Monday, December 3, 2012
Author Spotlight: Kim Fielding, Author of New Release, Brute
Check out out interview below!
Your latest book, Brute, tells the story of a man who not only becomes aware of his self worth, but also finds love. How did you come up with this character and the story concept?
Almost all my characters and stories just seem to pop into my head. This story started a little backwards, actually. I thought of a man who dreamt other people’s deaths. Which would be horrible enough as it is, but this poor guy was locked in a prison in utter misery. I began to wonder why. And then I started to wonder what it would be like to have to guard this prisoner, and how that kind of guard duty might affect a man.
You often write about characters who overcome some sort of disability (physical, mental, etc.) or hindrance. Is this something you personally identify with? How so?
I think we all have obstacles to overcome. Some are larger than others, of course. Personally, I’ve been tremendously lucky, but I’ve faced my own struggles too. Not with a true disability—unless you count being only 5 feet tall as a disability!—but with various things life’s thrown in my path. I love the idea that heroes don’t have to be perfect, and that however imperfect people are, they can still be heroic—and still find love. I’ve received some emails from readers with disabilities, telling me how much they enjoyed finding a hero who’s disabled. That’s really made me feel proud.
If you could say one thing to Brute, what would it be and why?
I would try to convince him that he’s a lot smarter and more worthy than he gives himself credit for. He’s spent his whole life with people telling him that he’s ugly and stupid and fit only for manual labor, and until recently he’s believed what they said.
I noticed that you explore different subgenres under the M/M umbrella in your writing. What is your favorite and why?
Whichever one I’m currently working on. :) Seriously, I love to play with lots of different genres, and it’s fun to switch back and forth. For example, Brute is a fantasy, my next novel will be a contemporary with a bit of a suspense twist (Venetian Masks), and after that I’ll have a paranormal novella (Night Shift). I was just recently thinking I’d like to write something with a noir feel. But if I absolutely, positively had to pick one genre, I think it would be something in the magical realism/urban fantasy realm. Which I realize is arguably two realms, but there you go.
What do you enjoy most about the M/M genre in general?
I love that it’s an excellent chance to reject stereotypes of all kinds and to play around with standard tropes. You can see things from a fresh perspective and play around with power dynamics. Plus there are the men. I like men. :)
When it's time to sit down and work on your next book, what is your writing process?
What are some of the more difficult aspects of being a published author and how have you overcome them?
For me, time is the biggest issue—I don’t have nearly enough of it! I have a day job too, as a university professor, and often everything is happening all at once. This November, for example, I was writing a novel for NaNoWriMo. But I was also going through the final edits for Brute and two short stories… and a textbook! And I was teaching my classes and running my department and even occasionally saying hello to my husband and children.
I have a few solutions. I’ve made some pretty strict priorities and given up things that were less important to me, like watching TV. I’ve learned to snatch little bits of time to work whenever I can, like while waiting to pick up my kids at school or while sitting in a dentist’s waiting room. I make lists with deadlines and try to stick to them. And I guess I’ve just become really good at time management. I haven’t been bored for years!
What advice would give aspiring writers who may be nervous about putting their work in the public realm?
First, find at least one really good editor with whom you can have a good working relationship, and listen to what she says. A lot of people feel threatened by the editing process. But nobody—not a single person—ever writes perfectly, and it really takes another set of eyes to give even the best work the polish it needs. I’ve learned so much from editors, and one of them has even become a very good friend.
Second, expect criticism. Criticism hurts. When someone writes me a negative review I feel terrible. I know a lot of authors who don’t read reviews at all for this reason. I do read them, because sometimes I can learn something from them. One thing I do to put things in perspective is to look up reviews of other people’s books, books I know are truly masterpieces. And you know what? There are always negative reviews there, too.
And third, put it out there! I began with fanfic. I remember how absolutely terrified I was when I posted my very first story—and how relieved I was when I got positive feedback. It’s true that you’re never going to please everyone. But if you don’t give it a try, you’ll never be able to succeed either.
As part of the Brute Blog Tour, Kim Fielding is running a contest. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment at any of the blogs/tour stops (click here for a full list of blogs). Please leave your email address in your comment. You can comment at multiple blog tour entries for multiple chances to win! Winners will be chosen on December 25. One person will receive a paperback copy of Brute and another person will receive an e-book copy of Brute.
To purchase your own copy of Brute and read an excerpt, click here (ebook) or here (paperback).
For more information about Kim Fielding, visit her blog and Facebook page. You can find Kim on Livejournal, Dreamwidth and Archive of Our Own under the pen name whichclothes.
I want to give a big thank you to Kim for taking the time to chat with me! It was a lovely experience! I also want to thank Lily Velden for facilitating this interview! :)