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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Violet's Present now available

My longish short story "Violet's Present" is now available from Dreamspinner. Here's the blurb:

When Matt’s Great-great-aunt Violet dies, she leaves him a precious gift: a photo album he loved as a child. Then Matt starts having dreams—very good dreams—about Joseph, one of the men in the pictures from the 1940s. One morning when Matt wakes up, the bruises are still there. Could there be more to Violet’s present than he thought?

Visit Dreamspinner to read an excerpt or to buy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I'm Up To

I have five projects in various states of readiness.
  • My short story "Violet's Present" will be available June 1 from Dreamspinner Press. It's a longish short story, an angsty time travel piece with settings in 1940s Nebraska and Europe.
  • My novella Speechless will be available from Dreamspinner in July. The blurb:

Travis Miller has a job as a machinist, a cat named Elwood, and a pathetic love life. The one bright spot in his life is the handsome guitar player he sometimes passes on his way home from work. Finally working up the courage to speak to the man, Travis learns that Drew Clifton is suffering from aphasia—although Drew can understand everything, he is unable to speak or write. The two lonely men form a friendship that soon blossoms into romance. But communication is only one of their challenges, because there’s also Travis’s inexperience with love and his precarious financial situation. If words are the bridge between two people, what will keep them together?

  • My fantasy novel Brute is currently under consideration by a literary agent. This one is about a maimed, ugly giant and the effects of bullying and love.
  • Another novel--a gay romance set in Venice and other central European locales--is being edited to prepare it for submission.
  • A short story about a series of accidents will be submitted to the publisher soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: The Psychopath Test

I'm eclectic in my interests and reading lists. So today I'm posting a review of Jon Ronson's book The Psychopath Test: A Journey through the Madness Industry. It's a nonfiction exploration of modern diagnoses of mental illness.

Jon Ronson's writing is witty and engaging--so much so that I gobbled this book in one afternoon. The flashbacks, and occasional flashbacks within flashbacks, are a bit annoying, but over all the writing is a pleasure. He meets some truly fascinating people. The point of his book--that definitions of madness are subjective and labile--is an excellent one. So in general I recommend this book.

However, there are some problems with it. One is the subtitle, which is somewhat misleading. It might lead a person to assume that the book is about the considerable amount of money that is made from diagnoses of mental illness, but that's a topic that he touches on rather briefly. Second, and more importantly, he arrives at his main thesis in a rather roundabout way and rather belatedly. By the time he gets there, his conclusions seem well-supported, but for a long time it's unclear where the book is heading.

Drawbacks aside, the book is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

I give it four stars.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Good Bones on Sale

In celebration of Dreamspinner Press's 5th anniversary, Good Bones is 20% off in print and ebook versions. Sale ends May 31.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Voices in My Head

When we were little, I told my brother that dreams were actually movies shown by little guys in your head. I also told him that if he locked himself in the bathroom while we had a babysitter, candy would fall from the sky. He was deeply scarred by all of this: when he grew up, he became a lawyer.

But here’s the truth: there really are little guys in my head.

They’ve always been there, and there are actually two gangs of them. One gang is made up of voices I’ve heard in life, and those I’ve heard in the media (hi there, Spike!), and some of them were born right there in my skull. They tell me stories. Lately, for instance, I’ve heard quite a lot from a brave, ugly giant, as well as from a computer geek from Sacramento. I really like these guys, even the not-so-nice ones. You may have met some of them, such as the creepy wizard and the werewolf ex-boyfriend with control issues.

Unfortunately, there’s the other gang, too. I imagine they all look like Voldemort or Vezzini the Sicilian. And they only have one story to tell me: “You can’t.”

Now, for some reason I don’t quite understand, I’ve spent a lot of my life listening to the second gang. They’re pretty convincing. They convinced me I couldn’t write a novel, couldn’t get anything published, couldn’t drag my older kid to live for half a year in a country where we don’t speak the language.

It took me a long time, but fairly recently I’ve come to realize that the second gang is full of shit. I could do those things, and a lot more besides. Now, they’re still muttering, and sometimes I’m still listening. But now that I’ve learned to tell them to shut the fuck up, I’ve found that I can hear the first gang a whole lot better. I can hardly get their words down in print fast enough.

You know, listening to the voices in your head isn’t crazy—but listening to the wrong ones is just plain nuts.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I wear many hats, one of which is college professor. This time of year--when my grades have just been turned in!--I like to share bloopers from student papers and exams. So here we go. These are verbatim.

  • Whatever you do, don't claim to be a witch!! If so, get ready to be burned alive at the steak.
  • Fogging was also very common, which is being whipped or beaten.
  • If you ask me I think that trails by ordeal were forms of punishment as well.
  • People seen the punishment as harsh and this resulted in more crimes being committed and in sighted riots or revolts.
  • Before there were prisons or a pubic way to enforce crime, the world still had to punish people for their crimes.
  • Snapped judgment is a set of influenced assumptions open to a whole set of schemas that are judgmental.
  • NCAA is an anti-hate group.
  • In this research paper, I will be talking numerous events that were vigilante events in America that happened.
  • For the most part, compared to other countries, America might be considered similar and different for a variety of reasons.
  • Terrorism in general is a dangerous threat to the United State because of the political and religious reasons.
  • American citizen's loss a sense of security that day.
  • The intelligence process that the United States is a lot like a college research paper.
  • Is the exchange of something for sexual favors? It is also said to be the state of being prostitute.
  • One was either for or against it and both sides had good legal arguments to back up their believing's.
  • A pogrom is a program.
  • A pogrom is a thing Jewish people wear on their head.
  • A pogrom is a child born from a mixed race relation.
  • A pogrom is a type if antihate movement.

