Tia Fielding on Characters, Genderqueer, and the new release Four (Love by Numbers #2 (author guest blog)

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Four (Love by Numbers #2) by Tia Fielding

Dreamspinner Press
Published July 23rd 2019
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

Blog post:

Hi, I’m Tia, and I’m here to talk about… well, at first I didn’t have a clue about what I was going to write here. Promo posts can be the worst! I’ve also been at this blog before and answered interview questions, so I thought going another route this time.

So what should I write about? I thought about Four, the book I’m here to promote, and came to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, Kaos would like me to talk about identity. After all, that’s why there’s an author’s note in the front matter of Four.

See, both Kaos and myself identify as genderqueer. What is genderqueer exactly? Well, here’s the definition (of the adjective) you find if you google it:

Denoting or relating to a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.

Wikipedia goes on longer about it, but I’ll let you google that yourself. In short, “genderqueer” can be a blanket term for people who are nonbinary. There are many, many ways to be nonbinary, so some people like this word over the more concrete definitions.

In my personal life, gender doesn’t really play as much of a role at all, which is something that many cis-people (that is, people who are happy with the gender they were assigned at birth) don’t necessarily understand.

These days, you often hear the “But why do you have to kick up such a fuss over it? Why can’t you just be happy without being so vocal about your gender?” These things are 99% of the time said by cis-people.

I guess it’s hard to understand how it feels to be something else, to be other, when you never have had that feeling. If you’ve always felt comfortable with the gender assigned to you, how would you know how we, the non-binary people, feel?

So, let’s get back to genderqueer. For me personally, it feels good because it states that I’m non-binary, but it also has the word “queer” in it. I won’t even go to the whole discussion about “queer” and how some people still see it as a slur. It isn’t that for me, for me it’s badge I wear proudly.

Personally, I don’t feel feminine, or female, at all. But then I also don’t feel like I’m that masculine (on purpose) or that I want to be a man. If I wanted to, if I felt I was male, then that would make me transgender (if I chose that label for myself.)

Where does Kaos settle inside the same almost umbrella term? Well, he likes it because he isn’t transgender. He’s still a man, he still likes being a man, but he also has a side that’s very feminine. That side goes beyond liking makeup (say, like James Charles the makeup artist who still, to my knowledge, identifies as a man) with how he has what he likes to call “girly days.”

In Kaos’s mind, girl days are different. He starts to feel different during them. He feels maybe softer and more vulnerable in some ways, less ready for confrontation and above all, he likes to look feminine. He likes to wear blouses and/or skirts. He likes a jacket cut for a female shape.

But he doesn’t have gender or body dysphoria. He doesn’t hate his body, he likes it. He doesn’t need the parts that seem to go with the makeup and blouses in most people’s eyes. And that’s something I share with him.

While I don’t feel female (which is my assigned at birth gender), I don’t hate my “girl bits.” I don’t want “boy bits” either. If I could freely mix and match on daily basis, I probably would, if I’m completely honest, but I also know I’m not alone with that thought. Sadly the technology isn’t there yet, hahah!

The thing about labels is that they’re amazing when we get to decide them for ourselves. They help with feeling like we belong. Feeling like we’re on even ground after potentially floundering for a long time. It’s never too late to find a label that might just explain yourself to… yourself, and maybe even some others.

So if you ever encounter someone who doesn’t seem like they fit the label they say they are, remember this: their labels aren’t really for you and there’s no way for you to know how that person feels on the inside. For you, something might be simple, but to someone else, it might be the hardest thing to figure out in the whole wide world, and they might not be able to feel good about themselves before they do.

All in all, in Four, Kaos has gone through a lot, and some of it has been because he’s found his gender identity doesn’t match what he was assigned as a baby. Trusting all of it to the hands of Padraig isn’t going to be easy.

On the other hand, from Padraig’s point of view… well, he’s never liked anyone who isn’t purely male before. He’s never even been into feminine men. So getting a bit older and having to figure out your attractions might not run purely into the direction you’ve always thought they do can be a challenge.

I hope you enjoy Four and Kaos and Padraig’s journey together!

 

Blurb:

A Love by Numbers Story

When unlikely attraction blossoms between a twentysomething genderqueer tattoo artist and an older, small-town veterinarian, both are forced to face their pasts for a chance at a loving future.

Four years ago Padraig Donovan lost his husband, the only man he’d ever been with. Now his life consists of the work he loves, a big empty house, and the possibility of a lonely future.

Kaos’s experiments with makeup landed him in the hospital at the hands of his disapproving ex. With nowhere else to turn, he flees to Acker, Wisconsin… and runs into a sexy widower and the kindest man he’s ever met.

