Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Leslie Soule - Fallenwood - Guest Post

My thanks to Leslie Soule for returning to The Character Connection for a guest post during the blog tour for her book, Fallenwood.

Guest Post

Hey there, everyone! Thanks for joining me here today.

Today I’d like to talk about character development and how I ended up creating the many characters that make up the fantasy world of Fallenwood. Well, let’s see – a character is made up of several things – a physical aspect, a personality, and a job description at the very least. When I first thought about writing Fallenwood, I didn’t think about the specific characters that I wanted to be there. Rather, I started with types of characters that I wanted to exist in my world. There’s a reason that credit card salesmen and telemarketers don’t appear in Fallenwood. I banished them to the Land of The Unmentionables.

I knew that with Fallenwood, I wanted to write about a sorcerer, a jester, a talking cat, a gypsy or two or three, maybe some pirates and a queen. Once I had the types down, I could start looking at them individually, giving them personalities and figuring out what their connections to each other might be and how they’d interact. I base a lot of the character actions on things people have said or things I remember people doing, or even ways I think they might act in certain situations. I’m no psychology major, so to me it makes sense to base the things that people do on things I’ve seen people do before.

Of all the aspects of character development, naming them is the hardest part for me. Sometimes, it’s important to me that a name means a specific idea or connects with it. For example, I named a wizard in Fallenwood “Hieropraxis” which means “sacred knowledge, put into practice”. It took me like a week to come up with that. Ash was easy since I had a co-worker named Ash. Greymalkin is the Old English word for gray cat. Paddock, which is the name of the castle toad, is an Old English name for toad. When I named Will, I was in love with Orlando Bloom (still am *sigh* - be still, my heart) and I named him after Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean. At the time, I was also reading Erasure by Percival Everett, hence Will’s last name, Everett.

So I guess that’s a long way of saying that character creation involves taking a bunch of things you like and smashing them together!

Thanks for joining me here today. If you’d like to be entered to win a gift card to Barnes & Noble, please leave a comment, along with your name and e-mail address.

About the Book

Book Details:
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Published: March 2011
Genre: Fantasy
Format: ebook
Price: $5.99
Buy Links: Kindle, Smashwords

Fallenwood—a land where magic is the life force, dragons are sages, and wizards good and evil battle for supremacy. When 16-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.

Tears blinded her. She couldn’t stop and even the rough winds couldn’t scatter the wild thoughts that swirled in her mind—memories of her stepfather, words that people had said at his service, images of her mother and that stupid grin she wore—all she could do was run. Ashley was deeply wounded but was powerless to heal this kind of pain. She’d looked into the face of evil. Her feet hit the gravel, and the wind whipped at her face as she tried to outrun her anguish. She closed her eyes for a split second, and the wind stilled, and she stopped. Ashley looked around her. It had suddenly become night, and she was now in an unfamiliar part of the woods.


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 the Author
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.

Connect With Leslie:
Web Site

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 (excluding Leslie's and their own).

Encourage your readers to follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


  1. This looks amazing. I am interested based solely on the cover. The except sounds great. Thanks for posting.

  2. Love the cover !! Thanks for hosting this and offering a great giveaway !!

  3. I love the entire concept of the story.

  4. Thanks, Maria, Crystal and MomJane!

    And thanks for hosting me here today, Character Connection!

    I will be away from the computer for most of the day today due to work, but I'll be back later tonight to check posts and answer questions. :)

    -Leslie Soule

  5. You talked about character development today so I thought this is an appropriate question: After you spend the time to develop your characters and start to write their stories, have they ever surprised you and taken a path you didn't expect, which changed your plot line either somewhat or totally?

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  6. Wonderful interview, I like how you choose the names for the characters.Deb

  7. Thanks, Deb!

    Great question, Karen H!
    Let's see...have my characters ever surprised me...yes, actually. In the middle of writing the Fallenwood sequel, I realized that a scene didn't quite fit. Without giving away too much, I'll say that Greymalkin comes to the "real world" (the Other Realm) to find Ash. At first, I'd written the scene in with Ash losing her memory and Greymalkin just pretending to be a regular cat. Then I thought to myself, "No - that's not how he'd come for her at all!" and I re-wrote the scene in a way that is much more in keeping with his personality. :)
    Thanks for asking!

    Well, the next stop on the tour is tomorrow at The Muse

    I hope you'll be able to join me there!

    -Leslie Soule

  8. Yeah, you're so right! I'm writing a book and making a goo character is really about smashing together things you like! :)


  9. I like how she's wearing a hoodie on the cover - very realistic.

    Thanks to Leslie and Goddess Fish.