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What If Literary Genres Started Fighting?

Being an absolute book junkie, I love most genres.

But if I had to pick two top fiction categories – as in if someone put a gun to my head and said, “Your opinion or your life!” – I’d probably have to say historical fiction and fantasy.

That’s why I’m so happy to get to introduce Robin Farrell to the Innovative Editing audience. Her novel, Resistance Rising: A Genre Wars Novel is engaging and insightful… an easy read that’s still filled with all the world-building, character development and superb story-telling that fantastic fantasy requires.

In short, she’s just the right January Author of the Month 2019 needs.

For any other authors out there who want to be featured next, tell me all about your own book right here. And if you’re still in the brainstorming, writing or editing phases, check out Innovative Editing’s services, including its incentive-based program to:

Why not start 2019 off on the "write" foot?

December’s Author of the Month: Robin Farrell

Genre: Fantasy

Age Appropriate: 12+

Bio: I am a geek to my core; a writer, film kid, and cosplayer. I was quoting The Wizard of Oz at age three and produced my first short film, The Stranger, in 2010. By day, I work as a video editor for DUO Media Productions and Star Wipe Films.

I’ve lived in Frederick, Maryland for the past 12 years and love it here. When I’m not working, you can find me dreaming up my next cosplay, or reading, writing, and scheming at the local coffee house.

Jeannette: Jumping right in, let’s hear it straight from the author’s mouth. What is Resistance Rising all about?

Robin: For all the spectacle of clashing genres, Resistance Rising is really a character-driven story that follows a troupe of people as they all work through their pasts, traumas, biases, and inner demons.

The story itself takes place in a war-enveloped world populated by cultures inspired by different genre-types.

Jeannette: I’m going to have to stop you for a second there. Are you serious? Because that’s awesome! Despite the name of the book – which makes perfect sense now that I’m thinking about it – that premise didn’t entirely click while I was reading it.

Knowing it now makes me like the story even more.

Robin: I’m happy to hear that!

Jeannette: Seriously. I am so impressed right now.

But I interrupted you. So please continue…

Robin: Well, the thing that’s kept the peace between these cultures has vanished without a trace, and panic over its loss has led to worldwide war. In a small corner of this world, however, a miracle occurs, leading bystanders to wrestle with whether there’s an alternative to the chaos.

But that has to start with them all checking their fears at the door.

Jeannette: Seriously, Robin, I love that description. That was great. Which I suppose shouldn’t be surprising considering how impressively you handled other descriptions in the story.

For instance, you take some pretty deep themes such as prejudice, war and forgiveness, and weave them into the narrative without sounding preachy. Did you start out knowing you wanted to address those issues, or did the story just naturally evolve with them?

Robin: Those themes definitely developed organically, but they were born out of an inevitable setup. The whole project began as an online film competition called Genre Wars, where the premise was, at its most straightforward, to take two genre types, personify them, and have them fight each other.

The motivation of this contest was mostly visual inspiration: to get filmmakers testing and implementing fight choreography, visual effects, and clever cinematography. As a writer though, I was much more drawn to the idea of what a world with all these different genres coexisting would look like. How would that work?

And, more importantly, why do they occupy this same universe? Our project would then evolve into a stand-alone web series and, to make the concept and world self-sustaining, we needed to create a thorough history of the planet Kabathan.

How did these people come to cultivate such different societies? Just getting into that headspace naturally allowed the story to progress into exploring cultural differences and clashing worldviews.

I definitely didn’t try to make the story about that, but considering so much of what’s going on in the world around us, I think it began to seep more and more into the story as I began adapting the series screenplays into the novel.

Jeannette: I’m very happy that you followed it through the way you did, since the last several fantasy books I’ve read (including by an author I almost revere) have intensely disappointed me. So thanks for breaking that losing streak!

What would you say is the most important element to writing a fantasy novel that actually works?

Robin: First of all, I’m delighted to hear that! What an honor!

I’m not sure I have an answer to that, but I think, from my experience as a reader even more than as a writer, it’s making sure that the story and the characters are authentic.

Jeannette: Sounds like a good answer to me. In which case, you succeeded.

Here's another question for you: What got you into writing in the first place?

Robin: I’ve been interested in writing since as long as I can remember. I’ve been a big participant of stories since I was a toddler (based on family photos, anyway). When I read Chris Van Allsburg’s The Stranger in second grade, that was the first time I remember “leveling up,” so to speak, regarding the way I examined narrative.

It was the first time I became aware of subtext and the notion that stories could have layers and themes. Hence, so many years later, I made a film based on that book and I’ve carried those ideas with me ever since.

Jeannette: It sounds like you were born with storytelling in your blood. Do you have any writing and/or book-marketing tips you’d like to share to other novel writers out there who might be a bit newer to the whole process?

Robin: With my background in film, this has all been very much a learning experience for me. My only observations from selling my book are that finding the right audience is key (my book has sold best at geek-centric events such as Comic-Con and MAG Fest), and having a killer book trailer has been a huge draw for passersby at those events.

Granted, I had the advantage of a film background as well as an actual web series to pull from. However, moving forward on future projects, should I be selling another book in similar fashion, I intend to create a similar book trailer from scratch.

Ultimately, I have a lot of fun with selling the books; I can genuinely say that I’m proud of the work itself and proud of the cover and character prints (artwork by Annamarie C. Mickey). I think that’s what I’d recommend for other writers: the more authenticity and more joy you can get out of the process, the better.

Jeannette: One last real question before we list off where people can follow you… I’m assuming there’s going to be more to the Genre Wars series, so do we get any hints about it?

And when is the second book due out?

Robin: Genre Wars is also a web series currently in post-production, so it really depends on what happens once it’s released. I would love to explore the world further and write more stories; but as for right now, I’m working on a new, independent novel.

Jeannette: Regardless of what you’re working on next, I want to know when it’s out. Which is why I’m going to start following you just as soon as you say where readers can find you online.

Robin: You can find me on:

Jeannette: And Resistance Rising itself can be bought right here.

Great concept. Great characters. Engaging writing… What’s not to love?

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