Tag Archive for rebecca gomez farrell

Worst Writing Advice I’ve Ever Received

Today, on the Wings Unfurled Blog Tour, you can visit Ali Lucia Sky’s blog, where I answer “What’s The Worst Writing Advice You’ve Ever Received?” It’s a claim I’ve heard many times, from many writers, but one that lacks the nuance that newer writers need to hear, in my humble opinion.

You’ll also find an excerpt of Chapter 1 in the book! This comes from Serra’s point-of-view, and she’s at Castle Callyn for the first time in quite a while….and for reasons she needs to report to King Dever right away.

Don’t forget to also visit the Meerkat Press masterpost to enter our $50 giftcard prize drawing! And now for today’s contextless quote from Wings Unfurled.

“I heard the Green Lady was building a new glass house, so I came with my hammer and thought to help.”

Wings Unfurled Release Week – New Readings to Watch!

Week 1 of the Wings Unfurled Blog Tour is almost over!

Promo graphic featuring the book covers of Wings Unseen and Wings Unfurled

There are no new stops on the tour scheduled over the weekend, but I still have new content for you! But first, don’t forget to swing by the Meerkat Press masterpost to enter our $50 giftcard prize drawing! Not quite 100 folks have signed up yet, so you have a nearly 1/100 chance at the moment—that’s actually really great for an online prize drawing.

New content? Yes! You can now watch video of me reading the prologue to Wings Unfurled! This was recorded as part of the Strong Women, Strange Worlds reading series, which I appeared in this past November. Head here to YouTube to watch!

On the same YouTube page, you can watch the full video of that First Friday Quick Reads session with Strong Women, Strange Worlds. Six authors in total read, each of us for just 8 minutes, to give you a quick sip of our work. Featured authors beside myself: Sandra Barrett, Ellen Booraem, Jennie Goloboy, Angela Yuriko, and Sylvia Woodham.

I also appeared on Story Hour this past Wednesday, which is a lovely readings series that began with the pandemic and has been running strong weekly ever since. Story Hour focuses on short stories, so I did not read from Wings Unfurled. Instead, I shared “Garbage,” a humorous, but as host Laura Blackwell described it, “funny and disturbing,” science fiction story. I read with Barbara A. Barnett, who graces the first half hour with a short, sad read and then a longer, funny tale that’ll make you think twice before your next bite of salad.

My half starts about 25:00 minutes into the Story Hour. I hope you enjoy the listen!

And let me leave you with another contextless sentence from Wings Unfurled. Place your order by clicking on the vendor of your choice in that right sidebar over there ↗↗↗

“What does the mama snake say to the baby snake?” “Ssssnuggles, ssssnakelet!”

Interview at the Speculative Fiction Showcase!

At the Speculative Fiction Showcase blog, Jessica Rydill shares a nice interview with me on a number of topics, many of them related to Wings Unfurled.

I love when interviews actually focus on the books themselves – most folks want to know more about the writing process than the story, so it was refreshing to take a deeper dive into the world on the page. Learn what headspaces the characters are in at the beginning of the work, my future writing plans, and even why my replicator order is “Absinthe verte, one cube.”

Be sure to read it here! Thanks to Jessica for the opportunity.

Shepherd Book List: The Best Speculative Fiction Books with Lyrical Prose

Over at Shepherd, which is a newish website to help shepherd readers toward their next favorite books, I compiled a list of books that impress me with their sometimes poetic, sometimes beautifully figurative, prose: The Best Speculative Fiction Books with Lyrical Prose.

My choices:

Book covers of the 5 books in the list

This list is heavily informed by my love of African American literature (this was my Modern Literature focus in college) and my willingness to follow gorgeous imagery anywhere, anytime. Feel free to ask me more about any of my choices; I’m happy to gush.

I also mention in the article that I’m preceded by THREE GENERATIONS(!) of poets on my mother’s side. Thanks to my mom, my grandfather William Parker, and my great-grandfather William Lee Popham for that legacy!

Wishing you some great new lyrical prose favorites! If you like my work, you may also want to check out the Shepherd list of Ominously Atmospheric Stories for Winter’s Night for suggestons, as Wings Unfurled does have a good share of its own haunting. Also take a gander at their new Magicians (Fantasy) shelf on their bookshelves.

Preorder Wings Unfurled!

I am delighted to share that you can now pre-order Wings Unfurled. Officially Book 2 of the Wings Rising series, Wings Unfurled releases on December 6, just a little over a month from now. Just in time for those holiday gifts, right? *wink wink nudge nudge*

Cover art for Wings Unfurled, featuring a silver stag with blue tones and two moons in the background.

The print version is $18.95 and the ebook is $8.95.

At the Meerkat Press listing page for the book, you can see all the ordering options. But if there’s one thing authors know, it’s that we should give you direct ordering links to your favorite service whenever possible! So here they are:

You can also order it from your fave local bookstore!

Now, the first question you’re going to ask me is which vendor should you buy it from so that I get the most royalties? The answer is honestly that I get the same royalties no matter where you buy it from. But if you’d like to support my publisher, then ordering directly from Meerkat Press is best.

The second question is “So, what’s it about, Becca?”
Well, here’s the backcover blurb!

The vicious claren that used to plague the reunited countries of Medua and Lansera are long gone. So what are the new dark patches appearing in Lady Serra’s second sight?

She rushes to King Albrecht to report the danger, only to discover that he’s ailing and Vesperi, Prince Janto’s wife, has fled far to the north to grieve her disappeared daughter.

