Boy, I wish Blogger wouldn’t insist on being in Polish. Here are photos from a beautiful Warsaw Sunday.
Hello from Poland! Here are a few photos from Warsaw, where the weather has been beautiful so far.
One bright spot in Pete’s year is Matthew, an easygoing graduate student who assists Pete in making his first film. Matthew has some baggage too, and has sworn off relationships and sex altogether, so Pete feels safe to enjoy their friendship. But he falls for Matthew anyway, not able to fight his growing conviction that Matthew is the perfect guy for him. Even if Pete can accept that he made a mistake when he turned his back on relationships, that doesn’t mean Matthew will feel the same. With a few life lessons under his belt, Pete’s ready to take a chance on love. As he finds the courage to bare his heart to Matthew, he can only hope that Matthew will take a chance with him.
I hope you’ll excuse the long post. But I have lots of things in the works right now and I wanted to give you a rundown of what to expect. Mark your calendars and warm up your credit cards! 😉
**October 21, 2013
Steamed Up, a steampunk anthology, releases from Dreamspinner Press. You can preorder at a discount today! It will include my short story “The Clockwork Heart” and 10 other great stories. Here’s the blurb for mine:
Dante Winter makes a living repairing broken things. Socially awkward and rejected by his father over his too-fanciful work, he’s alone in the world. Dante’s life changes when he finds a badly damaged male golem, a lifelike automaton created for service and pleasure. He does his best to fix the golem, whom he names Talon, and comes to find that the creature is very human—perhaps more human than Dante. But when Talon tempts him with something more than friendship, Dante must decide whether a clockwork heart is capable of love.
**October 23, 2013
I’m fleeing the country and spending over a month in Europe. Tune in here, on Twitter (@kfieldingwrites) and Facebook (http://www’facebook.com/kfieldingwrites) for photos and chatter from Poland, Croatia, and Bosnia.
**November 13, 2013
My novella Housekeeping releases. This is a fairly light contemporary–a bit of a break after the angst of The Tin Box. Paul Richmond is putting the finishing touches on an amazing cover right now. In the meantime, here’s the blurb:
When Nicky Hauser walks in on his restaurant-owner boyfriend having sex with a waiter, Nicky loses his lover, his job, and his home all in one night. Although he’s nearly thirty, he’s never settled on a true career, and he has nothing to show for his years with Tom. Depressed and unable to find work, Nicky ends up couch-surfing with friends until he lands a house-sitting gig for a wealthy family.When Nicky’s clients discover that he loves to clean, demand for his services skyrockets. Word of mouth leads him to Spencer Cartwright, a busy computer consultant and a slob. Spencer and his wife divorced when he came out, but he’s never found the time or courage to settle down with a man. As Nicky sets Spencer’s house to rights, the two men find friendship. But Nicky’s past experiences make him wary of risking everything on love.
My self-published novel Equipoise will be available FREE in Kindle format from Amazon. Equipoise is the third book in this dark fantasy trilogy. If you can’t wait until November and want to buy now, I donate 100% of my royalties from these books to Doctors Without Borders. Also, the first book, Stasis, is now available in audio version at Audible, Amazon, and other sellers. The audio versions of the other books will be available soon.
I’ll have a short Christmas story included in Dreamspinner’s holiday package. You can buy the entire package right now and receive a story a day in December. Or you can buy the stories individually in December.
Best friends Scott and Marco meet on a rooftop on Christmas Eve, each temporarily escaping from his difficult home life. With no gift to share, Marco instead promises to someday rescue Scott and take him to Alaska. As the years pass, they meet—first by design, then by chance—on occasional Christmas Eves, only to find life growing increasingly difficult. They treasure the few moments they have together, but will they ever reach Alaska?
**February or March 2014
My fantasy novel Pilgrimage releases. I don’t have a blurb yet, but this one is about a modern-day Californian who’s zapped to an alternate universe, where he must undertake a pilgrimage to a death god’s shrines. Good thing he has a hunky guide to help him out!
I’m collaborating with 3 fantastic authors on a gothic-type anthology. I’ve read their novellas and they are terrific. All very different in setting and all really enjoyable to read. My contribution is about a golem and is set in 18th century Eastern Europe.
I’ve just finished the first draft of my 10th(!) novel. It’s a paranormal involving a ghost, Route 66, and Las Vegas. I’ll keep you updated.
Future plans? I’m going to give NaNoWriMo a shot despite my travel schedule. I think I’ll probably start on the third Bones novel, this one focusing on Ery Phillips.
Whew! That’s a lot! Also, Brute is a finalist at the Rainbow Awards (winners announced in December). It already received Honorable Mention for high judges’ scores. The Tin Box has been nominated as the November book with the Goodreads M/M Romance group. Voting is going on now and I’d sure appreciate your vote!
I’ve already mentioned that one of my inspirations for The Tin Box was a former mental hospital. Other pieces of the story came from a family road trip. I recently drove that same route, so I thought I’d share a few pictures.
This is the very real town of Cathey’s Valley, California. Population 300 or so. Like Jelley’s Valley, it’s located in the grassy Sierra foothills. (In case you’re wondering about the name of Colby’s town, there’s a real Jelly’s Ferry–no second e–way up north in California. I liked the name.)
This bus stop is right across from the general store/post office (you can click on these pics to see them bigger).
And so is this gas station. I’m hoping the employees at the Texaco are a little friendlier than Donald Hall, who bears some ancient grudge against Colby’s family.
And this, of course, is the store and post office. Colby’s place doesn’t have a name, but the real one is the Oasis. It’s definitely the center of this little town, as well as a handy stopping point for people heading to or from Yosemite. Note the bulletin board outside the post office. Also, my Mini looks a little out of place there, although I can imagine Colby buying a similar car if he ever gives up on Bunny. As for the mail truck on the left, I think that’s exactly what Colby’s aunt drives.
There’s no Mexican restaurant in Jelley’s Valley (but there is a feed store). If Dos Hermanos really existed, it would be right where that sedan is parked. (Yes, you can buy gas at the Oasis too, but not from Colby. He’s busy enough as it is.)
Another shot of the store. Can you imagine Colby popping out that door, maybe joining William for a cold drink at that table?
The real post office is separated from the store by a wall, and the counter isn’t quite the same as in Colby’s place. It’s pretty close, though.
When William wants to do more shopping than Colby’s place allows, he heads into Mariposa, home of the Butterfly Festival. Both Mariposa and the festival are real.
No Frank’s Grab ‘Em in Mariposa–but you can buy Uggs. It’s a cute little place, isn’t it? I love these old mining towns. Highway 49 in California is lined with them.
Imagine Frank’s Grab ‘Em and the Java Joint just across from this gas station. They’re not really there of course, but they exist pretty firmly in my mind!
I hope you’ve been enjoying this series of inspiration posts. They’re going on hiatus for a little while because I’m about to head overseas for several weeks. Instead, I’ll post some pictures here from my travels in Poland, Croatia, and Bosnia. So stay tuned! Also, I have several new releases lined up, so check back here for news on those.
Garrett Leigh has taken time out of a busy schedule to answer some questions for us.
Next week: Mariposa and the real Jelley’s Valley
In my new novel, The Tin Box, William finds a series of letters written in secret by a man who was locked up in a mental hospital in the 1930s. Unfortunately, the treatment of mental illness has a long and very painful history.
I think I first became interested in the topic when I was in graduate school and we watched a documentary called Titticut Follies. The film was released in 1967, and it shows the inside of a Massachusetts hospital for the criminally insane. It was difficult to watch when I first saw it. I recently watched it again, and it was still very painful.
Until recently, people in the U.S. could be fairly easily hospitalized for a wide range of “conditions”–including homosexuality (more on that next week). And until modern pharmaceuticals were available, treatments were barbaric. All of the things mentioned in The Tin Box were really used: insulin shock therapy, electroshock, lobotomy. I think these procedures were born more out of desperation than cruelty, but the results were often terrible. In the 1940s and 1950s, tens of thousands of people were lobotomized in the US alone.
By the 1950s, the invention of new drugs helped pave the way for more humane and effective treatments, as well as less need to institutionalize people. However, the drugs created problems of their own. They are often overused or misused, and patients often don’t receive the outpatient care they need. Among other things, this means that quite a few mentally ill people end up in the prison system, which is poorly equipped to deal with them. Over 25% of inmates in US prisons suffer from a mental illness.
The Tin Box has a hopeful message for the future, but I think it’s important to remember where we’ve been and acknowledge where we are.
Some resources for more information:
Next week: Homosexuality as mental illness