M/M author Kim Fielding has dropped by for a quick interview….
Kim what is your most current work?
My newest stand alone novel is Pilgrimage, by Dreamspinner Press.
Tell us a little about Pilgrimage and its inspiration:
Pilgrimage is a fantasy novel about a very ordinary fiscal analyst from California. Mike doesn’t believe in fantasy, fate, or true love. But then one evening a fertility god zaps him to an alternate universe. Mike must undertake a Pilgrimage to the shrines of a death god. Good thing he hires hunky Goran to help out!
Last summer I took a workshop on travel writing. We were talking about the medieval pilgrim narratives—like Canterbury Tales—and how that was the first real travel writing. Plus I’ve always loved fish out water stories, and poor Mike is definitely out of his element here! When he gets sent to the other universe, he has nothing except a pair of blue boxer briefs.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
My characters run the show. I have a vague idea what the main conflicts will be. But whenever I try to plot things too carefully ahead of time, my characters rebel.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I came to m/m romance by way of slash fanfiction. But there are a lot of genres within m/m romance, and I love ‘em all. I have a special fondness for fantasy and magical realism, but I’ve also written contemporaries and I’m just putting the finishing touches on a historical novella (set in 15th century Bosnia!).
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
At the beginning of my novel the tin box, the main character isn’t very likeable. Of course, I knew why William was so repressed and why he seemed so judgmental, but like Colby, I really wanted Wlliam to get that stick out of his ass. As the book progresses, though, so does William. He and Colby are one of my favorite couples, actually.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
None of my characters are anyone I know, but I steal all sorts of bits and pieces from real life. For example, in Good Bones, Kay complains that her husband once gave her a knife sharpener for her birthday. My dad did that to my mother. The tank top Colby wears in The Tin Box says “Total Dance Whore.” I saw that shirt on a cute guy in San Francisco once. In Venetian Masks, Jeff orders pepperoni pizza in Venice and learns that in Italy, that means he’ll get peppers as a topping. That happened to my husband.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Writing the blurb and synopsis before submitting a story to a publisher. I’d rather walk over hot coals.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I am much taller on paper than in real life.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Oh, I have many! Junk food and pointless Internet sites top the list, I’m afraid. At least those are wholesome guilty pleasures, right?
What TV Show/s are you addicted to?
I watch very little TV—no time! Right now I catch an occasional episode of Househunters International or the Daily Show. I’m looking forward to the next season of Game of Thrones, though!
Do you have a hobby that you like to try and squeeze in?
I love, love to travel. Fortunately, that hobby is pretty compatible with writing. I get lots of my story ideas on the road, which is probably why lots of my characters—like Mike and Goran in Pilgrimage—move around a lot. Also, I like to write in airports and in hotel rooms.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I have two kids and a more-than-full time day job, so I can’t afford to be picky. Give me a laptop and I’m pretty much good to go. However, my writing goes best fairly late in the evening. Sometimes I’m typing while my eyes are so blurry I can barely see the screen.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Not exactly, but music is good for helping me set the right emotional tone. If I have a fight scene, for instance, I might listen to old school punk. But at other times I might prefer something angsty (love my angst) or world music or something else. I have four different versions of “Hallelujah” on my playlist—my favorite is Rufus Wainwright’s. For a book I have coming out in May, I listened to a bunch of old, old Johnny Cash. Oh, and one of my books does have a theme song, but I didn’t discover the song until after the book was published. The book is Good Bones and the song is “Chateau” by Brute Chorus.
Do you write one book from start to finish or are there multiple works underway at any given time?
I work on one at a time. And I don’t allow myself to go back and edit until the first draft is complete. That gives me a lot of incentive to finish! It also keeps me from getting distracted by something shiny and new if I hit a patch of slow going.
Where were you when you got your first contract? What was the book and who did you tell first?
I was home, sitting at my kitchen table—which is also where I do most of my writing. I squeed. But nobody else was home, so I called my husband. He’s very supportive. J
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Oh, gee. I guess the first one I ever read was Judy Blume’s Forever—which is sort of a romance book, right? I was in my early teens and felt very daring over it! A year or two later I read the Flowers in the Attic series. Also sort of romance-ish.
Do you have an all-time favorite romance book (not written by you J)?
This one varies so much depending on my mood!
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
A lot of them do! Some of my recent favorite reads were by Kaje Harper, Eli Easton, Andrew Q. Gordon, Tali Spencer, Shira Anthony…. Well, I could go on at length!
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
Yep. I am a university professor. Which isn’t really a non-writing job, but the writing there is much less fun to do!
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and an all-time favorite?
This also varies with my mood, but all-time favorites might be Fargo and Princess Bride. I haven’t seen any movies lately, unfortunately.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Lots of things! I just started writing the third installment in my Bones series. Just released in April, my novella The Golem of Mala Lubovnya was be released by Dreamspinner as part of an anthology called Stitch, which will also have terrific stories by Sue Brown, Eli Easton, and Jamie Fessenden. My next novel comes out in May. It’s called Motel.Pool. and it’s a paranormal/urban fantasy with a noirish feel. It takes place in 1950s Hollywood, Route 66 in Arizona, and modern Las Vegas. I’m putting the finishing touches now on a novella set in 15th century Bosnia and a short story that’s sort of a parable about borders. And I’m thinking a sequel to my free novella Treasure might be fun.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
That’s a toughie. I think there are a bunch of people who I’d have fun writing with. It’s not exactly co-writing, since our stories are separating, but I really enjoyed collaborating on the stitch book with Sue, Eli, and Jamie.
How did you hear about the “bunnies” at Joyfully Reviewed?
I enjoy reading the site.
Where can readers find you?
My blog: http://kfieldingwrites.blogspot.com
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of ice cream?
Lemon custard. Which for some reason is almost impossible to find. Also a little inconvenient for me, since I live in California, is the salted caramel ice cream made by this place up in Portland. I wouldn’t quite sell my soul for some, but I might be willing to rent it out.
Team Sam or Team Dean? And Why.
Dean. Definitely Dean. Because he does Bad Boy just right. And Sam does that nostril flare thing that really annoys me. 😉