Kim Fielding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nuff said.
DSP Publications has just released my novel Flux. It’s the second edition of the second novel I ever wrote, and it’s the second in the Ennek series. Hooray for seconds!
I used to think I was incapable of writing a novel. I wrote plenty of short stories, but a novel seemed so daunting. All those words! For years I carried the firm conviction that I couldn’t possibly manage anything that long.
Two things changed my outlook.
The first was fan fiction. I started reading it. Um, sort of a lot of it, actually. I suppose it could have been in any fandom, but I ended up in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and specifically I ended up in the world of Spike slash fics. Oh, my beloved Spike. And after reading a whole lot of stories in which Spike hooks up with just about any other male character, I had a plot bunny (It must be bunnies!). And one day I sat down at my computer and began to write. I wasn’t thinking, Gonna write me a novel because this was just fanfic, right? I really just wanted to do some fairly awful things to Spike, have Xander rescue him, and give them a happy ending (in both senses of the phrase).
By the time I looked up from my screen again, I’d written 118,000 words. Holy crap. That’s the length of a fairly long novel. Hmm. I wrote more fanfic after that—something like 125 stories in all—and although some were short, a lot of them weren’t. A few even exceeded that first one; I think my longest was over 135,000 words.
You know what? I thought. Maybe I can write a novel after all.
Around about then I heard of NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month—in which people endeavor to write a short novel (50K words) during the month of November. I decided to give it a shot—and ended up with Stasis (which is longer than 50K). Flux came the following year, and then Equipoise. Having finished the trilogy, during my fourth NaNo attempt I wrote Good Bones—which became a trilogy itself and was also my first professionally published novel.
Right now, I’m working on my 18th novel. Eighteen. My books have come out on audio and have been translated into five languages. One of my shorter pieces was translated into Japanese and published in a yaoi magazine, making me (temporarily, at least) the coolest mom in town. And what I have to thank for it all are Spike and NaNoWriMo.
I’ve previously told the moral of this story: don’t convince yourself you can’t do things. (At least not before you try them. I am convinced that I cannot ski without risk of grievous injury, but that’s based on experience.) But I also think this is a good opportunity to reflect on the strange places the path of life leads us to. I began with vampire fanfic and ended up here. Who knows where I’ll be tomorrow!
Which takes me back to Flux. (See how I did that? Clever!) In this book, Ennek and Miner travel a winding path indeed, encountering many dangers and surprises. I hope you’ll decide to join them.
Ennek, the son of Praesidium’s Chief, has rescued Miner from a terrible fate: suspension in a dreamless frozen state called Stasis, the punishment for traitors. As the two men flee Praesidium by sea, their adventures are only beginning. Although they may be free from the tyranny of their homeland, new difficulties await them as Miner faces the continuing consequences of his slavery and Ennek struggles with controlling his newfound powers as a wizard.
Now fugitives, Ennek and Miner encounter challenges both human and magical as they explore new lands and their deepening relationship with each other.
They shouldn’t have wasted moisture on tears. The vomiting hadn’t helped either. By the time the sun set, the bits of Miner’s exposed skin—his face, his hands—felt hot and sore, and both men were as dry as old paper. Ennek had slept most of the day, slumped against Miner’s chest, but as the sky alit with oranges and reds, he stirred.
“I’m sorry,” he said in a sandpaper voice.
“Not being… better. Stronger. Smarter.”
Miner wasn’t sure whether to laugh at Ennek’s foolishness or cry at the man’s inability to see his own worth. He ended up doing neither, instead caressing Ennek’s back under the shredded shirt, murmuring nonsense syllables at him like a parent might to a distressed child. After a time Ennek pulled away a little. His eyes were very shiny, but he wasn’t crying. “I think we’re not far from land,” he said.
“I saw a gull this morning.”
Ennek nodded. “Good. I can try to steer us to shore. I’m not sure how soon I can row us there, though—”
“You’re in no condition to row us anywhere,” Miner said, because Ennek was still pale and drawn.
“Well, neither are you.” Ennek pointed at Miner’s wrist. Then he frowned and took a closer look at the cut on Miner’s arm. “And this is beginning to fester. You’re dehydrated too.”
“So are you. So much water and nothing to drink.”
Ennek looked out over the edge of the boat and frowned in concentration. “I’ll wager I could remove the salt,” he said, almost to himself.
“You’ve already made yourself sick enough doing magic,” Miner protested.
But Ennek ignored him. He knelt and leaned over the side, scooping up a double handful of sea. Then his frown deepened for a moment and he brought his hands to his face. He sipped cautiously at the liquid and then grinned triumphantly. “It worked! Come here.”
Miner considered arguing but decided that would be pointless. He scooted around until he was next to Ennek, also along the side of the boat.
“Get some water,” Ennek said.
Miner stole a glance over the edge and imagined himself hanging over as Ennek had just done. “I… I can’t.”
Ennek gave him a patient smile. “That’s all right. It probably wouldn’t have worked with your wrist anyway. Hang on.” He leaned over again and brought up more water. “Drink it before it drips away.”
Miner leaned down and put his lips above Ennek’s palms. It was a strangely intimate thing to do, to drink from someone else’s cupped hands. But the water tasted only a bit brackish, and it felt wonderful as it moistened his tongue and throat. He drank it all, and then Ennek gave him another handful and another, and he would have kept on going, but when Miner saw him begin to sway and noticed the way his breaths became harsher, Miner stopped him. “Drink some yourself,” he insisted.
Ennek managed to drink only two handfuls before he collapsed.
“Don’t you dare throw up that water!” Miner said anxiously, moving Ennek’s head into his lap.
“Trying not to.”
Miner rubbed softly at Ennek’s temple. He didn’t know if would help, but he doubted it would hurt. He felt so useless, just sitting there like a great, timid lump. Ennek closed his eyes, and Miner thought he might have fallen asleep. But then ten or fifteen minutes later, he opened them again. “This is a stupid way to die.”
Kim Fielding is very pleased every time someone calls her eclectic. Her books have won Rainbow Awards and span a variety of genres. She has migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States and currently lives in California, where she long ago ran out of bookshelf space. She’s a university professor who dreams of being able to travel and write full time. She also dreams of having two perfectly behaved children, a husband who isn’t obsessed with football, and a house that cleans itself. Some dreams are more easily obtained than others.