Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.
Rebecca Gomez Farrell writes all the speculative fiction genres she can conjure up. Her first epic fantasy novel, Wings Unseen, debuted in August 2017 from Meerkat Press. You can find her short stories in over 20 anthologies, magazines, and websites including Dark Luminous Wings, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Fright into Flight. In California, Becca co-leads the 400-member strong East Bay Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meetup group and organizes a chapter of the national Women Who Submit Lit organization, which encourages female writers to send their work out for publication. She also co-moderates Facebook discussion groups for female-identifying writers and is a regular participant in the Bay Area literary reading scene. Becca’s food, drink, and travel blog, theGourmez.com, has garnered multiple accolades and influences every tasty bite of her fictional world building.
Wolf: If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?
Rebecca: The universe is so big! I’m going to take a page from Doctor Who and be a star whale, which feeds on the light of stars that it passes in the galaxy. Star whales can travel freely in space, and they live quite a long time. I’d imagine that’s an adventuresome, fulfilling life.
Wolf: I loved that episode. What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
Rebecca: I’m a food blogger, so this is actually a hard question to answer! There’ve been a number of times that I’ve had to close my eyes and just dig into a bite, choke it down fast as I can. Head cheese is one of my least favorites for sure. For the past decade, foodies and chefs have been entranced with the idea of whole animal butchery, appreciating all the parts of a creature that’s been slaughtered for our consumption. I honor the morality of that aspiration, but dear lord, head cheese—the combination of, yes, meat from the head and gelatin—does not need to exist. And it’s so salty! RUN AWAY.
Wolf: My mom used to get head cheese but I never tasted it. Now It’s hard to find. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?
Rebecca: Writers are sadistic beasts, as there’s not much of a story if you’re not subjecting your characters to mean things. Excluding death, the meanest thing I’ve done is revoke the happy endings for characters who thought they had one coming.
Wolf: Harsh. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?
Rebecca: Cat person, for sure. Dogs are totally fine, and I had dogs, cats, lizards, rabbits, fish, and hamsters growing up. But cats are as independent as I am, and that purr is excellent when you need soothing on a bad day.
Wolf: There is definitely something to be said for that soft outboard motor. While walking in the woods you come across…
Rebecca: Beautiful, tiny, white flowers that I’ll take pictures of to add to my floral photography collection. If I’m lucky, I’ll also glimpse some rabbits hopping between the trees. If I’m feeling imaginative, nothing is better than a hanging mist between redwoods that I can’t quite explain.
Wolf: Sounds like the beginning of a story. What is your favorite body of water and why? (river, ocean, waterfall, puddle, bottle…)
Rebecca: Growing up, my answer was lakes, as I didn’t visit them often and enjoyed the still water and fun of easily swimming coast to coast. But once I learned about the existence of leeches? Oh, sorry lakes! Oceans have been my favorite ever since, especially at night as waves beat against the cliffs.
Wolf: Give me an ocean any day. I got turned off of lakes when I saw a huge spider on the dock at camp. What story are you working on now?
Rebecca: I’m working on the first draft for a sequel to my fantasy novel, Wings Unseen. The working title for the rough draft is Wings Unfurled. All the things I feel like I got away with in writing the first book will be addressed in this one. The metaphorical becomes physical, throwing the world of Lansera into tumult once again.
Wolf: Sounds good. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Rebecca: Feel guilty for not writing. Just kidding! I don’t like that part at all. What I do like is going for a swim, going out to new restaurants and bars, seeing theater, and breathing in nature on a fresh, clear day with a hint of rain.
Wolf: But that guilt always seems to follow. What would you like to do if you won 1 trillion dollars?
Rebecca: Why, I would like to hire the brightest minds in the world to figure out how we could provide universal healthcare, housing, and enough income to cover basic needs for everyone on the planet, because we absolutely could with that amount of money. And then I would like to tackle how we, as a species, can better protect all the other species the Earth sustains.
Wolf: Amen. I like that idea. How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Rebecca: You can find me anywhere @theGourmez! But mostly, you’ll find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population. Her power to heal may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or stay and fight for the new life she has built? Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends…and herself.