Tag Archive for fantasy

Wings Unfurled Flies in 2022!

I am so delighted to announce that Wings Unfurled, the sequel to my epic fantasy novel Wings Unseen, will be coming out in 2022! Meerkat Press will publish the sequel, just as they did Wings Unseen. Here’s their official announcement of the upcoming publication.

Some of you may remember that I wrote Wings Unseen as a standalone novel. Or rather, I first dreamed of it as a trilogy in the early 2000s, but by the time I seriously started writing it, in 2009, the going advice was that a first-time novelist couldn’t get a multi-book deal. So I shifted gears, focusing on writing the full story in one book instead. That made for a much tighter narrative, but by the time I began shopping the manuscript around, the collective wisdom in speculative fiction was back to recommending series of books as the best bet for a writer, first-time or established!

Luckily, Meerkat Press took the risk on Wings Unseen as a standalone book, and I’ve always been happy that I could tell people that the story is complete in and of itself.

wings unseen rebecca gomez farrell meerkat press cover fantasy

Such a shiny, pretty debut novel!

But after its release, my publisher, Tricia Meeks, the driving force behind Meerkat, mentioned that she’d be interested in a second book. So of course the wheels of a new story for Janto, Vesperi, and Serra began turning!

My wheels don’t turn very fast. Wings Unseen was published in 2017, and I didn’t begin writing Wings Unfurled in earnest until October 2019. Yet somehow, I managed to send off the manuscript’s third draft for consideration by Meerkat in March 2020, and they purchased it! That’s the fastest I have ever written a book, for sure – faster than I’ve written most short stories, to be honest. I’m definitely someone who puts manuscripts aside for a while, letting time do the solving of plot puzzles before coming back with fresh eyes.

So what’s Wings Unfurled about? Well, I’m not going to spoil it, but it begins about six years after Janto, Vesperi, and Serra have rid Lansera and its formerly Meduan lands of the invisible plague of claren and the thrall of the Guj. I won’t tell you more than that for now – except to tease that there’s a fourth, and briefly a fifth, new point-of-view character in the book. Not a pigeon this time! But rest assured, there are plenty of feathers left to lash in Lansera.

I’ll be dropping hints about Wings Unfurled along the way to its publication, leaving you a tasty trail to follow until then. Maybe I’ll even share a recipe for the lemon cakes that Janto, and another family member, so loves! Waits are always easier to endure when there’s a snack.

grandview bakery, pittsburgh bakeries, cupcakes, lemon cake, almond cupcake, los angeles

That image is of Pittsburgh’s Grandview Bakery’s almond cupcakes – NOT Mar Pina’s lemon cakes in Lansera, but not far off from what I imagine…

Listen to “Submission Caws” at the Centropic Oracle!

In the madness of moving, I haven’t had time to share this news: “Submission Caws” received an audio production by the Centropic Oracle!

centropic oracle, thlush a lum, rebecca gomez farrell

The recording was released on January 29, which was the day we were originally scheduled for escrow to close. The release of “Submission Caws” stayed on schedule, though our escrow took a few days longer…

…but that’s another story! This story is a fictional rant about the process of submitting manuscripts out for publication. It is funny and silly, particularly if you are also a writer undertaking this process on a regular basis. It’s a fantasy take on the concept, with recipes for magic spells subbed in for manuscripts themselves. It ends with a dare that the editors at the Centropic Oracle took, just like Defenestration did before them when the story was first published in 2019.

Jill Raymond performed the audio version, and I quite enjoy her take on the story — the character of Betty, a bubbly and annoyingly successful composer of magical recipes, comes through loud and clear. To listen to or read “Submission Caws,” head to the Centropic Oracle’s website here.

Or of course, you can read “Submission Caws” at its original home at Defenestration, right here.

