City Falcon Release Day – Inspiration

August 26, 2011

Burg Guttenberg, German National Birds of Prey Sanctuary

Good morning everybody. As of today, my novel City Falcon is available from Dreamspinner. To mark the occasion, I’ll be here on the blog today with excerpts, a bit of background information and a quiz.  (and PRIZES!) If you feel like it, come round and see me. I look forward to your comments – just click on the post header to open the comments box below.

So why a book about a falconer? The most obvious answer to this would be, why not?, but there was actually more to the idea for this book than my whim. This is how it all began:

When I was little, my parents took me to Burg Guttenberg on the river Neckar for one of the German National Birds of Prey Sanctuary’s  falconry show. I don’t remember much about this day, not even exactly how old I was, nine or ten (and I definitely WON’T say how long ago this was!), but what I recall vividly are the birds. The  majestic eagles, the creepy vultures, the mysterious owls and above all, the sleek, beautiful, elegant falcons.  One of the falconers seemed to have noticed the wide-eyed child who pushed and shoved her way through all the picture – snapping grownups ahead to the front row, ’cause he told me to hold out my arm, put a glove on my hand and next thing I know, a falcon’s claws scrabbled for purchase on the glove and dug into my wrist through the worn old leather.  The bird turned her head and held my gaze, unerringly and a little menacing, while the falconer talked quietly to me and to the bird, and when I dared to breathe again, I could smell her, animal and leather and that dry smell old barns have in the summer. I fell in love on that day, and have been ever since.

For several years afterwards, going to see the falcons was top priority on each wish list I ever wrote for Santa or the Birthday Fairy, even knocking the ever-present pony into second place.

After a while, though, my life got busy with other things, like getting around in the world, learning to win a livelihood, and finding a partner to share it with, and I lost touch with falcons for a while. Then, a few years ago,  my life got back  into shallower waters, and I returned home.  One of these days, I went to a medieval fair at yet another castle ruin (Southern Germany has lots and lots of those picturesque heaps of old stones!) where I stumbled upon a falconer. To my considerable delight  it turned out that particular falconer lived only a few kilometers away from my place. And, even more to my delight, he took visitors  hawking on a regular basis.  No question where I spent most of my weekends the rest of that year.

It was around that same time I discovered m/m romance. By the time my first own story ideas raised their little hands and asked to be told,  our backwater hometown finally got decent internet. One evening, dawdling away on youtube, I found this vid:

Birdman At JFK

Don’t ask me how, but it clicked. Suddenly Hunter Devereaux, falconer extraordinaire, stepped out of my subconscious, put down his foot and demanded to be written. His lover Mark followed not far behind, and then they all came tumbling out:  Greg, Micky, Walt, Evie, Sean…  and above all of them, Iman drew her circles in the sky, looking down at the hustle and bustle of humanity, sharp-eyed and a little menacing.

And here we are.

7 Responses to “City Falcon Release Day – Inspiration”

  1. Beatrice says:

    Guten Morgen (or guten Tag!) from Connecticut, Feliz! I follow your reviews over at Jessewave’s, so I’m definitely happy to see you and your works published. :) Like I told Leslie when she reviewed this book, I’m a bit apprehensive because of the time period – books taking place in recent pasts tend to make me feel nostalgic and I shed a couple of tears now and then, no matter how humorous or serious the book is. But then again, Leslie’s review convinced me that I need read this one. *grins*

    Anyway, enough of my rambling. *grins* Congratulations on this release! And I really wish you a lot more success. :)

  2. Feliz Faber says:

    Hey thanks Beatrice,

    I’m confident that City Falcon won’t be too much of a tear jerker. So happy reading to you! And thank you so much for your kind words.

  3. Eden Winters says:

    Congratulations on new release! You’ve got me interested in falcons now. When I was a kid I lived in the country and loved to watch hawks hunting, and their cry sends shivers down one’s spine.

  4. Nikyta says:

    That’s a beautiful story. I look forward to reading it. I’m a bit afraid of birds but I love how pretty they are. Congrats on your new release! :D

  5. Feliz Faber says:

    Hey Eden,
    they’re simply awesome. Where I live, the great Red Milan crosses on a regular basis during his perennial migration, and I look forward to meeting him/ her every spring an d fall.
    Unfortunately, “my” falconer retired last year and sent his birds away. I’m waiting though; don’t think he can stand being without a bird for too long!

  6. Feliz Faber says:

    Hi Nikyta,
    thank you very much for your kind words. Enjoy!

  7. Moni says:

    Hi, I just found this site and of course: first of all – congratulations on this release!
    I live near Burg Guttenberg and work for a few hours/week for the falconry, where you have been as a child. :-)

    But I must say, that the picture of the castle is not Burg Guttenberg, but Burg Hornberg – today a hotel and restaurant (so fabulous food!!!). It is on the other side of the Neckar, about 4 km away.

    Greetings from Germany

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