Padraig and Kaos know there’s something worth exploring between them, and as they raise a puppy and deal with the ups and downs of their respective jobs, they fit into each other’s lives in ways they never expected. Being with Kaos—who is so different than the guys he’s always been attracted to—opens up an exciting new world for Padraig. But can he convince Kaos to trust another man with his body… let alone his heart?

Author Bio:

Tia Fielding is a Finnish LGBTQ+ romance author. She lives in a small middle-of-nowhere town surrounded by nature and silence, just like she prefers. Tia identifies as genderqueer, but isn’t fussy about pronouns, because her native language doesn’t have gender-specific ones. She’s a lover of caffeine, sarcasm, peppermint, cats and dogs, sleeping and witty people.

Social Media:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authortiafielding/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/tiafielding

 

A Jeri Release Day Review: Ten (Love by Numbers #1) by Tia Fielding

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

This is a lovely hurt/comfort story that could have been super angsty given the material, but I don’t think it was.
Makai was exonerated of murder after spending 10 years in prison. He doesn’t want to go home, so he buys a cottage sight unseen in the town where his grandfather once lived and he had spent some time as a child.
Emil is still recovering after a brutal kidnapping 5 years earlier. Because his kidnapping was related to his father’s police work, the story was widespread. But in the little town they live in, the people are very protective of him.
Makai and Emil have two chance meetings and discover they would both like to at least explore more. But these guys are so so broken. Oddly enough they are able to come together and bond over a pregnant cat who adopted Makai as soon as he moved in and a precocious child who is gender fluid.
Makai is a gentle giant who is so attuned to Emil and his problems and wants to just take care of him and respect all of his boundaries. I feel like that a little bit came at the expense of Makai’s own issues. Most of the focus seemed to be on Emil. Which was ok because he seemed more damaged, but at the same time a little more attention could have been spent on Makai.
I absolutely loved Joie/Joy/Joey the gender fluid 5 year old. It was a nice way to introduce an identity we still aren’t seeing a lot of in books. I did notice that when they presented as a girl, the author used female pronouns. But when they presented as a boy they used they/them. That was a bit odd to me.
This story is very much about a relationship and two men coming to terms with not only what happened to each of them, but how to navigate loving someone within the parameters they set for themselves.
I have to say that in a lot of books, there is the conflict and then fairly soon after there is a happily ever after. In this story, this big conflict happens about 3/4 of the way in so then there is still a good amount of story after.
I liked the cover by Garrett Leigh and the feel of it represents Makai well but not really his looks. But it would still draw me in because if conveys the brokenness of the character.

Buy link:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon  

Book Details:
ebook, 218 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleTen
ISBN139781644051177
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ten-by-tia-fielding-10088-b
SeriesLove by Numbers #1

Tia Fielding on Writing, Major Influences, and her new story ‘Like Breathing by Tia Fielding’ (guest blog)

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Like Breathing by Tia Fielding 

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Buy links for Dreamspinner Press eBook and  Paperback |    Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tia Fielding here today sharing her thoughts on writing, characters and her latest novel, Like Breathing.  Welcome, Tia.

♦︎

 

Hi, I’m Tia Fielding, and I’m here to answer a few interview questions for you guys!

If I want to use an example, I’ll use one from my July 10th release, Like Breathing, so in case you’re picking it up, you will see what I mean in my answers here.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

I guess there will always be some similarities between my characters and I. In Like Breathing, Dev is a gamer like I am. Seth is oblivious to certain things, much like me. He likes his routines, and even though I’m not quite as anal as Seth can be, I’ve my routines too. Leaf… well, Leaf’s love for dogs and his loyalty to the people he loves is something I identify with. Also when I’m writing about Dev and Seth’s anxiety issues, I know that’s something I have too much experience with.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

I think some things are universal. Some characteristics are common between people from similar life situations and backgrounds. Not every character can be unique, because we all share experiences as people. I will say, however, that I hope my characters come across much more interesting than me as a person!

