Author Interview: Robin C. Farrell

Resistance Rising by Robin C. Farrell

I love friend recommendations, which is why I love book recommendations,…which is why I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend-recommended friend, Robin, who has a book recommendation for you (and me).

I met Robin through a friend who said something along the lines of “you do literary things and so does she.” And you know, that pretty much sealed the deal.

Resistance Rising by Robin Farrell

Am I the only one who’s super jealous of Robin’s gorgeous hair?!

When Robin shared that she had a completed novel (my heart went out to her because I’m in the same boat) that she wanted to crowdfund, I was impressed. Gutsy move, girl.

And so I’m thrilled to be sharing this in-depth interview of Robin’s journey to creating Resistance Rising.

That has a lovely ring to it.

Okay, okay…so let’s get to it. And, Robin, thanks for sharing yourself and your novel with us.

***

Quick Answers

  1. Favorite city to visit

Robin: Burlington, Vermont.

  1. Best restaurant of all time

Robin: If we’re talking about a real place, then I’m not sure I have one, though, I’m generally a fan of a cafe or coffee shop with lots of character; there’s such a place in my hometown of Frederick, MD called the Frederick Coffee Company & Cafe.  If we’re talking a fictional place, then it has to be either Central Perk (of Friends) or Luke’s Diner (of Gilmore Girls).

  1. Light saber or sword?

Robin: Light saber.

  1. Pet peeve

Robin: Lack of using a turn signal.

  1. Song on repeat

Robin: Right now, it’s “The Arena,” by Lindsey Stirling, but some all-time favorites include Gabe Dixon’s “Find My Way” and KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.”

 

 

In-Depth Resistance Rising questions with author Robin C. Farrell

Resistance Rising by Robin C. Farrell

In the midst of war, Reman, a young, fast-advancing pilot for the Mech Republic, is assigned an unusually important reconnaissance mission. He is sent across the planet, deep into Fantasarian territory. All goes rapidly awry and he finds himself surrounded by Elves, Wizards and the acrid stench of Magic. As he prepares to sacrifice himself in the name of war, he is suddenly confronted with a new question: is there a need for war at all?

[UPDATE: Campaign is over, but the journey is not. Stay Tuned.]

 

  1. Tell us about Resistance Rising!

Robin: Back in 2012, I participated in an online film competition called Genre Wars, designed for clashing visual aesthetics; for filmmakers to experiment with cinematography, special effects (both in-camera and post), fight choreography, etc.

My friend Justin Moe was entering, though, so I joined his team and when he asked me to tackle writing the script—taking his broad ideas and putting them on paper—I agreed.

The contest gave us the premise that, on the planet Kabathan, any and all kinds of genres are personified into their own tribes. They co-existed peacefully because of something called The Oniyum, which has recently vanished and, thus, the world is now in chaos.  It was up to us, the contestants, to determine what the Oniyum was and what happened to it.

It would have been easy to use the Oniyum as a McGuffin; center the story around it, but, instead, our story deals with the very real fact that the world relies too heavily on it anyway.  The characters realize, “if it’s gone, it’s gone; let us accept it, find a new way to co-exist and move on.”  It serves as a very significant analogy for the story’s themes of loss, grief and forgiveness.

I have been adapting the story, the screenplays I wrote, into the novel.

It was not an easy process; it was a lot more work than just changing the verb tenses and adjusting the formatting.  I wanted to be sure it felt like a novel, and not a screenplay, while still keeping my personal style intact. In many ways, I feel like it was always supposed to be a book.  Now that it is, however, it’s very surreal!

Fun Fact: Benjamin Cairns, a friend of mine, recorded an audio track of the novel’s prologue and we’re planning to do the first chapter as well.  

>>> Resistance Rising prologue on SoundCloud <<<

 

  1. Resistance Rising is being crowdfunded on Inkshares. Is that a good idea?

Robin: I’m not sure yet.  Crowdfunding is never a sure thing, nor is it the right platform for every project.  It comes down to community and demographic.

In the case of this project, there is a LOT of visual media to showcase because it started as a series. You should take a look at the video below. The cast and crew who have been a part of this journey are eager to see how the story plays out, and, with this novel, get to experience it in a whole new way.

 

As to crowdfunding, Inkshares’ approach of selling books through the publisher is fairly new and different.  But it offers me the ability to say to readers, “you are buying the book directly from Inkshares.”  Basically, it’s like pre-ordering a book with Barnes & Noble or Amazon. 

In the case of Resistance Rising, the community is genuinely eager to read the book and I want to give them a quality product, rather than just giving them a pdf document with me as writer and editor.

With Inkshares, you have the option of an eBook or hard copy and, for me, having a printed book will be especially meaningful.

 

  1. Are you still writing or is Resistance Rising completed?

Robin: The story itself is complete; I’m doing my final revisions and tweaks.  The continuing story is still in flux; this was always intended to be the first installment of a series, but whether that story goes on obviously depends on how well this first novel is received.  This story, however, is solid and I’m polishing it up while I campaign.

