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Monday, August 21, 2017

Guest Post & #Giveaway: Wings Unseen by Rebecca Gomez Farrell @thegourmez

Please help me welcome author Rebecca Gomez Farrell to Full Moon Bites to day on her WINGS UNSEEN blog tour! Read on below for more info about her book and the top ten books or authors that inspired her love for writing. Also, don't miss the GIVEAWAY below! :)


Thank you for having me at Full Moon Bites today! I enjoy telling tales with a deep sense of history built within them. I grew up on a steady diet of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and…soap operas! All those genres value how choices made in the past can affect the future. Some of my favorite nonfiction writers also deal with that same question—how does America’s past affect our policy and culture today? So you’ll notice an appreciation for authors who explore history in the present day, whether that present is fictional or real, among this Top 10 List of My Creative Influences. In no particular order:

1. The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell:  This science fiction story about an expedition to a new world, launched by scientists and Jesuit priests, is a master work on how to incorporate religion, cultural misunderstandings, and deep human failure and connection into fiction. The tale of broken Jesuit priest, Emilio Sandoz, will break your heart just as deeply as his mangled fingers. You’ll fall in love with the Runa, the peaceful species that the mission first makes contact with, and you will mourn all the mistakes and embrace the soaring human spirit as this plot unfolds. Children of God, the sequel, is also a worthy read.
2. The Xenogenesis series (Lilith’s Brood), by Octavia Butler: It strikes me that my first two entries on this list deal with the repercussions of cultures completely foreign to each other coming together. I wrestled with that dynamic in Wings Unseen as well, but I let myself off easy as the two cultures are from people who used to live in the same country, at least. Russell and Butler do not take the easy route. Butler’s riveting introduction to the Oankali people through the eyes of protagonist Lilith is a master example of how to portray the myriad emotions someone would feel when first introduced to an entirely new state of being. It is tragic and ultimately triumphant, and I love how the deeply resonant issues brought up in the first book are examined and complicated as this epic continues through future volumes and generations.
3. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut: I love the whole of Kurt Vonnegut’s work, but it’s Cat’s Cradle that truly caught my heart when I read it in my honors English class in my junior year of high school. The thirst for belonging and companionship is strong in this book, as is a celebration of the human spirit and how loving each other is more important than whatever else is going on in the world—and in Vonnegut’s books, there is a LOT else going on in the world. I also appreciate Vonnegut’s seamless incorporation of humor into his work.
4. The Bible: I was raised Pentecostal in a devout family and church community, and the rhythms of the Christian Bible are embedded in my soul. Yearning for faith and for a higher power is part of the shared human experience, and it’s natural to me to include it in my stories. The poetic qualities of the Bible influence my own writing style and the union of metaphor and everyday action often occurs in my work.
5. “Encounter on the Seine,” from the Fire Next Time by James Baldwin: There is no more central legacy in the American experience than that of slavery. It has been with us since before our founding documents, and it’s influence on our systems of governance and the effect of generations of artificial “otherness” is strongly felt today. James Baldwin’s writing helped me understand the concept of race more than I could have with my background. Hearing his life experiences through his essays and novels has enriched my understanding of our shared heritage as Americans. “Encounter on the Seine” beautifully encapsulates how different the Black American experience is than that of other black people in the world with a singular exchange on a bridge.
6. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien: It’s near impossible to be a fantasy writer and not give credit to Tolkien’s influence on the genre. Some writers are not fond of his style and his copious amounts of backstory in the shaping of his Middle Earth epic, but I don’t think fantasy’s popularity would be what it is today without his work. It enchanted me when I first read it around junior high and it enchants me still today. I embrace it all: the prophecy, the poetry, and the good vs evil dichotomy, even if I might include a few more complications into my own.
7. General Hospital: If I left General Hospital, the ABC soap opera going on 54 years old, off any list of my creative influences, I’d be lying. I’ve been watching the show since the womb, and while I may not catch every episode these days, I have always appreciated the deep payoff that comes from years, literally years, of watching a story arc come to fruition. Through generations of family and history, faithful audiences can get the satisfaction that can only come from seeing an ancient wrong righted or perhaps the children of bitter enemies fall in love. Because of General Hospital’s influence on my life, I can’t help but incorporate romantic elements into my stories, and I happily credit the show with helping me value the long game of plotting.
8. The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt: This is one of the first books I ever read with a map and a quest for fantastic creatures. And it sticks with me today! Babbitt is most known for her Tuck Everlasting tales, but the Search for Delicious, crafted for a younger crowd, charms me still. The characters are rootable, the conflict plain, and the descriptions of food throughout the kingdom likely to have inspired my inner food critic at a young age. Just think of it—food as the central conflict in a plot? Brilliant. Who wouldn’t rise up in arms to defend their definition of the perfect hamburger or pizza topping?
9. Perelandra, by C. S. Lewis: A contemporary of Tolkien, many of us grew up reading Lewis’s and Tolkien’s work together, though the Chronicles of Narnia had been read and re-read by me many times before I ever picked up the Lord of the Rings (I didn’t read the Hobbit until late high school!). Much like the Search for Delicious, the Chronicles of Narnia helped shape my early understanding of the fantasy quest and Lewis, of course, never shied from incorporating questions of faith into his fiction. I consider his Space Trilogy, especially Perelandra, the second book, an exemplary attempt to explore how the Biblical creation myth might have gone elsewhere. I have always found his religious theoretical writing, particularly Mere Christianity, worthy of deep reflection. Work that encourages me to question my beliefs is work worth the engagement.

10. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz: While many of the previous items on this list foretell terrible things, it’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark that most inspired me to induce shivers when I can—just ask my childhood friends whom I used to terrify by reciting its tales over flashlight at slumber parties. I loved these horrific stories! Images from a few of them tormented me well into adulthood, too—illustrator Stephen Gemmel’s work is as much a part of this book as the Scary Stories themselves. Feel free to ask me to recite “the Hearse Song” or “the Backwards Poem” anytime.         

Wings Unseen
Rebecca Gomez Farrell
Published by: Meerkat Press
Publication date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

To end a civil war, Lansera’s King Turyn relinquished a quarter of his kingdom to create Medua, exiling all who would honor greed over valor to this new realm on the other side of the mountains. The Meduans and Lanserim have maintained an uneasy truce for two generations, but their ways of life are as compatible as oil and water.
When Vesperi, a Meduan noblewoman, kills a Lanserim spy with a lick of her silver flame, she hopes the powerful display of magic will convince her father to name her as his heir. She doesn’t know the act will draw the eye of the tyrannical Guj, Medua’s leader, or that the spy was the brother of Serrafina Gavenstone, the fiancèe of Turyn’s grandson, Prince Janto. As Janto sets out for an annual competition on the mysterious island of Braven, Serra accepts an invitation to study with the religious Brotherhood, hoping for somewhere to grieve her brother’s murder in peace. What she finds instead is a horror that threatens both countries, devouring all living things and leaving husks of skin in its wake.
To defeat it, Janto and Serra must learn to work together with the only person who possesses the magic that can: the beautiful Vesperi, whom no one knows murdered Serra’s brother. An ultimate rejection plunges Vesperi forward toward their shared destiny, with the powerful Guj on her heels and the menacing beating of unseen wings all about.
Readers of all ages will enjoy Wings Unseen, Rebecca Gomez Farrell’s first full-length novel. It is a fully-imagined epic fantasy with an unforgettable cast of characters.



Author Bio:
In all but one career aptitude test Rebecca Gomez Farrell has taken, writer has been the #1 result. But when she tastes the salty air and hears the sea lions bark, she wonders if maybe sea captain was the right choice after all. Currently marooned in Oakland, CA, Becca is an associate member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her short stories, which run the gamut of speculative fiction genres, have been published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Pulp Literature, the Future Fire, Typehouse Literary Magazine, and an upcoming story in theDark, Luminous Wings anthology from Pole to Pole Publishing among others. Maya’s Vacation, her contemporary romance novella, is available from Clean Reads. She is thrilled to have Meerkat Press publish her debut novel.
Becca’s food, drink, and travel writing, which has appeared in local media in CA and NC, can primarily be found at her blog, The Gourmez. For a list of all her published work, fiction and nonfiction, check out her author website at RebeccaGomezFarrell.com.





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10 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting today, Holly! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the unique cover! Sounds like a great read!

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    Replies
    1. The cover is beautiful, isn't it? Meerkat Press did a great job with that design. I was thrilled when I first saw it!

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  3. Thank you for hosting me! I hope the giveaway winner is thrilled to win some extra moola!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed learning about my creative influences, Victoria!

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  5. I just love reading excerpts so I can find new books to read. Thanks for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  6. thanks for hosting the book sounds great

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  7. Looks like a really great read - added to my tbr pile!

    ReplyDelete

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