I am resistant to the idea that a writer’s work must be autobiographical in some way, that their characters and stories are conduits for the author’s personality or desires rather than invented fiction. Amidst the excitement of promoting my newest book, I must admit to some dread that I’ll get questions asking me if I’ve had miscarriages, or if I struggle with wanting to settle down, two big issues that two of my main characters face in Wings Unfurled, the sequel to my first fantasy novel, Wings Unseen. The answers are no, I’ve never been pregnant nor wanted children, and yes, though I’ve learned that “settling down” can be done entirely on my own terms.
But symbology…well, analyzing the recurring images in my fiction might yield intriguing insights into my own personality. The moon, or rather moons, are essential in Wings Unfurled. A moon also plays a central role in another book series I’m writing, a post-apocalyptic romance titled Natural Disasters. In both books, the power that celestial bodies can exert over mortal fates is a primary theme.
The religious iconography in Wings Unfurled includes a giant, three-headed bird of creation, and feathers are an important part of the culture in décor, fashion, and play. During the promotion tour for Book 1, I realized I’d written a lot about feathers and wings. My most successful short story to date, “Thlush-A-Lum,” is about a newly winged insectoid taking to the skies. Wings Unseen’s central threat flies in a horde. I’ve written about sprites and about a winged sea monster that terrorizes dark souls. That’s a lot of wings and feathers filling my head!
And there is the stag. A silver stag with many antler tines dominates the Wings Unfurled cover. This creature of legend first made its appearance in Wings Unseen. No deer have pranced their way into my other works, but they certainly have into my wardrobe! Needing some new t-shirts recently, I was drawn toward one that bears a stag with a beautiful set of antlers—not until after the order was placed did it dawn on me how similar it was to my cover art. I swear I did not even know what the cover art would be when I bought a replacement Two Trees messenger bag for the one I’d worn the prior five years. It’s full of stags and antlers!
And what fabric had I chosen for the previous bag? Feathers. Rows and rows of feathers.
The characters in Wings Unfurled discover the reasons why these symbols are important to their lives. Maybe I should pay a psychotherapist to find out why they are to me.
BOOK 2 of the WINGS RISING duology
RELEASE DATE: December 6, 2022
GENRE: Epic Fantasy
BOOK PAGE: Wings Unfurled – Meerkat Press
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?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rebecca Gomez Farrell refuses to say “Bloody Mary” three times into a mirror, though she’ll write stories about the people who do. She lives in California’s East Bay with her tech wizard husband and two feline co-workers. Her epic fantasy duology, which includes Wings Unseen and Wings Unfurled, is published by Meerkat Press. Becca’s shorter works have appeared over thirty times in magazines, websites, and anthologies including Beneath Ceaseless Skies, It Calls From the Sky, PULP Literature, and A Quiet Afternoon 1 & 2.
Becca is the communications director for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA). She helms a local chapter of the national Women Who Submit Lit organization, which encourages all writers who identify as women and/or nonbinary to submit their work out for publication. She also co-organizes the East Bay Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meetup Group and administers several discussion groups for women, nonbinary, and Bay Area writers.
Over the past decade and a half, her food, drink, and travel blog, theGourmez.com, has influenced every tasty bite of her fictional worldbuilding. Her replicator order is “Absinthe verte, one cube.”
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