For the second time in a week, I’m late getting a guest post up. It’s been kinda crazy around here, and I’m sorry, Rabia, for not being more organized.
Today I’m so happy to introduce you all to an amazing writer, Rabia Gale. I’ve read several of her short stories, and always been delighted and impressed with her use of language and imagery. Here in this interview she talks about the creation of her newest release, the fantasy novella Rainbird.
LR: What’s the most compelling thing about Rainbird, the thing that’s kept your butt in the chair through hours of writing and revising?
RG:Will it be cheating to pick two things? *grin*
First, Rainbird’s world hits many of my sweet spots. I love the cold and the altitude, the starry night sky above and the fiery sun gliding on its track below. I’m fascinated by this community living on the skeleton of a gigantic space dragon. The more time I spent with the story, the more I got to explore the world.
Secondly, Rainbird herself is so easy to love and fun to write. She’s impulsive, big-hearted, joyous, and fiercely protective—and all this despite the shadows in her past and the threat to her future.
LR: “The most beautiful woman in the world lies in the shadows of her canopied bed, eyes closed in her moon-pale face, arms limp at her sides.” As you know, that’s the first sentence from your book Shattered, and when I read it, I thought, Oh wow, this girl can write. I don’t mean to make you blush – although I suspect I am – so I’ll get to the important part. What helped you the most in learning the craft of writing?
RG: Thank you. *blushes*
I was fortunate enough to fall into great books–many by British authors–in my childhood. I picked up a lot about style from writers like Rosemary Sutcliff and Diana Wynne Jones. And I was lucky enough to have great English teachers who taught me to pay attention to the sounds, imagery, and emotions of poetry. I carried those lessons over to my prose.
LR: Writers seem to gravitate either to fantasy or reality, and your work definitely leans toward fantasy. Why? What does fantasy give you that reality doesn’t?
RG: I had a sheltered childhood in Karachi, Pakistan (not that I mind, since excitement in Karachiusually meant car bombs and riots!). Reading fantasy was as far as I could go to escape my mundane existence. I lived inside these books, striding through worlds of wonder, fighting the enemy alongside compelling heroes. It was only natural that I start writing fantasy, since it had fed my mind and soul all those years.
LR: How did you get fromPakistan to New England? Seems like it had to have been an interesting journey…
RG: My parents wanted a good education for all their children and worked hard to make that happen. I went from my private school inPakistanto a private college inNew England. I met my husband there and after we graduated and got married, we stayed in the area. Ten years later (just this past spring!) we moved toNorthern Virginia. It’s been a big change but I’m enjoying discovering another part of theUnited States.
LR: You recently did an interesting blog post on the effect the internet has on the way we think. You’re a writer and a blogger and, oh yeah, you’re the mother of three home-schooled kids. How do you give yourself the time and space to develop your ideas?
RG: I’ve always known that I can’t function without a lot of time to myself. Being constantly busy burns me out. I structure our family life so that we all get down time. Homeschooling makes it possible for my children to do formal academics in the mornings, and have the early afternoons to themselves to read, think, or be creative in other ways. That’s also when Mom writes!
LR: Amazon lists Rainbird as a fantasy, but it seems to have a young adult vibe. Do you see that as your audience? Do your own kids read your stuff?
RG: I didn’t set out to write a young adult story, but I ended up with a young adult protagonist. Rainbird’s a misfit searching for her place in the world. She’s estranged from one parent, and feels guilty about being a burden to the other. She’s struggling to define who she is—and who she’s not. I think teens can definitely identify with her.
My oldest child is only seven, so as much as he’d like to read Rainbird, he’ll have to wait a few more years for it.
LR: What’s next on your horizon? Describe your current WIP(s) or other upcoming project.
RG: Next up is Mourning Cloak, another fantasy novella. It features a failed hero who has lost his faith, a magically-altered assassin held together by hers, weird creatures and nano-bots.
I’m super-excited about this one. My husband, after he read it, turned to me and said, “Wow.” My cover artist, Ravven, came up with a fantastic cover for it. Expected release date is some time in January.
Thank you, Liv, for having me on your blog!
Bio: I break fairy tales and fuse fantasy and science fiction. I love to write about flawed heroes who never give up, transformation and redemption, and things from outer space. I grew up in Karachi, Pakistan and now live in Northern Virginia. Visit me online at http://www.rabiagale.com.
She’s a halfbreed in hiding.
Rainbird never belonged. To one race, she’s chattel. To the other, she’s an abomination that should never have existed.
She lives on the sunway.
High above the ground, Rainbird is safe, as long as she does her job, keeps her head down, and never ever draws attention to herself.
But one act of sabotage is about to change everything.
For Rainbird. And for her world.
Rainbird is a fantasy novella of about 31,000 words.