  • Is your head hurting now? Here's how I feel:

    Monday, May 21, 2012

    Thank you to everyone who visited and/or commented during the Hop Against Homophobia! Our lucky winner--and birthday girl!--is crowzma. :-)

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Hop and Book Giveaway

    Hi there! My name is Kim Fielding. I'm the author of several novels that feature gay characters. The links for the books are down on the lower right hand side of this page.

    My day job is professor. This semester, some of the students in one of my classes did a project that involved interviewing victims of hate crimes. Here's a brief excerpt from one of those interviews:

    When I was a junior my mom found out [I was gay]. She took me out of school, home-schooled me, and took me to church. She was hoping the priest could "cure" me. Throughout high school days I was occasionally beat up. I could deal with that. My mom wanting to cure me? That was just ridiculous because I did not need curing.... College is amazing. I have the occasional verbal taunt but for the most part I am accepted. That is such a good feeling.
    A reminder that hate sometimes begins at home. And that simple acceptance--such a basic thing really--can be a wonderful gift.
    I am giving away one ebook copy of my novel Good Bones! To win, simply comment here with your email address by midnight Pacific time on May 20. I'll choose a winner at random on the morning of the 21st, and will notify the winner via email.
    And while you're at it, follow me here or on Facebook. :-)
    For more posts and prizes, visit Hop Against Homophobia--and the other 200+ blogs that are participating.

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Hop against Homophobia

    I'll be taking part in the Hop against Homophobia May 17-20. As part of the festivities, I'll be giving away one ebook version of Good Bones. Check back here on the 17th for instructions on how to enter to win.

    Saturday, May 12, 2012


    As some of you know, I donate all my royalties from the Praesidium trilogy to Doctors Without Borders. Because of the generosity of those who have bought my books in the last few months, I was able yesterday to donate $350 to this excellent cause. It's a great organization, and I'm very happy that we can help them out.

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    I'm guest blogging today at Coffee and Porn in the Morning. Read my sort of coming out story and enter to win a copy of Good Bones.

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

    Here's an excerpt from my story "Violet's Present," which will be available in June (or you can pre-order now as part of the Time is Eternity package):

    Somehow, Matt wasn’t surprised when he looked up from his plate and saw Joseph standing beside his table, Aunt Violet at his side. “You don’t mind sharing with my bratty cousin, do you?” she asked.

    Joseph’s eyes were even more amazing in person, in color. They were somewhere between gray and blue, a shade that Matt hoped he could reproduce with his paints. Joseph wore blue jeans and a red-and-white-checked shirt, and looked both annoyed at Violet and intrigued by Matt.

    “Sure,” Matt said, his mouth suddenly so dry that he had to take a quick swallow of the cooling coffee.

    Joseph plopped down in the opposite seat and grinned. Matt’s heart almost stopped. “Pancakes and bacon,” Joseph said to Violet. “With the bacon done—”

    “Really crispy. I know.” She cuffed him lightly on the shoulder before she walked away.

    “Where are you from?” Joseph asked. His gaze was so piercing that Matt felt a little like an exhibit at the zoo. “And does everyone there have hair like that?” He gestured at Matt’s head.

    Matt ran his fingers self-consciously through his waves. He'd never had the patience for goos and creams like Brandon used, and he tended to go too long between cuts. “California. And yeah, a lot of guys do, I guess.”

    “California! I always wanted to visit there. Can you really pick oranges right off of trees? Do you know any movie stars? Do you lie on the beach all day?”

    “Yes on the oranges but no on the celebrities. And the beaches near me are damn cold.”

    Joseph leaned back in his chair, not even looking over when Violet plopped a glass of milk in front of him and then sailed away. “What’re you doing in the middle of nowhere? And how come you ain’t in uniform?”

    “I’m… passing through. On my way home after a funeral in Omaha. And I’m… I’m disqualified from the military.” Which was true enough, he supposed. In 2012 they might be celebrating the end of“don’t ask, don’t tell,” but back in 1942 he would not have been welcomed into the military, wartime or not.

    Arctic eyes narrowed in confusion, then widened in realization before narrowing again speculatively. “Disqualified, huh?” Joseph said.


    There was a brief pause. Joseph sipped his milk, giving himself a very faint mustache that Matt longed to lick away. Three farmers at a nearby table erupted into hacking laughs at some joke while Violet slammed plates down in front of an older couple who looked like they hadn’t smiled since the previous century.

    “I’m going in next week,” Joseph finally said, very quietly. “Army.”

    Matt’s heart clenched and his gut twisted. Could you puke in a dream? “I guess you have to,” he said.

    “I wanted to get a deferment while I went to college, but Mom and Dad couldn’t afford the tuition and… and here I am. Ready to do my duty. I guess.”

    “You’ll get to travel. See places way more interesting than California.” And bleed your life away onto foreign soil, he didn’t add.

    Thursday, May 3, 2012