In the interview seat today for this Cinco de Mayo interview is Dreamspinner Press author Kim Fielding. A university professor by day and author by night, she weaves tales about white collar werewolves, loveable brutes, and ex-cons just trying to make their way. Fielding prides herself on being a world traveler and finds inspiration for her stories lurking around every corner.
What’s New From Fielding
Fielding elaborated via email on her current and upcoming releases.
“Both my last release and my next one involve unconventional supernatural creatures,” she said. “‘Night Shift’ was released in April. It’s a novella about Aiden Finn, an ex-con trying to make it through life with very little support. He has a job as night shift janitor at a motel, and there he meets sexy and mysterious security guard Luka Gabor. Can Aiden escape lurking monsters to find happiness and love?”
Her next release “Buried Bones” is due out May 22, and is the sequel to “Good Bones,” and furthers the adventure of Dylan Warner and Chris Nock. Fielding describes Dylan as a “hipster architect werewolf” and Chris as “rustic and slightly insecure.”
Fielding gave a taste of the premise.
“In the new book, the guys are already in love, and Chris has accepted that Dylan turns furry once a
month,” she said. “But neither has ever had a long-term lover, so they’re facing the usual challenges of building a relationship. On top of that, Chris is visited with a surprise from his past, Dylan investigates the background of the man who turned him into a werewolf, and both guys are dealing with a troublesome ghost. And Dylan’s old farmhouse still needs renovations.”
Fielding also said she’ll have a free short story to give away in May called “The Gig.” In this story the main characters from her previously released novella “Speechless,” Travis and Drew, meet Dylan and Chris of “Buried Bones.”
Fielding Stays Always Inspired
When it comes to story ideas, Fielding never seems short of inspiration.
“I keep a long file of story ideas,” she said. “I choose one and sit down to write. I allow myself to write only one story at a time, and I don’t let myself go back to read or edit until the first draft is done. I don’t plot much out beforehand behind the basic skeleton.”
She went on to explain how she manages to meet her goals.
“I write every single day—usually in the evenings after my younger daughter goes to bed,” she said. “It takes me roughly a month to write the first draft of a novel. In fact, “Buried Bones” was my latest NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project. Once the draft is complete, I go back to read, edit, and tweak. Then I send the draft to one or more betas, and it goes through at least two rounds of edits. I write the blurb and synopsis—my least favorite tasks! Submit to the publisher. Then attempt to wait patiently.”
As for the specific inspiration about Dylan of “Buried Bones,” Fielding had this to say:
“I got tired of werewolves always being depicted as these biker dude types,” she said. “Why aren’t there werewolves with white collar jobs and a tendency to buy organic free-range groceries?”
Ringing In the Holidays For Fielding’s Worlds
With today being a celebration of Mexico’s historic defeat over the French, and seems a good excuse as any for Americans to get liquored up on margaritas and tequila, Fielding offered how her characters would participate in the holidays of their contemporary or fantasy worlds.
In the “Night Shift,” Aiden is a recovering alcoholic, but Luka and he go to a Mexican restaurant on their first date. For Dylan and Chris of “Buried Bones,” Chris is a Bud or Coors guy, for the high class Dylan? A vodka gimlet.
Fielding adds, “The lime juice would have to be organic and the vodka craft-distilled.”
But what about the characters from her high-fantasy story “Brute?” Fielding paints a picture of the Festival of the Harvest Moon in the world’s mythology.
“It takes place in fall, of course,” she said. “Even people with crappy jobs—like Brute’s job as a manual laborer—get the day off. People with better jobs get a pay bonus too. Everyone spends the day with their family, drinking a traditional autumn ale and eating too much.”
She went on about the other colorful details.
“It’s considered good luck to prepare a favorite dish for someone who you’ve been quarreling with,” she said. “After dinner, the children perform a skit reenacting the story of how the goddess Rohiana taught the first humans to farm. And after the sun sets, courting couples—or even old established ones—go for long walks through the fields. They use only the moon for light. They’re supposed to find a secluded spot and then each share three secrets with the other.”
Fielding Goes Global
One of Fielding’s greatest passions is that of traveling. She’s been all over Europe, Mexico, and back again. She claimed her inspiration
for “Venetian Masks” came from a week in Venice, among other travels in the region.
She talked about some of her favorite parts of visiting different countries.
“I love traveling by train, and I also love just walking around and getting the feel for a new place,” she said. “I have a not-so-secret love of foreign grocery stores. I’ve had some great tours, like a five hour tour of Barcelona on an antique Russian motorcycle with a sidecar.”
But what Fielding said was her favorite travel memory? Living five months in Croatia.
“Croatia has a special place in my heart,” she said. “Zagreb is an interesting, affordable, walkable city with cafes everywhere and lots to see, plus Croatians love to give advice—and it’s almost always good advice.”
And for those into pop-culture, Fielding had an interesting perspective about Dubrovnik.
“If you’ve been watching ‘Game of Thrones,’ that’s where the King’s Landing scenes are filmed,” she said.
But say you want to get some nature time in? Fielding had a recommendation.
“One of the most gorgeous parks I’ve ever visited is also in Croatia: Plitvice Lakes,” she said. “So, you know, go to Croatia!”
Travel Tips from Fielding
Curious about traveling? Fielding offered her insight.
“Plan, but don’t freak out if the unexpected occurs,” she said. “My best memories were things that surprised me. Pay for local tour guides; you’ll get much more out of your visit. Try to learn at least a few words in the local language, even if almost everyone there speaks English too.”
As for other tips?
“Pack lightly,” Fielding said. “If you really need something, you can probably buy it there, and then it’s a souvenir. Walk as much as possible. Learn some geography: Slovenia, Slavonia, and Slovakia are three very different places!”
How about where to stay? Fielding had a peculiar tip.
“Try to rent an apartment instead of a hotel room,” she said. “Apartments are often
cheaper and give you a better chance to get to know a place. I stayed in a former 14th century monastery in Vienna, a funny 16th century apartment in Dubrovnik—four rooms, one on top of the other—a great flat in Venice, and so on. My temporary landlords were always excellent sources of information.”
What’s Next For Fielding
Besides plotting where to go next in her globetrotting adventures, Fielding gave clues as to what readers can expect from her in the future.
“My novel ‘The Tin Box’ will be released in September or so,” she said. “It’s a contemporary romance set in a former insane asylum in the fictional town of Jelley’s Valley, California. I’ve done a lot of research on the history of mental hospitals—and I sometimes teach in a former mental hospital!—so that helped inspire the story. The main character, William Lyon, has only recently and very cautiously come out of the closet. He meets the very bouncy and very out Colby Anderson, who promises to introduce William to the world of gay sex. And William also discovers a box of letters written by a former patient at the asylum, Bill, who was locked up in the 1930s for being gay.”
She went on to add, “I’m working now on a novella about a man who loses his boyfriend, his job, and his home all in one day. The working title is ‘Housekeeping.’ I’ve written a story for the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s ‘Love Has No Boundaries’ event. The story is called ‘Treasure.’ It’s a fantasy with pirates, and it’ll be available for free this summer.”
To purchase “Night Shift,” “Buried Bones,” “The Gig” and all of Kim’s other titles, see her author page at Dreamspinner Press here.