Author of Shelta’s Songbook
I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of this lovely illustrated book before launch, and asked Leia if she’d be willing to share an interview! I asked a little more about Shelta’s Songbook (now available!), her writing process, and upcoming releases.
Introduce yourself! Tell us your name (or pen name) and one interesting or unusual fact about you.
Hi! I’m Leia Talon, and I’ve been known to sing to the forest like a Disney princess.
Outside of writing and reading, what do you like to do with your time?
I live in the mountains and love getting outside. Hiking uphill is my favorite. The fresh air and trees are so reviving! I also homeschool my twins, and occasionally get my guitars out and sing.
Tell us a bit about the earliest story you remember writing.
Oh wow. I wrote a lot of poetry growing up, especially as a teenager. The first full-length manuscript I wrote was an action-fantasy screenplay I’ve buried deep in files that are best left unopened.
Do you have any writing rituals or habits?
Copious amounts of herbal tea with honey. Also, if I’m having a hard time focusing, doing a sprint usually gets me going.
If you could sit on a panel at a convention with any other author, who would it be and why?
Delilah Dawson. She presented at the last convention I attended. I love her attitude towards the writing process and her creative, often humorous approach.
Tell us a little about Shelta’s Songbook. What inspired this project?
Shelta’s Songbook is a collection of poetry and short stories set in a fantasy world, complete with love notes from an immortal. It’s a standalone prequel to my upcoming duology, Roots and Stars, giving an intimate view into the main character’s mind and life. I love the forward and afterward from the Keeper of Lost Souls and Stories, a mysterious god who we’ll see much more of in Book Two of Roots and Stars.
Could you share a bit about the illustrations? How did you decide to make this a fully illustrated book, and were there any challenges to illustrating it?
The paperback version of Shelta’s Songbook includes stunning illustrations by Glazkova Irina that I think complement the text perfectly. I wanted the book to invoke the soul, and I think the illustrations do such a great job of bringing the prose to life. I ran into issues when I tried to get the illustrations in the digital book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to make them play nice across devices, so the digital version has a graceful template but no illustrations. The eBook is simplicity and keeps the magic in the writing, while those who buy the paperback get an extra treat with the illustrations.
Give us the summary of Falling Through the Weaving? How do the two projects tie together?
In Falling Through the Weaving, time-traveling musician Shelta breaks all her rules for 3 men who share the same soul, & must plunge so far into the past that dragons still exist. This is book one of Roots and Stars, the first duology in the overarching universe of The World Tree Chronicles, and follows Shelta’s adventure. Both books in Roots and Stars are coming in 2021, starting with Falling Through the Weaving on March 3rd. The second duology, Dragons and Gods, picks up later in the saga of Shelta’s family, and follows her children as they deal with the mess their mother left behind and ancient mistakes of the gods.
Who is the ideal reader for Shelta’s Songbook and Falling Through the Weaving?
Shelta’s Songbook is an easy, immersive read for anyone who enjoys lyrical poetry and fantastical short stories. Falling Through the Weaving is great for fans of Outlander and The Time Traveler’s Wife. The universe of The World Tree Chronicles also invokes the feel of The Fionavar Tapestry, and Marvel’s Thor.
What has been the best part of working on this series?
I’ve been working on this series for seven years, and have written quite a few other manuscripts along the way. I think the best part has been the growth in my ability as a writer, and finally being able to do this story justice.
Introduce us to Shelta. What is her biggest strength and greatest weakness?
Shelta has always fast-forwarded through time. A year here, a few years there, she’s experienced snippets of seven decades, from the 1960’s to the year 2035. But when she falls back in time to eighteenth-century Scotland, all the rules change. Biggest strength: She has a supernatural musical ability. Biggest weakness: Love.
Any fun tidbits to share about the universe of the World Tree Chronicles we can look forward to in the future?
Loki. He doesn’t show up until book two of Roots and Stars, but plays a larger role in the Dragons and Gods duology. He is SO much fun to write!
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
When the characters take over and write the story themselves.
If you could share one tip for self-publishing, what would it be?
Don’t rush it. Also, make friends. Community is everything.