Vesperi still wields the silver flame, possesses all the authority she’s ever wanted, but nothing can heal the wound of a missing child. When the silver moon Esye begins to fade, a gnawing fear preys on her for the first time since she escaped her father’s cold rule.

Ominous creatures once thought mythical are now rampaging through the countryside. Janto sends Serra to investigate. But without her friendship and Vesperi’s love, he fears he cannot slay this challenge. He failed to find his own daughter, after all.

To save the Lanserim, the legendary bird with three heads must fly again. Will Janto, Vesperi, and Serra find the strength to raise it? Or will this menace, with the might to drain a moon, devour them first?

I hope that gets you excited to read about the new adventures and challenges Vesperi, Janto, and Serra face, six years after the events of Wings Unseen. I also shared a geeky writer note on book structure with my newsletter subscribers this past weekend, so I’m going ot share it with everyone now: I didn’t know that Wings Unfurled’s organization would so closely follow Wing Unseen’s when I started writing it, but I’m delighted that it worked out that way. Wings Unseen is laid out in two parts: The Breeding Season and The Culling. Wings Unfurled also has two parts: Moonfall and Moonrise. Two stanzas of prophetic prophesy are also very important to both plots! Here’s a teaser of the first two lines of the new prophecy from Wings Unfurled:

 When leaps the mighty cantalere
the dark brother drains his foes. 

Uncover the rest of that prophecy and what it portends for the Lanserim by preordering now!

“Fresh Catch of the Day” now available in A Quiet Afternoon 2!

I’m quite proud of “Fresh Catch of the Day.” This fantasy story appears in A Quiet Afternoon 2, the second volume of an anthology series of low-fi speculative fiction from Grace&Victory Publications.

a quiet afternoon 2, low fi speculative fiction, rebecca gomez farrell, fresh catch of the day

Low-fi spec fic aims “for a peaceful break from a stressful world.” Volume 1 contained my “An Inconvenient Quest,” and I’m delighted that the G&V team thought “Fresh Catch of the Day” would make a great addition to Volume 2.

Often, when I’m writing a new short story, I’m doing it with a challenge in mind. For “Fresh Catch of the Day,” that challenge was writing a short story with a solid plot contained within 1,000 words. Oh, I’ve written plenty stories of that length before! But those have all tended more toward the poetic prose side of my writing, generating atmosphere and character more vividly than the plot.

Enter Jiàn, an older woman with a middling magical gift compared to everyone else in her world. Hearing about a special seafood catch at the local market leads her to make a perhaps hasty decision to pursue it with a single-minded focus.

You’ll have to order A Quiet Afternoon 2 to see if she pulls it off! I ultimately pulled off the story at just over 1,100 words. Like Jiàn, I know sometimes you have to push yourself past your limits to get the job done. 😉

A Quiet Afternoon 2 contains 27 low-fi tales. It’s available in ebook formats from Grace&Victory directly at Payhip. The anthology is $9 CAD, so a little over $8 in USD.

I do hope you enjoy it! Here are the first few lines of “A Fresh Catch of the Day” to whet your appetite.

Jiàn, seventy-one but as spry as sixty-three, pondered which vendor she’d like to barter with to use her water-spouting skills for lunch. A spark of light about as bright and fast-fizzling as a firecracker caught her eye. Ah, the light-weavers are at work.

And a photograph to set the mood:

oysters, hog island, the gourmez, nz wine

An oyster chef at work.

I hope you enjoy “Fresh Catch of the Day!”

“She Could Be Me” Reappears at Bards And Sages Quarterly!

“She Could Be Me” was one of my very first short stories published, back in 2010. Sadly, its original publisher, the e-zine Flashes in the Dark, no longer exists. But I’m delighted to announce that Bards And Sages Quarterly has rescued “She Could Be Me” from obscurity!

bards sages quarterly, she could be me, rebecca gomez farrell, april 2021

This issue of the magazine came out in April 2021 — yes, I’m behind in sharing publication news, AGAIN. You can pick up the e-book for $3 or the print version for $9 from Amazon here. I quite like Editor Julie Ann Dawson’s short description of my story, in this collection of eight short stories in all:

A peculiar phone call from her husband is only the first in a strange series of events that upends a woman’s well-manicured life in “She Could Be Me.”

I hope you’ll pick up a copy of the April 2021 Bards And Sages Quarterly and give it a read! Our new kitty, Bemo, did. 😉

bards sages quarterly, bemo cat, bemo, kitten, magazine, rebecca gomez farrell, she could be me, cat reading

Video: “She Could Be Me” and “Fresh Catch of the Day” at Story Hour!

In March, I was delighted to appear on Story Hour, a weekly speculative fiction reading. Audiences can join the Zoom recording directly or they can watch live or in replays on Facebook. This is the second time I’ve read for Story Hour, and I have to say, it’s great fun that a reading exists that so appreciates the short story form. I read two short stories, “She Could Be Me” and “Fresh Catch of the Day,” during my half of the episode. At the time, they were upcoming publications (or re-publication, in the case of “She Could Be Me”), but as life has continued the untimely delay of my posting updates here, both have since come out!

I’ll have posts very soon announcing where you can find the stories. In the meantime, enjoy my Story Hour reading! It takes place in the first half of the episode, and I was delighted to read with Edward Austin Hall, who reads in the second half of the hour. Do note that Edward’s excerpts are on the graphic side of horror, should that be a concern for you. Mine are both fairly lightweight this time around, one Twilight Zonesque horror short and one low-fi fantasy tale.

Thanks so much to Daniel Marcus and Laura Blackwell, who host Story Hour, for the invite back!

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: