Tower of the Ice Lord and theme songs with Anne Mok

July 2, 2015

Many years ago, I read a book called Bad Voltage by Jonathan Littell. On the last page, the author listed the songs that had inspired him while writing the story, and said, “If you liked the movie, this is the soundtrack.”

Those words blew me away. A soundtrack for a book? How cool was that idea?

Ever since then, I’ve been alive to the possibility of songs that would fit the stories I’m writing. It’s a lot of fun to hear a song come onto the radio and think, “Wait, that would be the perfect theme song for this character!” Sometimes I also imagine what song would be playing in the climactic scene, or over the end credits. It’s like getting to compile a mixtape for a friend.

For Tower of the Ice Lord, that perfect theme song is “Force of Nature”, from the musical The Fourth Messenger by Tanya Shaffer and Vienna Teng. I fell in love with it as soon as I heard it. Although the song is about enlightenment, I think it also works as a song about love being a force of nature, as well as about the battle between the human world and the natural world. And I adore the chorus, with its beautiful images of the moon turning tides and the sun melting ice – just like how meeting the right person can change your world forever.

You can listen to the song here:
http://thefourthmessenger.com/music/

Do you have songs you associate with your favourite books and characters?

Tower of the Ice Lord cover

Tower of the Ice Lord

Buy link: Tower of the Ice Lord
My website: annemok.com

Tower of the Ice Lord release party with Anne Mok

July 2, 2015

Hello! I’m Anne, posting from Sydney, Australia. My first novella, Tower of the Ice Lord, was released by Dreamspinner on 1 July. Looking forward to chatting with you all today!

Tower of the Ice Lord cover

Tower of the Ice Lord

I’m an avid reader, and some of genres I love are fantasy, science fiction, romance, historical, and mystery. Tower of the Ice Lord is a fantasy romance, and it was exciting to take what I enjoy most about these two genres and blend them together: the sense of wonder of fantasy, and the slow burn fire of romance.

Here’s the blurb:

Don’t you believe someone can love enough to die for another?

Arius the sorcerer has lived in solitude for centuries, watching over his frozen tundra and sending his ice wolves against the kingdom of Evernesse. Only a sacrifice of royal blood can end the war, and it comes when Loren, son of the king of Evernesse, arrives at the Ice Lord’s tower, willing to die to procure peace. Though stunned and mistrustful, Arius agrees. But as the fateful day draws nearer, Arius learns Loren’s bravery and commitment run deeper than he suspected, and Loren begins to see the lonely man beneath the Ice Lord’s mask. Arius’s god demands a sacrifice, Loren might be his people’s only hope, and both men must choose between the conflicting demands of duty and love.

Fantasy is often about saving the world with heroic acts of courage. Romance takes a different kind of courage: the courage to trust, to believe, and to open your heart to someone else.

What are your favourite things about the genres you love? Are there genres you like seeing combined together?

Buy link: Tower of the Ice Lord
My website: annemok.com

Astounding future

June 26, 2015

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the release party for Astounding! I have to sign off soon to go pack for tomorrow’s trip. Ugh. I travel a lot, yet I still hate packing.

While I’m in the Pacific Northwest, I’ll be participating in a couple of author readings. If you’re in the Seattle or Portland areas, I’d love to see you. Details are here: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/events/

I also hope to do some writing while I’m up there. I’ll be spending a bit of time on the farm that inspired my Bones books. I’m hoping to catch sight of a sexy water sprite, sexy werewolf, or sexy handyman while I’m there. Or maybe a dream unicorn or Bigfoot. I’ll also probably be finishing up the edits on my 13th novel, Rattlesnake, which comes out at the end of August. And my novella for the 4th book in the Gothika series, Spirit. That one comes out in October, with ghost stories by Eli Easton, Jamie Fessenden, and B.G. Thomas.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll check out Astounding! http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6587

Now, as you finish off your cool drinks and desserts, and perhaps plan your marriage equality celebrations, I have one last question for you. What do you most wish I’d work on next? You can take a peek at my upcoming releases if that will help: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/upcoming-releases/ . Is there a genre you’d love to see me tackle? A couple you’d like to hear more from? Do tell!

Astounding_postcard_front_DSP

The Astounding Central Valley?

June 26, 2015

Okay, so, California. What comes to mind? Palm trees and movie stars? San Francisco? Big Sur? Napa? Yeah, we got all that—but not where I live. I’m in the middle part of the state, the San Joaquin Valley, the part everyone else drives through on their way to somewhere else. We are the Nebraska of California.

This is what it looked like around here hundreds of years ago:

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Grasslands, wetlands, a few trees. Nowadays we have almond orchards, dairy cattle, and strip malls. Not the most exotic place in the world.

Not too many books have been set around here. Um, except Grapes of Wrath, which doesn’t exactly add to our mystique. But some pivotal scenes in my new book, Astounding!, happen right here, halfway between Yosemite and San Francisco. In these very strip malls!

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Something very unfortunate happens in that Fairfield Inn.

I’ve lived here for a couple of decades, long enough to appreciate some of the local charms. Like produce stands where I can get wonderful fruits and veggies much of the year. There are several within a few miles of my house. The cost of living is reasonable by California standards. We have lots of diversity. My neighbors speak Punjabi, Assyrian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Filipino. When I go for my daily walks, I see dozens of adorable little fence lizards and a wide range of birds. And when the heat and the boredom get to me, I can hop in my car and be in the mountains, the desert, the coast, or the Bay Area, all within a couple of hours.

So here’s my second giveaway. Tell me what some of the unsung attractions are wherever you live (remember to include your email address). On Sunday I’ll randomly choose one commenter to win the audiobook of my novel The Tin Box, narrated by the amazing KC Kelly.

 

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6587

Astounding Career Changes

June 26, 2015

So… career changes. Have you ever found your job life dead-ended or heading off in an unexpected direction? It can be stressful, but it can also be a chance to start something new and maybe better.

Last year, my husband got laid off from a job he wasn’t all that thrilled with. But then he spent a couple of months being a househusband, which—aside from the lack of paycheck—was wonderful. He taxied the kids everywhere, did the shopping and made dinner, and fixed a bunch of things around the house. We were both pretty happy, apart from the drop in income. And then he eventually found a new job with a fire department (he’s an accountant, not a fireman). But… firemen! I was thrilled. And he loves the new job. So this story had a happy ending.

firemen

 

No, neither one of them is my husband.

As for me, I’ve kept the day job that I’ve had for the past 22 years. But a few years ago I published my first novel, and now I have a whole other career—my dream career!—as an author. I am… not a kid. I guess you’re never too old to start something new.

In my new novel, Astounding!, Carter Evans is facing the end of his job as editor because his magazine is dying. He’s not handling it well. He sees it as a failure rather than an opportunity, and the booze isn’t helping any. And then he meets John….

What career twists has your life taken? Is there a new job you’d love to try? What do you want to be when you grow up?

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6587

The Astounding Tab Hunter

June 26, 2015

Let me tell you about Tab Hunter.  I’ve been reading his autobiography (http://www.amazon.com/Tab-Hunter-Confidential-Making-Movie-ebook/dp/B003ZYEZ8Q/ 1). He was one of the big teen-heartthrob actors of the 1950s, although that was an image created for him by his agents and the studios. But you can see why:

tab1

 

Heck, the man’s in his 80s and still looks good:

tab2

 

Like several other actors of the time, he had to keep quiet about being gay. In his book, he says Hollywood people knew about him and others, but kept that aspect private. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to lead a double life while being so much in the public eye.

I’m really enjoying his book. And one of the main characters in my newest book, Astounding!, looks just like him. John Harper claims to be an alien who arrived on Earth in the 1950s and took on the appearance of a popular actor, then stuck around. The other protagonist, Carter Evans, is highly skeptical. But he certainly finds John attractive.

You can read more about them in the book: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6587

Do you have a favorite actor from the ’50s? James Dean maybe? Cary Grant? Rock Hudson? If you were an alien come to Earth, which actor or actress would you choose to look like?

 

Road Trip and a Giveaway

June 26, 2015

So we’re here to celebrate the release of Astounding! (among other things), and I want to talk about road trips.

Astounding_postcard_front_DSPhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6587

 

In the book, Carter’s friends invite him along on a road trip in a rented RV, and he impulsively asks John Harper to join them. John is a terrible writer who looks like Tab Hunter and claims to be an extraterrestrial. So it might end up being a slightly strange road trip, but hey. I’ve driven cross-country with toddlers. I’d prefer an alien.

Carter’s trip begins in Seattle, continues south through Portland, and ends up at Yosemite National Park. And the timing is perfect, because tomorrow morning I’ll be making almost the exact same journey, only in reverse. I live a couple of hours west of Yosemite. With my husband and younger daughter, I’ll be driving up to Portland (where my older daughter has spent the past month) and then eventually to Seattle. I will be traveling with a teen and a preteen—travel companions as mysterious as any alien could be.

Have you taken a memorable road trip? Or do you dream of one? Tell me about it in a comment here (and be sure to include your email address). I’ll randomly choose 1 commenter on Sunday, June 28—when I’ll be in Portland!—to win an e-copy of my novella Grown-up.

 

An Astounding Day!

June 26, 2015

Today truly is an astounding day—and not just because my book came out. It’s been such a joy to see my social media feeds explode with rainbows and happiness over today’s marriage equality ruling. And it’s about damned time—but in a way, this change has come pretty quickly. Just a few years ago, most Americans opposed marriage equality. And then, well, I suppose they saw a few same-sex marriages happen and the world did not stop spinning. Imagine that!

I think most younger people see the need for marriage equality as being as obvious as racial equality. This is a change too. When I started university teaching 22 years ago—in a conservative part of California (yes, such a place exists!)—most of my students were pretty openly homophobic. Today? Even the butchest of straight boys tell the class that if some guy hits on them in a bar, they’ll happily take the free drink and then say “No thanks.”

This morning I told my 12-year-old that the Supreme Court had ruled that the Constitution protects marriage equality. She rolled her eyes. “No duh,” she said.

How great is it that we’ve gone from throwing people in prison because of whom they love to “no duh”?

150626120402-10-same-sex-reaction-0626-exlarge-169 Will you be celebrating today’s ruling?

Time for an Astounding! release day party!

June 26, 2015

Hi everyone! I’m Kim Fielding and I’m here to celebrate today’s release of my 12th novel, Astounding! Yes, there’s an exclamation point in the title. After Motel. Pool. I swore off punctuation in titles, but you can see how long that resolution lasted.

Thank you for joining me! So let’s party! Do you have a cold drink at hand?

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Good.

How about something to eat?

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Excellent. We’re all ready to go. Stay tuned, because later I’ll do some giveaways.

The new book is called Astounding! Paul Richmond designed the cover as a tribute to pulp spec-fic magazines. And that’s perfect, because the book starts with Carter Evans, who’s the founder and editor-in-chief of a magazine in its death throes. Here’s the blurb:

 

Carter Evans is founder and editor-in-chief of Astounding!—a formerly popular spec-fiction magazine currently in its death throes. Not only can he do nothing to save it, but stuck in a rathole apartment with few interpersonal connections, he can’t seem to do much to rescue his future either. And certainly all the booze isn’t helping. He snaps when he receives yet another terrible story submission from the mysterious writer J. Harper—and in a drunken haze, Carter sends Harper a rejection letter he soon regrets.

J. Harper turns out to be John Harper, a sweet man who resembles a ’50s movie star and claims to be an extraterrestrial. Despite John’s delusions, Carter’s apology quickly turns into something more as the two lonely men find a powerful connection. Inexplicably drawn to John, Carter invites him along on a road trip. But as they travel, Carter is in for some big surprises, some major heartbreak… and just maybe the promise of a good future after all.

 

And here’s the cover and buy link. So click over for your copy, and I’ll stick around here to chat. What else are you up to this Friday evening?

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6587

Astounding_postcard_front_DSP

 

The Elephant in the Room

June 22, 2015

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

There are some issues that I don’t address in this book that I plan to address in later books. I am not waiting for reviews to see if someone picks up on it, but I will point it out, and talk about it briefly. It’s the elephant in the room. Ollie has an eating disorder.

It’s hinted at in several instances. He has to go in for regular weigh-ins. His doctor is always checking his vitamin levels. Will and B are always urging him to eat. Ollie has an untreated problem. Well, a partially treated problem.

There’s a common misconception that men don’t get eating disorders. Sadly, in this world of selfies and Instagram, the occurrences of young men facing eating disorders to try to look good (as the world perceives good) is growing exponentially. I directly address the issue of body dysmorphic disorder in my new adult novel Unicorns and Rainbow Poop, but in Model Citizen we’re seeing a man with pretty bad anorexia. He makes off-hand comments about himself. He forgets to eat until his friends have to threaten to hospitalize him because his weight drops so low. And he goes on binges that are often followed by purges.

Because Ollie is an adult, he has to acknowledge the problem himself before he can begin to treat it. Kade, Will, and Britney all know he has a problem. They are very careful about dancing around the issue. Kade is a little pushier, trying to get Ollie to eat, and that is not always the right thing. But just like a regular couple, it will be an issue they have to learn to work on together.

 

“Back when I was modeling and I’d see the pictures afterward and think, wow, is that really me? The hours in makeup and hundreds of poses certainly don’t feel glamorous. When I first began modeling, I was too heavy to model women’s clothing and too thin for men’s. The fame didn’t really start to sink in until people began recognizing me. And then I started dating. For a while I felt powerful and beautiful.” Jacob had crushed that.

“You don’t feel beautiful anymore?”

I shrugged. “I’ve put on more weight than I should. I still work out a lot. Cardio, watch my diet, yoga, and very minimal weight training so I don’t bulk up. But I just don’t feel like I used to.”

 

All of these things he’s doing are what is recommended to keep healthy. However, his attitude toward himself is not. Our world has propagated making people feel bad about themselves. We’re bombarded by media every second of every day with images of what we should look like and how we should lose weight. They tell us no one will love us if we don’t look a certain way. And we can’t love ourselves. So what’s left?

Kade begins to give Ollie hope. Maybe it’s okay that he’s not perfect, not skinny enough, or too feminine. Maybe, just maybe, Kade can love him the way he is and then Ollie can find a reason to love himself. I’d like to think this is Ollie’s anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc

We all have things we hate about ourselves. But I don’t want to hear about those. I want to know: What is the one thing you think really makes you incredible? What makes you, you?

For me, it’s this weird brain of multiple worlds and characters that is always on inside my head. Stories every second of everyday, replayed in over a thousand ways. So what makes you, you?

Thanks so much for joining me for a walk through my new release. All prizes will be chosen tomorrow so everyone has a few hours to read, think, and reply. :) Happy reading!

 

ModelCitizenFS

Booklist:

Model Citizen (DSP)

Hidden Gem (DSP)

Evolution (DSPP)

On the Right Track (Harmony Ink) Sam Kadence

Unicorns and Rainbow Poop (Harmony Ink) Sam Kadence

Inheritance (Lissa Kasey)

Reclamation (Lissa Kasey)