I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Leslie D. Soule, who shares her answer to my question...
ELF: Which author(s) has/have been the most influential to you and how or why?
LDS: Well there are a lot of authors whose works I like, but I’d say that the one who has been the most influential to my work has been Orson Scott Card, because I often reference his book, How To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy. This book has added a lot of depth to the Fallenwood series, and shows up in things like the Curse that each character has, as the price for doing magic. Orson Scott Card says that you should have a price for magic, like this, in order to avoid having your characters be uber-powerful. There have to be limitations to magic.
This book also really helped me when I wrote my first sci-fi novel, Hybrid Space. Orson Scott Card reminded me that I had to think about things like how fast the ship could go, whether it would be a “generation ship” where multiple generations have lived, and what the overall environment of the ship would be. For this sci-fi novel, I also wanted to get a basic understanding of how space itself worked. For that, I read Stephen Hawking’s novels The Universe In A Nutshell and A Brief History of Time. I’ve always believed that the mark of genius is when a person can explain a very complex idea in terms that anyone can understand, and this is what Hawking does, brilliantly. I’d suggest to anyone writing sci-fi, to start out reading Stephen Hawking’s novels. After I gained the basic ideas of ship environment and how I wanted space to work, I filled in the character details from a story I’d worked on previously, in high school, and the novel took form. Orson Scott Card gives practical advice that keeps you from making mistakes with your sci-fi work, too, such as “never refer to ‘warp speed’ in your fiction. It’s not only bad science, it also pegs you instantly as a writer who knows science fiction only through Star Trek.”
Orson Scott Card’s book also gives practical advice for inventing languages – that’s something I haven’t tried yet in my novels. Perhaps it’ll show up at some point in the future. At any rate, he also has a ton of information on the actual business of writing, and this has been extremely helpful as well.
And then finally, I got a chance to meet Seth Grahame-Smith, the author who wrote Pride& Prejudice & Zombies and AbrahamLincoln: Vampire Hunter. I asked him what the best way would be, to try and get my novels made into movies. He suggested that I write a screenplay, following the guidelines set out in the Screenplay book by Syd Field. So I did, and we’ll see if anything comes of that, but writing a screenplay was an interesting, new experience for me and I feel like that was helpful as well. At any rate, thanks to your readers, for joining me on this blog tour!
by Leslie D. Soule
With five crystals to destroy, in order to rob the dark lord Malegaunt of his power, Ash Kensington's path is set. She begins a quest with the talking cat, Greymalkin, and her wyvern, Slick. But when she meets up with the handsome dragon slayer, Draeon, her senses overwhelm her, and she becomes distracted. Will she be able to destroy the crystals in time to challenge Malegaunt?
“What can I do for ya?”
She looked at the bartender and said sorrowfully, “Give me a spell to make me forget.” I’ve wasted so much time, she thought to herself, and now I don’t know if I can get back on track. Malegaunt is out there, and none of the crystals have been destroyed. It drove her mad.
He shook his head and pushed a pint of dark beer across the bar. “This is the best magic I know. That’s why I’m a bartender.” He pointed down the bar a ways to a man who looked to be in his forties, if not older. He was clothed in a black coat, and his stubbled face was hunched over a glass of what looked like whiskey on the rocks. “Now, that guy over there, on the other hand, he might be able to help ya. People call him the Oracle of the Oasis,” he informed her.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Leslie D. Soule is a fantasy/sci-fi author from Sacramento, CA. She has an M.A. in English from National University, and is currently working on the final book of her fantasy series, The Fallenwood Chronicles.
Links to the previous books in the series:
Book 2 – Forgetting Fallenwood:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The tour dates can be found here