made demands, or are they better behaved than that? Would you consider any of them to be your friends, or is your relationship purely professional? Also, Will Scarlet insists I ask: Would any of them be interested in a guest appearance on the talk show he hosts on my blog?
Leslie: Finding my characters usually comes from being inspired by the works of someone else. Such as, the name of my talking cat character, Greymalkin, is from Shakespeare. He showed up and demanded that I write book 2 in the series, but other than that, they usually don’t give me much trouble. I consider my sorcerer Will Everett to be a friend of mine, and he’s based on an actual guy – a martial arts buddy of mine. I think he’d be interested in a guest appearance on the talk show some time.
Will Scarlet: A Will Basically-Rhymes-with-Scarlet sorcerer, you say? Sounds practically predestined! I’ll be in touch!
Me: What is your biggest, shiniest, most improbable author dream? (A mega-bestseller? A collaboration with a literary celebrity? Your work adapted into a nine-hour opera?)
Leslie: My biggest, shiniest author dream is that my books take off like George R.R. Martin’s have, and that with MY show series, people aren’t disappointed in the ending of it like they have been at *ahem* certain shows. I also want to be able to show up at author events with a giant mechanical/animatronic dragon that breathes fire & releases glittered smoke.
Me: As shiny dreams go, fire-and-glitter-breathing dragons are tough to top.
Will: LORD, yes! Take a page out of Leslie’s dream book, Danielle. You haven’t arrived ‘til you’ve done it with dazzle-matronics.
Me: Which is your Reader Self’s favorite book of all time? (Or, if that’s too cruel a question, you may name three.)
Leslie: I LOVE Tolkien. My favorite books are the three Lord of the Rings books, and The Hobbit, which is its prequel. I’ve always loved Middle-Earth.
Me: I will admit to it being a slow slog for me to get through those books, but thanks to a late-game introduction to the LOTR movies, Middle-Earth and its fellowship of heroes will ever have a place in my heart. ^_^ Now, share a favorite line you’ve written – from a work-in-progress, or already published story, or just something you scribbled and adored.
Leslie: My absolute favorite written line is in my upcoming novel, Retribution, and I don’t want to spoil that part because it’s kind of climactic. But other than that, I particularly like it when Greymalkin admonishes my main character Ash Kensington in book 2 and says, “Who do you think you are – Indiana Jones?!”
Will: I mean… *shrug* Is he/she/they Indiana Jones?
Me: She just told us the name is Ash Kensington, so… probably not?
Will: But who’s to say, though?
Me: Hush, Scarlet. And Leslie, one final question for you: What’s one thing you wished everyone knew about you, but nobody ever asks?!
Leslie: What I wish everyone knew about me was how hard I’ve worked to become a published author, what the journey is like, and how to go about climbing that mountain of authorship that includes writing/getting published/promoting/dealing with difficulties that arise, and such – because it really has taken a lot of effort, and I think that kind of disappears behind the scenes of things, but it makes for much more interesting conversation than just talking about the finished project or my accomplishments.
Me: *nods in sage agreement* The journey is all.
Will: The destination has dragons.
Me: Okay, amending: The journey is, like, a good 80%. Let’s close with an author biographic word from our guest!
My name is Leslie Soule (pronounced “soul” like that part of you that is innate). I am an author who loves to try new genres and Sacramento, California is my hometown. I have an M.A. in English from National University and am a member of the English Chapter of the Sac State Alumni Association. Follow me on Twitter @Falcondraco
If you’re an author interested in an interview from me (or a character interested in an interview from Will Scarlet), feel free to hit up my contact page, and we’ll get you aboard the Ever On Word ship as soon as the seas permit. ;D