Monday, December 3, 2012

Author Spotlight: Kim Fielding, Author of New Release, Brute

Recently I had the awesome opportunity to interview author Kim Fielding! Her new book, Brute, is out today and looks great!

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?

I keep a file of novel ideas and tend to have an plan about which will be my next few projects. Before I begin to write, I’ve already spent maybe a couple weeks—maybe much longer—thinking about the characters and, if necessary, doing some preliminary research. I love the research part! I usually have a very rough idea of the plot when I begin, but it’s subject to change. I sit down at my laptop, usually at the kitchen table, and begin to write. I’m very strict about not letting myself go back to read or edit until the first draft is complete. I learned this trick during NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month—and it really helps me write faster. It’s also a huge incentive to finish! I try to write at least a couple thousand words every day. Things tend to be fast at the beginning, sometimes bog down a little in the middle, and then pick up speed like an avalanche near the end. Once the draft is complete, I get to read it over. I tweak it here and there and fix any obvious mistakes (I’m a terrible typist). Then I send it off to my wonderful beta. After I get her suggestions and corrections, I edit again. After that,  it’s time to submit it, which is always exciting and a little nerve-wracking! I generally have several weeks to wait for a response, and in that time I move right on to my next project. I’m always excited to begin something new.

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! :)

~ M

23 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for letting me visit! You asked great questions. And thanks to Lily too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed our interview! :D

      Delete
    2. It was my pleasure and such a great interview - see you on the 6th Kim!

      Delete
  2. I enjoyed the interview. Interesting questions/answers and I love hearing about other authors' writing processess. *grins* *whispers* There are a few of us 5 footers out there.

    darthanne@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Isn't interesting how we all find a process that works for us?

      Yay for 5 footers! :-)

      Delete
  3. Hi, Kim. Wow, I'm amazed at how much you're able to write with a "day job" and family to care for. I need a good kick and the pants after hearing that!! I've only got a part-time day job and a dog, and I haven't started a new writing project in over a month. I've already purchased Brute, so I'll opt out of the drawing, but I wanted to leave a comment and tell you that I enjoyed the interview. Good luck with your blog tour! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, and a husband. LOLOLOL. Eek, I forgot about that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny, but sometimes I'm my most productive when I'm busiest. Maybe because I manage my time better then. I hope you enjoy Brute. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  5. Oh what an interesting interview. I'll buy Brute right after this comment, so I'm also out of the drawing. But I really want to say: You gave an interesting interview. Yeah! I know, there is someone who ask interesting questions but your answers weren't boring and so: thank you and thanks to the one who asked! I liked and enjoyed reading this interview. You know I admire your books and now, I'll have to go to buy Brute. Can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yep!! There it is. I was able to download it now. I just hoped yesterday it would work then already. But it didn't. Now I got it!! Yeah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. They were fun questions! I hope you love Brute. :-)

      Delete
  7. Thank you for writing about people with disabilities! We have rich full lives and great stories.


    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My thoughts exactly! I really do believe that a lot of ordinary, flawed people have it in them to be heroes.

      Delete
  8. OMG I knew you were prolific but over 1000 words every day is amazing!! I loved Brute very very much - in fact, he has taken over as my absolute favourite. You rock!

    skargasm at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Thank you so much! 1000 words a day isn't hard for me once I get going.

      Delete
  9. It sounds like it may be intense at times, but a rewarding story!

    vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is intense at times, but here's my secret: I'm a sucker for a happy ending!

      Delete
  10. can't wait to read your new novel, I yet have to find a story you wrote that I don't like

    selana1505 (at) gmx (dot) de

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Brute is a personal favorite, so I hope you enjoy.

      Delete
  11. Yay for short people, I'm one too. Late start to commenting on your blog tour from the beginning. Started a bit elsewhere already, but will enjoy reading your posts.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

    ReplyDelete