About Kim Fielding
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.
Kim’s novel Brute was the 2013 Rainbow Award Winner for Best Gay Fantasy and tied for fourth place for Best Gay Novel.
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.
Kim’s upcoming novel, Hallelujah, is her first horror novel. It is filled with love, heartbreak, drama, and terror. Be sure to pick up a copy March 31, 2020.
I was very happy when Kim agreed to answer a few questions for this interview. I hope you enjoy it.
What made you write a horror book?
Horror is one of my first loves. When I was very little, Disney movies made me cry, but I loved old-school monster movies. My dad and I used to watch them on TV on Sunday afternoons. I’m not sure why Frankenstein and Dracula appealed so much to my preschool self, but they truly did. And I generally empathized with the monsters.
The first story I remember writing, circa first grade, was horror of a sort. It was about a haunted spacesuit. Sadly, I don’t remember any of the details.
I’ve also always loved reading horror. Stephen King has long been one of my very favorite authors. He writes well and creates sympathetic characters, and I admire his ability to turn ordinary situations very creepy very fast. Lots of other horror writers top my all-star list as well, among them Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, Peter Straub, Poppy Z. Brite, and Neil Gaiman.
So this is a roundabout way of saying that I’d been itching for years to get my claws into writing in this genre. When Freddy and I started kicking around a story idea and ended up with ghosts and demons, I was delighted.
Is there a reason you set it in the 90s and not current? I enjoyed the TV/Movie references to set the time period.
The early 1990s suits the first half of the story well. Our main character, Joseph Moore, is experiencing a lot of conflict, partly because his family obligations are tying him down, and partly because his personal and religious ties make it nearly impossible for him to be open about being gay. The book is set in a small Nebraska town at a time when small family farms were in crisis—and a time when people like Joseph would have struggled to gain community and family acceptance. The primarily internal conflict in the first half of the book balances the primarily external conflict in the second half.
The book’s second half takes place in 2019. We needed that long incubation period to set up both Joseph’s headspace and the situations that lead to… well, bad things. And the types of issues we’re all facing today at national and global levels help feed (literally) the horror aspects of the story.
Incidentally, both Freddy and I have lived in Nebraska. I was there in the early 1990s, going to grad school, and those experiences helped inform the story.
What’s it like to write with someone else? I’ve thought about it over the years and never done it.
It’s very different from writing solo, and really exciting. I’ve done a few co-writing projects now, and each has been different depending on the preferences and style of my partner. That’s fun in and of itself—as a relatively experienced author, I enjoy the chance to mix things up a little and try new things.
One of my favorite things about having a writing partner is how inspirational it is. By myself I might let a story languish, but I’m more apt to sit down at the laptop when I know someone’s waiting for their turn to write. Getting the newest version back from my partner also makes me want to start typing right away because I’ve been exposed to fresh work. And you get feedback really quickly too.
Another big benefit is that you can draw off your partner’s knowledge. For example, our character was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church. I have no personal experience with that, but Freddy does. When I wrote Running Blind with Venona Keyes, we drew on her considerable knowledge of distance running. But co-writing is also synergistic, meaning you come a with a story neither of you would have produced on your own.
You do need to be prepared for certain things if you’re going to co-write. You can’t be a control freak, for instance. This is a joint project and you need to share the power. You also have to keep in mind your partner’s schedule and writing style, you’ll want to ensure that edits promote consistency of voice, and you’ll need to work out all the administrative details. Well worth it, in my opinion.
What are you looking forward to in Paris?
This will be my third year at Livre Paris, an enormous book fair. It’s huge and crowded and a ton of fun. While there, I can’t wait to see some author and publisher friends and to meet readers. I’m hoping I’ll get to see some folks from previous years but also get to know new people. Also, I’ll be spending my birthday there. I can’t think of a better way to spend it than signing books in Paris!
Of course, the book fair is in Paris, which is exciting per se. I’m planning on at least a little tourism—I already have a catacombs tour booked—as well as some good meals. It’s a big city with a lot to see. After the book fair, Shira Anthony and I will be spending some time in Brittany, which I’ve never visited before, so that’s exciting too.
I took a few years of French in high school—a loooong time ago. Recently I’ve been using Rosetta Stone to knock some of the rust off, so I’m eager to see whether I can manage comprehensible French. My accent is still awful, but I’m trying!
Oh, and travel always gives me inspiration for new stories, so I’m looking forward to that.
If you could remake/reboot one TV/Movie you loved, what would it be. Asking this since we’re both fanfic nerds.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was my favorite series fanfic-wise, but I don’t think I’d want to see it redone. It’s really great as-is. But Firefly? It’s a crying shame that series lasted only one season, and I’d love to see more of it. I think even today it would come off as clever and fresh and unique.
Now, if I were personally making a reboot movie, I’d go for Frankenstein. Not only have I always loved that monster, but in the age of modern technology and medical science, there’s a lot of room to give it an authentic 21st century edge. I think the themes it explored are more relevant than ever. I wrote a Frank-inspired novella set in the 1950s—with gay protagonists—but I think a movie set in 2020 would be fantastic.