We’re so pleased to welcome author Kim Fielding to The Novel Approach today, on her Rattlesnake blog tour. Kim sat down and answered a few questions from Will Parkinson, so enjoy and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $20 Dreamspinner Press Gift Card and an e-copy of Ms. Fielding’s book Astounding!
WP: Kim, do you have pictures that you use for your characters? Can you share them with us?
KF: I don’t exactly have pictures for the characters in this book. Catherine Dair is making me some amazing drawings of Jimmy and Shane, though. I’ll share them when they’re ready—and I’ll have the drawings made into trading cards.
Today, however, I can share a picture of Shane’s shirt! It’s a blue plaid Pendleton like this one: Sir Pendleton Wool Shirt. He wears it all the time. In fact, this shirt inspired his character. I saw the shirt in a Western-wear shop and almost immediately got a mental image of a man wearing it. He was tall and thin, with a cowboy’s drawl. But he moved with a careful limp as he crossed the worn wooden floor of an old building. I knew he worked there. And that was Shane.
WP: What kind of book would you like to write that people would see as a huge departure for you?
KF: I write in a lot of genres. And sometimes I do light and fluffy, and sometimes angsty. So I think it might be hard for me to surprise readers. But… I’ve had a plot bunny for a while now: a historical novel about a man shanghaied from San Francisco in the late nineteenth century who ends up finding gold in the Klondike. It’s not m/m romance, but will require lots of juicy research. I love research.
WP: Have you ever killed a character? Was it traumatic for you? If you haven’t killed one, would you ever consider it?
KF: I’ve killed a couple of them, and it was really traumatic. I dreaded writing those scenes. In one case, the death happens off page, but it was no less painful for me. And in the other case, I actually killed the poor guy twice in one book! It doesn’t help when I know that the story will have a happy ending; hurting my beloved guys hurts me.
I have to say, though, that other plot events can be even more excruciating to write. Back in my fanfic days, I wrote a long story in which one character ends up betraying the other in a terrible way. He has to do it, and he felt as awful about it as I did, but I hated writing that scene anyway. (And for those who are wondering, my fandom was the Buffyverse, and it was Xander who did something really devastating to Spike’s progenitor, William Pratt).
WP: Favorite location you’ve ever written about?
KF: To be totally honest, it’s the fictional town of Rattlesnake, California. It’s no accident that the book is named for the town. I’d even go so far as to say that the town itself is a major character in the story. It’s based loosely on a real place, Angels Camp, which is in the Sierra foothills. But even though I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Angels Camp, Rattlesnake is actually a lot more real—in my head, anyway. I can picture the terrain, the shops and houses, the local residents. I know exactly what the best dishes are at Mae’s Café and how the air smells on an autumn evening. I love it so much that I hope to write another story set in Rattlesnake—only this one will take place in the town’s infancy during the gold rush era.
WP: What’s your favorite season and favorite activity for that season?
KF: Fall. Maybe because I’ve always been either a student or a professor, but fall feels like new beginnings. Also, during the summer, the place where I live feels a lot like a convection oven. I’m relieved for cooler weather at last. I do a lot of travel in the fall. This year I’m in Europe in early September, then off to Gay Romance Northwest in Seattle, then to GayRomLit in San Diego. And I love Halloween too! We always decorate the house, and we get so many trick-or-treaters that we have to buy multiple Costco-sized bags of candy. Sometimes I dress up, but even when I don’t, I enjoy helping my kids plan their costumes.
TNA: Thanks so much for being here with us today, Kim. It’s always a pleasure.
Blurb: A drifter since his teens, Jimmy Dorsett has no home and no hope. What he does have is a duffel bag, a lot of stories, and a junker car. Then one cold desert night he picks up a hitchhiker and ends up with something more: a letter from a dying man to the son he hasn’t seen in years.
On a quest to deliver the letter, Jimmy travels to Rattlesnake, a small town nestled in the foothills of the California Sierras. The centerpiece of the town is the Rattlesnake Inn, where the bartender is handsome former cowboy Shane Little. Sparks fly, and when Jimmy’s car gives up the ghost, Shane gets him a job as handyman at the inn.
Both within the community of Rattlesnake and in Shane’s arms, Jimmy finds an unaccustomed peace. But it can’t be a lasting thing. The open road continues to call, and surely Shane—a strong, proud man with a painful past and a difficult present—deserves better than a lying vagabond who can’t stay put for long.
Pre-order Rattlesnake at Dreamspinner Press
About the Author: Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.
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