Sure. So the series is set in the fantasy world of Terra Illumina, which the inhabitants refer to as Fallenwood. I started writing this series when I was about 23 years old, and I’ve been writing it up ’til now, and I’m now 35. These books have kind of aged with me, which is fitting, because the story is about my main character Ash, growing up under difficult circumstances. She runs away from the real world, and finds her way to a portal in the woods, that takes her to this fantasy world, where she gets to live a portion of her life, twice. Along the way, this becomes a “hero’s journey” for Ash, as she finds out that a villain named Malegaunt is out to destroy her and her newfound friends. So it’s very much a coming-of-age story, and it’s about rising to the challenges of life, in general.
Good morning, help me welcome Leslie D. Soule to CoffeeTime Romance. Leslie is the author of Betrayer, which is the 4th & final novel in the Fallenwood Chronicles Series.
Could you please tell us about the Fallenwood Chronicles Series?
Please tell is a bit about Betrayer for those that might not know.
Ok. Betrayer is book 3 of Fallenwood. Each of these books have had their own difficulties for me personally, to write, and heartaches attached to them, but this one especially. I ended up in a verbally/emotionally abusive relationship with an extremely charming psychopath, and I think that’s really hard for people to understand, who haven’t been there. It’s even harder for me to explain. So book 3 in some regards, is an attempt to bridge the gap and to communicate some of the less tangible aspects of it.
What was your inspiration for the Fallenwood Chronicles?
My inspiration for the Fallenwood Chronicles, was life, ultimately. My books don’t shy away from deep, dark themes, and each one has its own theme that my main character has to deal with – Book 1 is Death. Book 2 is Confusion. Book 3 is Betrayal. Book 4 is Worldly Malevolence. In the beginning, I wrote as a sort of therapy, and then the books and the characters took on a life of their own.
Are all your books around the theme…triumph over impossible odds?
Well, yes. I rather like that theme. My one sci-fi novel, Hybrid Space, deals with it in a much more lighthearted way, though.
Can you share something you have overcome if any?
Oh gosh, yes. I’ve had to overcome all sorts of things. One of the big things for me, has been overcoming a lack of self-confidence. I was born with a facial discoloration above my lip, and it’s always made me wonder if people see me differently because of how I look. That’s been a big one for me, is learning to be more self-confident. But I think it’s been a gift as well, in that when you have something like that, you become more empathetic towards others. There are a lot of judgers out there – they’re common. But empathetic people is what the world needs more of.
Do you have any upcoming appearances?
Right now, I am planning to attend the Renaissance Faire in Kearney Park, in Fresno. That will be in November of this year. I’m still on the lookout for other opportunities, and so far, I haven’t been on any convention panels yet. So if you know of opportunities out there, please let me know!
Will there be a book 5?
Well, I’m not going to say no completely. I love the world of Fallenwood. But I feel like Ash’s story will have played itself out with this current book. I’m open to the possibility of writing other books in the same universe though, possibly featuring other characters having their own adventures.
Thank you for interviewing me!
-Leslie D. Soule