So, ladies and gentlemen, grab a seat, a glass of wine and enjoy a chat with C.L. Wilson:
Book smugglers: First and foremost, thank you for coming over to “chat” with us! Can you tell us a bit more on how you started your writing career?
CL Wilson: Well, actually, I’ve written stories since I was six years old. My first story was an episode of Hogan’s Heroes (the old 1960’s TV sitcom), and I wrote Seussian rhyming tales and little tear-jerker short stories to make my sister Lisette cry *g*. I started writing novels as a teen…finished my first book at 20…then took a long and winding road through college, career, marriage, kids (all interspersed with more books being written and a several more finished) before I finally bit the bullet and made myself dig in and write – and finish! – books until I got published. Tairen Soul (which became LORD and LADY) was my 5th complete novel.
CL Wilson: Flabbergasted. Okay…well, I had hopes. What writer doesn’t? But I didn’t really believe they would come true. And they did. I’m still reeling with astonishment.
CL Wilson: Absolutely. I adore fantasy and romance. 99% of all books I read (except non-fiction) are fantasy or romance – and preferably some combination of the two. I really did want, with Tairen Soul, to merge what I loved most about my two favorite genres into one series. I originally thought the books would be more romance-y – I tend to read more in romance than fantasy, even now – but they surprised me by being as close to a true 50-50 blend as they are.
CL Wilson: I read the Lord of the Rings series when I was 13. It made a huge impression. As I got older and began to read more about writing and about worldbuilding, the detail of Tolkien’s worldbuilding made as big an impression as the books themselves – perhaps even more so. I loved that he wrote Lord of the Rings because he’d created a language (Elvish) and wanted to create a world where it would be used. I loved his poetry, his legends of great heroes of the past. And, of course, I love all the fairy tales I grew up reading as a child. All that combined. The language creation and the poetry I definitely owe to a Tolkien influence (and a Star Trek influence – I’ve always wanted to learn Klingon! *gg*).
CL Wilson: Well, some things I just make up. *g* Some things I do have to research (travel speeds, flying speeds, etc.) to try and come up with details that don’t stretch suspension of disbelief too far. On the language front, I’ve studied a number of languages (French, german, a tiny bit of Japanese) and I tried to employ a few of the syntax rules (and verb conjugation rules) I learned during those studies. As for the cultures themselves, those are purely my imagination. The weaponry I use is fairly standard medieval stuff (pre gunpowder). I did do a bit of military research and weapons research and research on the smelting and forging of steel.
CL Wilson: I’ve always played with sounds and I’ve always made up nonsense words. (Influence of Dr. Seuss, I believe.) So basically, I put together what sounds phonetically pleasing to me, come up with a meaning for that sound, then built words from “roots” (root phonemes) of other words. It’s lots of fun, in a really nerdy geeky way *g*.
Same thing with names – many are made up – though I do also “collect” interesting names whenever I come across them. Murialisa, for instance, is a name you’ll see in Book 4, Queen of Song and Souls, which I’m using with permission of the real Murialisa I met several years ago on an email loop. Tealah (a name you’ll see in KING) is the name of a person who wrote to me about LORD and LADY.
CL Wilson: Well, KING OF SWORD AND SKY is scheduled for release Sept 30,2008. It’s set primarily in the Fading Lands, where Ellie and Rain return after their marriage. The focus of the book is about their continued quest to save the tairen (you’ll meet the tairen pride of Fey’Bahren in this book), about Rain becoming the true King of the Fey he was meant to be, and about Ellysetta coming more fully into her true powers. Of course, evil plots of the Eld abound, and all things are not as rosy as Rain would like in the Fading Lands.
QUEEN OF SONG AND SOULS is scheduled for release on February 24, 2009, and it is the “climax” of the Tairen Soul series. Everything that has been building comes to a head in this book. Open war has come to Celieria and the Fading Lands, and Ellysetta – who truly is a lady of Light and Shadows – will face her ultimate test.
CL Wilson: Actually, I first thought it would be a single book, but then the darned thing kept growing, getting more complex and more interesting to me. I discovered things I hadn’t realized – things I loved. So then, the plan was a trilogy. My original titles were Tairen Soul: The Woodcarver’s Daughter, Tairen Soul: The Fey King’s Bride, and Tairen Soul: Queen of the Fading Lands. (I got voted down on those). So when book one got split into two, the trilogy became a quadrilogy.
After Rain and Ellysetta’s story concludes, I do hope readers will want to continue on, as I am already percolating plot ideas for a certain cobalt-eyed Fey warrior and cranky former dahl’reisen. *gg*
CL Wilson: Is it ever! And what is down time? Oh, yes, those few hours of restless sleep I get each night, right? LOL. Thank heavens my parents are so supportive and helpful. They’ve been helping shuttle my three kids around so I can concentrate on writing. Without them, KING would probably still not be finished.
Okay, but in the event I actually do get some real down time…I love to read (yes, lots and lots). I love to travel (lots and lots!). I love to watch Discovery Channel, Bones, CSI (all of them), The Closer, House, and American Idol (once we get past the distressingly cruel initial audition shows – I cannot abide watching the humiliation of other people. It makes me feel ill inside). And if they come up with another Star Trek TV series, I will be there! Oh, and I love bowling, golf, going to movies (romantic comedy, sci-fi/fantasy, action and family movies primarily) and I love to cross stitch but it just takes too much time.
And last, but never least, I love to spend time with my writer friends, especially the wonderful ladies and gents of Tampa Area Romance Authors, my local RWA chapter.
CL Wilson: You mean besides the entire Harry Potter series so I could spend the rest of my life trying to hide money from the tax man? LOL. Tanith Lee, Tales of the Flat Earth (technically quite a few books). The woman is an absolute poet, and the emotional grip of those books sneaks up so quietly you don’t even feel it until you’re sobbing your eyes out. She could write a grocery list and I think she’d make me swoon. After that, I have to say, it’s probably one of three books I completely adore: Loretta Chase’s incredible romance novel masterpiece, Lord of Scoundrels; Laura Kinsale’s poignant and beautiful, Flowers from the Storm, or Lisa Kleypas’s brilliant, Dreaming of You. Oh, heck, and Wizard’s First Rule, by Terry Goodkind.
Do I have to pick only one? Really? Ce n’est pas possible! Or, as the Fey would say, De sha nei avales.
To everyone who has enjoyed reading about Rain and Ellie and the Fading Lands, I say, Beylah vo. You have made all my dreams come true.
The next book in the Tairen Soul series, King of Sword and Sky, will be published on September 30th. She posted a very juicy excerpt a few days ago. To know more about the series and about CL Wilson go check her cool website: CL Wilson