The first few lines to entice you onward:

A black crow swoops onto the open window ledge, and yearning gushes from deep within me. I tamp down the emotion swifter than the crow can deliver its charge: a rolled parchment that bangs against the bookshelves as it flips toward the floor. The crow musses its feathers and launches into the air, off to retrieve its next assignment. Soon, someone else will receive fresh misery. I retrieve the parchment, find it quaint that the Gate Keepers use it for correspondence when they could just place a call by sandspelling. The parchment’s seal displays a sentinel guarding a mountain of scrolls piled behind an ornate, locked gate.

And some photographic inspiration:

My 2020 Awards Eligible Short Stories

It’s award nomination season in the speculative fiction world, which means it’s time for me to roll out my annual review of my publications for the previous year! And by annual, I mean, I haven’t done one since…2018? Oh wait, 2018 was the only year I’ve ever done one? Um…oops? But I am recently inspired by Rosemary Claire Smith’s “Reason to Publicize Your Award-Eligible Works” article to to give it a go. So here goes!

Yes, I had seven publications to my name in the last year! That’s my highest total yet in terms of sheer numbers – I’m around a 15% acceptance rate at the moment, which is pretty gosh-darn good. Writing is a rejection grind, so anytime my acceptance rate is above 10% for stories I’ve sent out to be considered for publication, I’m feeling darn good. And I do feel good about the quality of my work published in 2020! Unfortunately, of those seven publications, only a couple are actually eligible for nomination for the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, or other awards of your nominating choice. Those are….

  • “It’s Only Vampire” – A humorous horror tale released in FARK in the Time of COVID: The 2020 Fark Fiction Anthology. The anthology was released in December 2020. What I most enjoyed about writing this one was finally capturing a bit of the humor in the generational battles we humans so often undertake – think, “OK, Boomer,” but for the fang and crypt crew.
  • “An Inconvenient Quest” – A flash fantasy quest in A Quiet Afternoon: Lo-Fi Speculative Fiction for a Peaceful Break from a Stressful World, released in July 2020. I wrote the first draft of this short story several years ago, when I wanted to really dig into using senses other than sight more often in my fiction. The result of focusing on smells? A synesthetic union of scent, emotion, and color for a lonely sprite who must find a way to save his ailing queen.
  • Wishing for More” – Oh, oh wait. This urban fantasy romance about graduates of the Jinn school trying to make their way in world came out in December 2019. I just didn’t learn that it had been published until a few weeks into 2020. Now that’s a story for another time. You can read “Wishing for More” in Helios Quarterly Magazine 4.4, but unfortunately, you cannot nominate it this year.
  • “Some Who Wander” – Oh, no, nope. Not that one either. Because it’s not fiction at all, but a fun little whirl of micro nonfiction about a bad choice I made one day while hiking through my neighborhood. “Some Who Wander” can be stumbled upon at Intrinsick.
  • Consider “Hobgoblin” instead! Except you can’t because it’s a reprint, found in Whigmaleeries & Wives Tales.
  • “What Scattered in the Wind”? Nope, also a reprint, this time in the ACCOLADES anthology.
  • Surely, “Thlush-A-Lum” is up for some nominating fun? Assuredly not, as it enjoyed its fourth printing this year, in It Calls From the Sky. Clearly, I believe in the power of making your words work for you again…and again…and again. Reprints are great! But they are not eligible for nominations…unless I put them together into my own collection someday! A girl can dream.

So I guess those first two stories really are the only ones I have eligible for nominations this awards season despite my great publishing year. With seven publications added to my grand total of thirty-one, I’m not at all upset about that. If you read either “It’s Only Vampire” or “An Inconvenient Quest” and liked them enough to give them a nomination, then you have my thanks.

And if not…more Stories by Rebecca Gomez Farrell are certainly coming your way in 2021. In fact, a new recording of my “Submission Caws” is up now at the Centropic Oracle here! More on that soon. One of my earliest stories, “She Could be Me,” will make its way into Bards & Sages Quarterly in the spring. My brand-new “Fresh Catch of the Day” is coming out in A Quiet Afternoon 2 as well. And more new things that I can’t quite speak about yet…but soon, very soon.

That’s it for my second-ever awards eligibility post! Maybe next year, I’ll have three pieces that’ll qualify. Fingers crossed – or rather – poised over the keyboard, ready to write.

