Writing Fallenwood’s Sequel
By Leslie D. Soule
Hey there, everyone! Thanks for hosting me today! I’m here to talk about the inspiration for the sequel to my fantasy novel, Fallenwood. Book two, which has been released, is titled Forgetting Fallenwood, and follows the continuing journey of my main character, Ash Kensington, as she journeys back to the fantasy realm known as Fallenwood. I eventually found myself writing the last line of the story while sipping tea and eating Chambord chicken in a British pub in Ashland, Oregon, called The Black Sheep. In the stereotypical “enlightened writer” scene, it was pouring down rain, and a roaring fire had been lit in the hearth. But how did I end up there? Let’s rewind things to the beginning.
I’d finished writing Fallenwood with the original intention of leaving things as-is, no sequel, no series – nothing. It was designed to stand alone. It ends with Ash and the black unicorn on the field of battle, the peace of Fallenwood (and one would hope, Ash’s mind) having been secured. I thought I’d wrapped the story up in a little bow, and that a sequel might not even be possible. Yet I found myself coming back to Ash and her companions, in little ways that permeated my day-to-day existence. Writing has always been a great source of therapy for me, and even though I tried keeping my characters out of my journal writing, Greymalkin was always there in the back of my mind, his little cat body perched on my shoulders, whispering into my ear, “Isn’t there more of the story to tell? Surely you didn’t think we’d just LEAVE, did you?”
So I couldn’t get rid of this nagging feeling that I had to continue the tale – but how? I knew I’d have to start the sequel right from where the first one left off. So the crisis was averted. Then what? Well, I thought about what I might do, if placed in Ash’s position, and realized that, like her, I would have no clue as to how to proceed next. People always say that you should “write what you know” and so I began writing the next pieces of the Fallenwood tale more like journal entries, and over the course of several months, the story wrote itself. I did meet up with friends every once in a while for “writing sessions”, but rarely was any actual writing done there. These sessions were invaluable for tackling plot problems, however. It’s so much easier to talk to your friends about a plot problem and ways to solve it, than to run around inside your own head, often getting nowhere.