Make Someone Happy by Hank Fielder
Release Date: October 26, 2016
Cover artist: Paul Richmond
- Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from? A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?
Hank Fielder: Hi everyone! I’m privileged to be talking to you today about my new book, called “Make Someone Happy.” Inspiration is a great topic to start out with. I love that inspiration can be drawn from anywhere — from memories, personal experiences, from other stories, from dreams, from places and journeys. Even from thin air.
For my new novella, called “Make Someone Happy,” I started getting the idea based on a place: a modest little day spa. A friend gave me a gift certificate for a massage. I was excited and nervous at the same time. After all, someone you don’t know is rubbing you all over, in a good way! It’s not sexual, but it’s pretty intimate.
I started thinking, what if two massage therapists working together started to feel more than simple friendship for one another? What if one was experienced and self-assured? That’s Andre. What if the other guy was new to the job, not as good at it yet — and secretly falling hard for his friend and co-worker? This is Joe, the main character. I decided it would be fun to throw in a little magic and help our inexperienced hero Joe with a magic wish: to have a magic touch. The massage he gives Andre leads them both on a journey of intimacy, passion and desire — and trouble.
Magic can lead to unforeseen consequences, in love and in fortune. At the center of the story is the love shared between Joe and Andre, and the test of true love is the story’s main conflict.
- Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else? Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?
HF: It’s great that MM romance offers a chance to explore so many different genres. I’d always wanted to write an urban fantasy. I knew I wanted to try a light touch in a fantasy story of genuine passion, with real stakes involved.
In “Make Someone Happy,” Joe is skeptical about magic; he’s never thought about it much. But when a beautiful “good” witch, who happens to be giving up white magic because of its unforeseen consequences, offers Joe a single wish, he plays along. He’s done the witch a great favor — he rescued her kitten, named Angel. We’re off and running.
I’ve tried to keep the story urban, contemporary and real, with real life problems. And that’s what I love about urban fantasy. If the story works, it opens our eyes to the “real” magic all around us. The miracles of falling in love, of crisp autumn nights, of the deep bonds we can share with another person — that puts the sparkle in your day. Or put another way, playing with the urban fantasy genre is simply another way of enjoying the fun of story itself, of entering a magical world.
- Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?
HF: I think so, yes. Even baddies can be reader favorites, right? Who doesn’t “like” Dracula, for example? So timelessly wrought, so impeccably evil. Or the Wicked Witch of the West. We don’t want her to win, but we have a blast rooting against a worthy antagonist.
But I like my good guys best. I can’t help but like Joe Wells, the hero of “Make Someone Happy.” Andre is gorgeous and kind, but Joe is such an everyday guy, keeping his spirits up even when he thinks he’s going to lose his job; even when he wonders how he’s going to win the love of Andre. I relate to his struggles, and his joys.
Nick Davanger from my novel “Emerald Idol” is another favorite of mine. (Well, you asked!) He faces up to his demons and triumphs.
- How early in your life did you begin writing?
HF: I used to draw heaps of primitive little comic strips when I was a kid. I actually hear of lots of adult authors who started this way. I tried to write seriously when I was in school and I just kept at it. I’m always reading and can barely remember when I wasn’t. Anyone reading this knows the love of which I speak.
- Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?
HF: We always had a lot of books and I took to fairy tales like an ugly duckling to water. Hans Christian Andersen, Roald Dahl and Charles Dickens wrote the kinds of stories I and millions of others remember so fondly. I see no reason to stop reading them now or ever, even if I’m lucky and live to be 100. Who could forget James and his giant peach, or the Snow Queen, or the Little Match Girl? These storytellers are the giants I look up to.
- Anything else you’d like to say about “Make Someone Happy”?
Just that I hope readers will enjoy it and find a little magic in a simple urban tale. And that they laugh at the funny parts!
About Make Someone Happy
Massage therapist Joe Wells is in a little over his head with his first job at the posh Magic Touch Sports Spa. He’s also secretly falling for his friendly, sexy coworker, the top-notch masseur Andre Swift. All the clients clamor for Andre, and so far none have taken to Joe.
On the verge of being fired, Joe saves the life of a mysterious kitten belonging to a white witch, who grants him a wish: a magic touch that could save his job and maybe even win him Andre’s love and respect. As Joe’s stock at the spa rises to crazy and barely manageable levels of success, demand for Andre’s services drops off. Will Joe lose Andre to an out-of-control spell? Or worse—Andre’s love might prove to be only a result of the magic, just like Joe’s sudden talent.
About the Author ~ Hank Fielder
Hank Fielder is from Wisconsin and has lived in London and California. A passionate devotee of soulful romantic music, he has worked a variety of jobs, but his favorite occupation is storyteller. He counts his blessings every night before bed. His published books and stories include MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY, EMERALD IDOL, WHEN WE PICKED APPLES LAST AUTUMN, and CHRISTMAS IN THE JOINT