Resistance Rising by Robin C. Farrell

 

 

  1. What do you relate to most in Resistance Rising?

Robin: What really stands out to me is the character Reman’s struggle with trying to do the right thing, but not always knowing what that is.  He’s not perfect, but his biggest strength is his empathy, which evolves with the story.

I’m not sure if that’s something I necessarily share, not to the same extent, anyway, but I greatly admire it.

That said, I also find that the state of cultural unrest in the book ends up being eerily close to what we’re going through in our world.  It’s a fantasy story with laser guns and Magic spells, but today’s tensions have seeped into the story as well.

  1. Why this story?

Robin: I liked the idea of exploring the personalities of what would otherwise be downright stereotypes of these genres.

Using recognizable types but embodiments of genres all living in one space as co-existing cultures ignited my imagination. Yet, that concept wasn’t the narrative.  The story is how the characters deal with losing their world structure and facing reawakened cultural tensions.

There’s an object that shapes the world and vanishes, which launches the story in its entirety—but here, rather than the characters going off on a quest to find it or finding it (i.e. David Eddings’ Belgariad series) and then having to decide what to do with it (i.e. The Avengers or Harry Potter) or being forced to destroy it (i.e. The Lord of the Rings), they instead turn to one another and determine what to do in its wake; how do we move forward from here? 

Resistance Rising by Robin C. Farrell

Elves, Mechs, Ninjas, Samurai, Zombies, Vampires, Pirates, Cowboys, Cyborgs and Steampunk characters all share screen time. The cast and crew loved that!  There have been genre-benders before, certainly genre match-ups before (even in the likes of Spike’s Deadliest Warrior) and there are no shortage of fight sequences in the story. But it’s not just about the fighting, these are characters with goals and heart-breaks.

{section edited 9/23/2016} When the contest ended, we weren’t sure what the next move was. We were both still feeling inspired by the story, but we were struggling to figure out how to keep it moving. As  a writing exercise, I took one of the scenes I’d written for a future episode, translated from script to prose and was surprised by how much I liked the result. The idea of writing the story as a book was very compelling and even as it evolved into the web series, that idea has, obviously, stayed with me. I continued to poke at it through principal photography and post production, eventually committing to it over this past year.

 

  1. What would your protagonist say to a potential reader to convince him or her to read!

Robin: Wow, that’s a good question!  I’m not sure.  Can I get back to you on this one?

 

Resistance Rising by Robin C. Farrell

 

  1. What have you learned from one of your characters?

Robin: How to listen.

Originally, this character started as a fleeting, not-that-valuable role in which I could cameo in the web series.  But she became integral to the narrative.

She struggles in a relationship with someone she admires his honesty. And yet, they butt heads often, seeming to be in a competition of who can yell the loudest and longest.  Reconciliation comes when they finally stop and listen.

In writing Resistance Rising, I learned how valuable listening is on all levels; big and small.  I’m not sure I would have gotten there without introducing that character.

 

  1. What food would be the perfect complement to reading Resistance Rising?

Robin:

    • Mead or a dark beer (I don’t actually drink much alcohol, but it’s very fitting for the medieval-style backdrop)
    • Spiced cider or mulled wine
    • Bread, meat and cheese
    • Herbal or Mint Tea
    • Granola and fruit

 

  1. Where do you think the reader should travel while reading Resistance Rising?

Robin: The Mountains or the woods / a woodland retreat or cabin.

We shot most of the series out in the woods and in hand-made sets which gave the whole production a very rustic and lived-in feel.  It took awhile, but eventually I got very comfortable with bugs; particularly the three wolf spiders we had living in one of our sets.

 

Resistance Rising by Robin C. Farrell

  1. What food would you compare Resistance Rising to and why?

Robin: Hot pot.

The first time I tried it (granted, in the United States) I loved being able to cook and create a concoction to my own taste, most of which wouldn’t be found mixed together in any pre-made recipe, but the ingredients not only taste great independently, but even better together.

I think the novel is very much the same; it’s a lot of different stuff, all thrown together at different intervals and for different lengths of time, but it still all works.

 

***

 

I don’t know about you guys, but I know that I’ll be jumping in on this novel campaign of Inkshares with Resistance Rising by Robin C. Farrell. I love a good story that challenges my perspective of the world, and what could be more fun that personified genres?!

If you want your hands on this limited edition story, you can buy Resistance Rising here.

[UPDATE: Campaign is over, but the journey is not. Stay Tuned.]

If you want to see this book in print, share the love and tweet.

 

 

Don’t forget to listen to the prologue of Resistance Rising on SoundCloud!

And just for fun, the First Look from the Resistance Rising YouTube channel about the web series that inspired this novel. 

 

photography by Jenna M. Miller

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