Friday, February 18, 2011

Author Interview: Lena Goldfinch

I’m pleased to welcome Lena Goldfinch, author of The Language of Souls, to the blog. 

TFE: Welcome, Lena! What emotions can readers expect to feel while reading The Language of Souls?

Lena: The first emotion that comes to mind is longing. Solena’s longing to heal her grandfather drives her to embark on a dangerous journey. Rundan’s longing to impress his father, an army commander, compels him to capture Solena when she trespasses on Ober Eden territory, even though this action is in conflict with his scholarly, peace-loving nature. Since they speak different languages, they both experience the frustration of trying to communicate with each other. There’s some suspense at times too...but I guess what I’d most like the reader to connect with is this underlying sense of…wonder, I guess, as Solena and Rundan discover each other. Despite their differences, they’re attracted to each other, in a very sweet way. I think they’re really exceptional people (what mother doesn’t, right? LOL) and their love for one another grows out of mutual respect. (That they eventually fall in love comes as no surprise, I hope, since it’s a romance? ;))
TFE: I found the votifs in The Language of Souls incredibly fascinating. Is there a story behind how the votif idea came to be?

Lena: The concept of the votif actually came in a later draft of the story. I loved the characters from the early drafts: the old prophet, the young healer, and the reluctant soldier. I was also in love with the challenge of writing a tale in which the characters couldn’t freely communicate (my driving concept was “how could someone fall in love through actions not words?”)

But…I just felt there was some indefinable something missing. So I set the story aside and would occasionally pull it out to tinker with. Then I happened upon an article on writing speculative fiction which talked about taking an element from everyday life and putting a spin on it. It got me thinking…what if our souls were a physical thing, something we carried around with us? The concept of the votif was born and, as a very spiritual person, it fascinated me. I feel the votif finally brought all the threads of the story together.

TFE: Is Solena and Rundan's story complete, or do you plan to write more about them in the future?

Lena: To me, the story is complete (in a very tight 76 pages, which is a miracle in itself, as I typically write much longer!). But I feel I accomplished what I set out to. However…I never know when a world or a character might pull me back in, so I wouldn’t rule it out completely. ;)

TFE: Your characters have names I'd consider very unique. How did you choose them?

Lena: Truthfully? I plucked them out of the air. *grin*

Solena and Rundan were the first two names that came to me for these characters. A lot of times I’ll pour over baby name books and websites searching for character names. I’ll make lists and spend way too much time obsessing (my critique partners are likely rolling their eyes right now), but this was a rare occasion when the names just came to me.

Subconsciously, maybe I latched onto Solena for the heroine because it evokes the warm coastal climate of Torani, her native land. Sol means sun in Spanish and Latin, sole in Italian,soleil in French... (If you couldn’t tell by the title of my story, I have a thing for languages. ;) All the Torani words were inspired by romance languages.)

Mostly, Solena just sounded right! LOL

Rundan, the hero, comes from Ober Eden, a cold, mountainous country, whose language is more clipped and Slavic-sounding than Torani. The name Rundan isn’t really perfect in that sense, because it’s too rounded sounding to my ear. During my many revisions, I tried several other names, but nothing else felt right. He was just Rundan. Perhaps, since he’s so different than his rather suspicious, hostile countrymen, his not-quite-Oberian sounding name is fitting? 

TFE: If you can, please share what you are currently working on?

Lena: I have a young adult adventure fantasy, Aire, that I’m trying to find a publishing home for. Fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, I’m currently juggling two other young adult projects, both adventure fantasies, set in different worlds. One is set in Regency England, complete with enchanted objects, stolen identities, and lost memories. The other is an island-set fantasy inspired by Maori folk tales.

I absolutely love writing young adult fiction, and though The Language of Souls is an adult romance, I’d call it “young adult friendly”.

I have some excerpts of my work posted on my website ( and will be updating with new content soon.

TFE: What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing?

Lena: Well, I got Xbox Kinect for Christmas and am now hooked on Xbox Dance Central. I dance almost every day. I’ve also been learning Tai Chi, and find it a relaxing but challenging form of exercise. (It’s way harder than it looks! LOL). For reading, I’m a sucker for a good romance, whether it be a traditional Regency, a historical romance, inspirational, young adult fantasy, etc…

I’m very active in my church and love hanging out with family and friends. My kids are teens now, and though this age can be challenging (rolls eyes LOL), it’s also a great age. As my kids are becoming more independent and responsible, I’m still their mother, but it’s just different now...I get to be a friend more and more. I find that very cool. I also love almost any reality TV show where they show a person in transformation: American IdolThe Biggest LoserHeavy (a new series on weight loss on A&E), and So You Think You Can Dance are some of my favorites.

TFE: Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself, The Language of Souls, or future projects?

Lena: Writing can be a lonely occupation, but I belong to several writing groups and have many writing buddies who help keep me sane. Well, almost. ;) I also belong to a group blog for writers and readers of young adult and middle grade fantasy called The Enchanted Inkpot. For all those writers out there, I can’t say enough about building a great network of writing friends! It will nurture and sustain you in so many ways.

Thanks, Lena!

Lena: Thanks for having me here, Christie! 

TFE: You’re very welcome! Thank you so much for stopping by! You can read my review of this fab little novella here.

Find Lena Goldfinch on the web:


  1. Hey, Juju! Yeah, I'm a sucker for YA. :)


  2. Christie - I'm just passing this award along to you:

    Seven Facts Blog Awards

    Stop by for the rules and details. Have a great day.