“An Inconvenient Quest” published in A Quiet Afternoon anthology!

My short story, “An Inconvenient Quest,” appears in A Quiet Afternoon, an anthology of Low-Fi speculative fiction from Grace&Victory Publications. The anthology is due out on July 1, 2020.

a quiet afternoon, an inconvenient quest, cozy stories, cozy fantasy, cozy scifi, short stories, fairies

What’s Low-Fi speculative fiction? Foreward writer Laura DeHaan describes it as “The stakes are low. The expectations are reasonable. The resolutions are quietly satisfactory. Problems are solved with words, not violence. And sometimes, not much happens. There might not even be an appreciable amount of fantasy or science fiction. Still, it’s Low-Fi. It feels cosy. It reads easy. It enjoys the little victories.”

My “An Inconvenient Quest” fits right in with that billing, though for the main character, a funny-smelling sprite named Levolin, the stakes are rather high indeed – the sprite queen is sick! Levolin must wield what he’s always viewed as a fault to save the queen, who’s never found any fault in him. Here are the beginning lines of the story:

Raindrop-sized jellyfish skittered out of Levolin’s reach, a familiar reaction to his presence. The sprite’s people had skittered away from him since his youth, once his unique pheromone sequence had matured into a less-than-pleasing blend. Most sprites enjoyed each other’s scents. Every feeling, person, and experience had its own redolent signature: roasted cacao beans, or rain on warm asphalt, or perhaps, peacefulness. Levolin’s just happened to be unappealing.

I do hope you’ll follow Levolin on his aromatic journey into purposeful mischief and heroism. A Quiet Afternoon will be available in e-book formats on its page at the Grace&Victory website on July 1, 2020.

Here is some photographic inspiration as you read the story. Just imagine yourself as a tiny sprite, drawn in by an irresistible smell . . .

rebecca gomez farrell, the gourmez, red flowers, calanchoe, flowers of oakland, #flowersofoaklandI hope you enjoy “An Inconvenient Quest” and all the stories in A Quiet Afternoon.

Where I’ll be at Fogcon 2019

Fogcon 2019 starts tomorrow!

fogcon, 2019

As per usual, I don’t feel ready, but do I ever for conventions? This year, I’ll be at Fogcon all weekend. Here is my schedule, should you care to join me at any point:

Friday, 4:30 pm, Salon A/B: It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This–Writer Support Networks in the Bay Area. Panelist.

Scene: The writer types alone, perhaps with a bottle of bourbon for companionship and a cat on the lap. The writing lifestyle is often portrayed as solitary, but as with all careers, writers need support to improve and to get their work seen by the wider world. Come learn what resources are available for speculative fiction writers in the Bay Area, from critique groups, to marketing, to writing classes, to kicking back and talking writer shop with others going through the creative struggle of the written word.

Saturday, 10:00 am, Salon F: Discovering Short Fiction. Panelist.

We live in golden age for short SFF, but there’s so much out there and relatively few reviews and recommendations compared to novels. How are people finding short fiction? What are some techniques the panelist can suggest for those looking to read more short stories? And what can the community do to help showcase the awesome short fiction happening now?

Saturday, noon, Lobby Bar: East Bay Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meetup Group Craft Klatsch. Host.

Join my East Bay critique group for SF/F writers during Saturday’s lunch hour in Fogcon’s lobby bar to unwind from the con so far and catch up on what’s been great and what folks are looking forward to next.

Saturday, 8:00 pm, Salon F: Small Houses, Big Futures–Publishing SF with Small Presses. Moderator. 

While many of us dream of a Big 5 deal, there are numerous Small Press publishers that are taking risks the larger publishers can’t, giving more writers access to the market. But that access comes with smaller (or no) advances and a larger proportion of labor on the author. What’s different about publishing with a Small Press vs. a big publishing house? How is the experience different, for the editor and for the writer?

Sunday, 1:30 pm, Santa Rosa room: Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading. Host and Reader.

