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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Book Feature: Dreaming of the Sea + Exclusive Interview with Author Raissa Claire R. Falgui

Dreaming of the Sea is a collection of stories set by sea, evoking its power and mystery, with themes mainly romantic and speculative fiction. 

This was written by Raissa Claire R. Falgui, a writer with a wide variety of interests which are reflected in her fiction. Her historical novel Woman in a Frame was shortlisted for the Philippine National Book Awards in 2015. Her collection of science fiction Virtual Centre and other Science Fiction Stories was published by Penguin Random House Southeast Asia. Several of her speculative fiction stories have been published in Alternative Alamat, in the literary journal Likhaan, and in the international anthology Of Words and Water 2014. 

Today, we are blessed with this opportunity to have this exclusive interview with her.  

1. Can you share with us something about the book that isn't in the blurb?

I conceived this book as a beach read, and I think it is in a not-so-typical way. There are several romances, a couple with ghostly elements, and several others with mythical elements-- stories to resonate with a variety of moods you might have while relaxing in a beach setting.

2. What inspired the idea for your latest book?

I noticed I had written several stories set by the sea, most of them while working on my MA. I'd written one for Alternative Alamat and one for the YA anthology Friend Zones as well. I even had two sci-fi stories where people ended up living on islands in the middle of the sea. Since I was so drawn to the sea (ironically, since I've rarely been to beaches in my adult life), I thought of completing a sea-themed collection.

3. How long did it take you to complete the book?

One of the stories is based on one I wrote as a college freshman, a few others were written while I was doing my MA in 2011-2014, the others, which are the romantic ones, were mainly started in 2019-2020 and completed during the lockdown.

4. What part of the book was most challenging to write and why?

Occasionally, I plunge into writing a story without a clear plot or ending in mind. Then I get stuck on how to end it! This was the problem with "The Last of the Mermaids." It was based on a speech assignment I had as a college freshman. So it didn't really have a plot: it was just a mermaid rambling over issues she had observed and experienced as the last of her kind. I submitted it to the UP Writers' Workshop and of course, I got comments on the ending not really making much of an impact. The final, strong ending came to me as I was doing research about issues affecting the ocean while writing a book on climate change. I was feeling angry over the issues and lack of action on them, and that inspired me to have the mermaid take drastic action.

5. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

I hope they end up dreaming of the sea in various ways--as the backdrop of romance, as a well of mystery, or in whatever way that suits them. I also hope they'll gain more appreciation for the sea as the inspiration for myths through the ages as well as an essential resource for our planet.

6. If you’re planning a sequel or writing the next book, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

I'm completing a collection of stories based on Philippine myths, which I completed the first draft of during the last NaNoWriMo mostly on my keyboardless tablet--as my laptop conked out on the second day! I really have a fondness for myth-based stories which began when I read Pop Stories for Groovy Kids as well, a kid. That's my book closest to completion, though I can't say for sure if it will be the next one to come out.

7. Where can they buy your books or find out more about you?

Dreaming of the Sea may be purchased from 8Letters online 

or via Shopee at

You may also follow me on my Facebook and Goodreads account.


Thank you, Author Raissa, for agreeing to this interview. We are happy to learn more about you and your book and we are looking forward to more stories from you. 


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