Broad Universe is one of the oldest organizations supporting female writers of speculative fiction. At conventions nationwide, Broad Universe hosts Rapid Fire Readings to highlight the amazing work of our members. Several members of the group take part by sharing short bursts of fiction that keep the reading lively and exciting.

fogcon, rapid fire reading, broad universe

And from there…home! Is it wrong that I’m looking forward to that last part already?

Join me Friday, 10/20, for the Speculative Fiction Cantina Livestream and an At the Inkwell Reading!

I’m going to be busy this Friday promoting my fiction, through two different mediums! You, of course, are invited to join in.

First, S. Evan Townsend will interview me at 3 pm PST for the Speculative Fiction Cantina Livestream and Podcast show.

speculative fiction cantina

This show takes place weekly and includes a reading, so I’ll be sharing a selection from Wings Unseen. It’ll be a chance for my “radio voice” to come out, which people have told me I have for most of my life. I’ll be appearing along with author Brian James, and based on past shows, it should be a fun, casual time of speculative fiction appreciation. You can tune in here on Friday at 3 pm PST: LINKY LINK

Second, I’ll be reading for the At the Inkwell Flash Fiction Night, which takes place at Alley Cat Books in San Francisco at 7 pm.

at the inkwell

This is the second time I’ll have read with At the Inkwell, which is a national organization dedicated to helping writers get more exposure through reviews and reading series. The Alley Cat Books space is one of the best I’ve been to for literary readings, and I’m excited for flash fiction to be the chosen topic – it’ll give me a break from reading book excerpts! I’ll likely be sharing “What Scattered in the Wind,” which is published in Little Letters on the Skin, and some Halloween-themed micro-fiction I’ve been working on. If there’s time, perhaps “Hobgoblin” will also make an appearance at the mic. More info on the event is here: LINKY LINK.

I would love to see you at Alley Cat Books or know you’ve tuned in to the Speculative Fiction Cantina this Friday!

Reading at Shades & Shadows in Los Angeles 9/16!

This coming Saturday evening, I am thrilled (or is it chilled?) to participate in Shades & Shadows, Los Angeles’s only dark fiction reading series:

shades and shadows reading rebecca gomez farrell

Details:

8:30 pm, doors open at 8
$10 entry fee. Tickets here.
THERE WILL BE CAKE
At the Mystic Museum
3204 Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA

Click here if you’d like to RSVP at the Facebook event!

Dark fiction, you ask? But isn’t your fantasy novel YA? Well, as many of the reviews can tell you, Wings Unseen is quite a bit darker than some readers expect for YA! I did pitch it as having elements of horror, for both the creatures contained within it and the horrific power struggle in Medua. Believe me, there is plenty of darkness to draw from in the worlds of Lansera and Medua. Now will I go dark horror, dark magic, or darkened halls for my selection? You’ll have to come to find out! This is my one and only SoCal stop on my book tour, so I do hope you’ll make it. If not, stay tuned for the podcast release of the evening’s festivities….which may take a while — the Shades & Shadows crew is about a year behind in podcast production. So you’re best bet is to show up! I hope to see you there.

Bay Area Readings 9/2 and 9/10!

I have two more Bay Area readings coming up in the next two weeks! Which means two more opportunities for locals to come hear a little more about Wings Unseen and get me to sign your book – it’s a harmless experience, I promise!
rebecca gomez farrell wings unseen signing

A Reading of the East Bay Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meetup Group

Where: Mad Monk’s Center for Anachronistic Media, Berkeley

When: 9/2 at 1 pm

What: The East Bay Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meetup Group has been going strong since 2011! This critique group for speculative fiction writers of all adult ages and career stages has provided input for a great number of talented writers over the years. A great collection of talent has come through this group, and we thought it’d be nice to spotlight a few of them finding success as featured readers while also giving current members the chance to read their works in a supportive setting for perhaps the first time in the form of an open mic. We will have three featured readers: Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Andrew Roberts, and Tantra Bensko. Afterward, the reading will transition to an open mic for authors of speculative fiction to share excerpts of their works of up to 600 words, or 5 minutes of reading time.

More Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1384209081676428

SF in SF

Where: American Bookbinders Museum, San Francisco

When: 9/10 at 6:30 pm

What: Join SF in SF as they present authors DARYL GREGORY and REBECCA GOMEZ FARRELL! Each author will read a selection from their work, followed by audience Q & A moderated by Terry Bisson. Booksigning and schmoozing follows – both authors’ books will be available for sale, courtesy of Borderlands Books (feel free to bring books from home as well!). Doors and cash donation bar open at 6PM – and, it’s DEBUT NOVEL DRINK NIGHT! Help us raise even more money for the Bookbinders Museum by imbibing a little bit 🙂 $10 at door – no one turned away for lack of funds
All proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum.

More Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/117232002272576

I hope to see you at either, or both, events! More info coming on LA and NC stops soon….

Wings Unseen is Released!

Wings Unseen, my debut epic fantasy novel, is now available at bookstores and libraries and everywhere online! Here’s a perspective you don’t see of the cover often, the full front and back:

wings unseen rebecca gomez farrell meerkat press book jacket

If you’d like to see it in paperback near you, request to have Wings Unseen ordered at your favorite store. Such requests are much appreciated! And so are online orders. You can get it from any of these retailers in paperback or ebook forms:

Buy from AmazonBuy from GoodReads Buy from Barnes and Noble Buy from Book Depository

I would absolutely love it if you would rate and/or review the book after reading as well – ratings are life for authors! We all know we are swayed by them. 😉 So a big virtual hug from Mazu for those of you able to do so.

mazu cat becca gomez farrell fluffy hug

To celebrate the release of Wings Unseen yesterday, I thought I’d do a reading on Facebook Live…but I have a ton of Wings Unseen readings coming up, so I thought it’d be more fun to share some of my earliest short stories instead. And by early, I meant second to fifth grade. You can watch the video by clicking through to Facebook or click the video to play below:

Ah, elementary school storytelling. I was so precocious. You can also follow the Wings Unseen Blog Tour–full of interviews, guest posts, excerpts, and reviews of Wings Unseen from book blogs–over the next three weeks! Find the full schedule of tour stops here at the Xpresso Books tour page.

Upcoming Readings and Appearances
To promote and celebrate the publication of Wings Unseen, I’ll be reading at or participating in several events over the next few months, and hopefully, one of those will be near you! Here’s the list of where you can find me coming up, including 4 Bay Area appearances in the next two weeks:

Events with more information available online are linked – I’ll be adding links as I get more details ironed out as well! I would love to see you in the crowd, and of course, to sign your book! I think I’ll also be posting some musings about the process of book publication once I get the chance to breath…which may not be until October. 😅

Thank you for your support, dear readers, and I hope to see you in the world of Lansera soon!

wings unseen map terrain meerkat press

The Map for Wings Unseen is Released!

The first time Wings Unseen, my debut epic fantasy novel, got a map was out of desperation. I simply could not keep my own world-building straight without a visual to look at, and my artistic abilities are HORRIBLE, so I forced my husband to draw me one. Ben is a software developer and designer, so he can sneeze and create something pleasing to look at – the closest I can get is taking snapshots of artwork already in existence.

So I knew early on that this book would need a map, and what self-respecting fantasy book doesn’t have one, anyway? I am pleased to share with you the final map that will appear in the final book, which Meerkat Press revealed on Monday:

wings unseen map terrain meerkat press

I love it! The main shape of the land remains the same from that day that I forced Ben to craft it for me, but we’ve added terrain, made the fonts used for countries, regions, cities, and points of interest uniform, and see that smashing compass top right? Yep, it incorporates the three-headed bird featured on the cover of the book! It’ll be a helpful resource for readers, as I do, or my characters, rather, cover a LOT of ground in Wings Unseen. One of my biggest regrets is actually how many cities remain unexplored in the book, which I may be addressing in my early plotting of a sequel…

Want to dive into that map? Pre-order Wings Unseen today! Less than three weeks until it’s out!