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I tend to like things I can research, mostly because I’m Finnish and I’ve lived in Finland my whole life. My stories are mostly set in the States, so the geographical location alone makes me have to research quite a bit, just to make it all sound plausible, if not 100% accurate! I’d love to write something sci-fi one day, or maybe something futuristic in a different way, but it does sound quite daunting for someone with my anxiety issues!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

No, not really. Well… I did read a lot of contemporary stories then, but my love was fantasy, and I don’t really like to write fantasy at all.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I have, if it has become too heavy for me to write at that moment. Or if I feel like I don’t have the right words to use about something heavy. I tend to write angsty stories, but they never get to the point of angst I think they will, mostly because while I love to read angst, I’m afraid of not pulling it off as a writer. Conflicts in my stories, whatever they might be, are always resolved pretty quickly.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I read a lot of gay romance, yes. I grew up reading fantasy, but Catherine Cookson was one of my favorites even in my teens, and she wrote (mostly historical) romances. There’s just certain type of escape that comes from reading romance, back then and now, too.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I don’t think I’ve taken any direct influence, at least not on purpose, from anyone, but some of my favorite authors I’ve admired for different reasons growing up and now are David and Leigh Eddings, Neil Gaiman, Catherine Cookson, Donna Tartt, Karin Slaughter, Astrid Lindgren, Tove Jansson, and a handful of Finnish authors, just to mention a few!

 

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

Somewhere calm. I love to write here at home at my own desk, on my big computer screen. I have ADHD, so it’s easy for me to have those “ooh, squirrel!” moments, and I’ve figured out a way that helps me write despite those. What I do, is that I have my manuscript on half my screen, and the other half is for, say a Netflix show. Then, whenever my mind tries to wander off somewhere, I click play on the show and let it run until my concentration gets back to me. Sometimes it’s ten seconds (honestly) and sometimes twenty minutes or something in between, but it works. It literally makes me able to write on the days when my ADHD is trying to kick my brain’s butt!

 

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write because I have to. It’s a part of me. I write to tell stories I want feel like telling at any given time, and I can just hope someone will enjoy them one they’re out there for everyone to read. If my stories give even a temporary escape from the madness that’s going on in the world or someone’s personal life, it’s the greatest gift I can get as a writer.

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

I’m starting a new series! It’s going to be set in Brighton, England, and well, let’s hope I can get it out of my head and to you guys, eventually!

Thanks so much for having me, and hope you enjoy your summer reading, whatever it might be!

Blurb:

A love as easy as breathing.

Life started out rocky for Devin Rice, but it’s turned out pretty well. He has adoptive parents and a brother who love him, and he works as a coder for his dad’s video game company. Romance is scarce, but a chance encounter leads to more than he ever expected.

While dropping off an assignment for his sick brother, Dev meets his mentor. Art history professor Seth Kent is brilliant and gorgeous, just what Dev has been looking for. Except that he’s in a long-term committed relationship.

Seth’s partner, Leaf, is older and sees the world differently due to his unusual upbringing. To him, the clear attraction between Seth and Dev isn’t a problem, it’s an unexpected gift. After all, Leaf is often on the road, going wherever rescue dogs need rehabilitation.

When Leaf meets Dev, all the missing pieces fall into place, and three men from different worlds and at different points in life fill each other’s empty spaces. For them, building a future together is the most natural thing in the world. But their unconventional love causes waves in their careers and family dynamics, and each man has his own doubts and fears to overcome.

About the Author

Tia Fielding is a thirtysomething Scandinavian who is a lover of witty people, words, cats, sarcasm, autumn, and the tiny beautiful things in life. Tia struggles with stubborn muses and depression, but both are things she has learned to live with. Tia identifies as genderqueer, but isn’t strict about pronouns. Why? Because luckily, in her native language there aren’t gender-specific pronouns. Being a reclusive author living with her fur-babies is another fact of life for Tia, among the need to write that seems to be a part of her psyche by now. In 2013 one of Tia’s novels was recognized by the industry’s Rainbow Awards in the Best LGBT Erotic Romance (Bobby Michaels Award) category.

Social media information:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/authortiafielding

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tiaf/

Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/tiafielding

A Stella Release Day Review: Where We Belong (States of Love) by Tia Fielding

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

where-we-belong-by-tia-fieldingIt all starts at a concert at the Red Rock Amphitheater in 2004. Blake just finished high school, Dusty is a college sophomore, and as soon as they meet, they know—they belong together. With Blake living in Nebraska and Dusty in Colorado, distance does its best to keep them apart.

For two years, it succeeds.

Then Blake flees his bigoted—and even dangerous—hometown.

Two years later, Blake and Dusty are getting their lives off the ground, with Blake trying to grow his computer repair business and Dusty working with kindergarteners. Dusty thinks there’s room in their hearts and their lives for their family to grow… he just has to figure out how to express that to Blake.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Where We Belong was perfect to me, it fits in it every little thing I love to find in my books. I’m a fan of these kind of stories, where the author bring me along in a beautiful journey through the  MCs lives during a long timeframe. In this new release by Tia Fielding, I followed Dusty and Blake throught twelve years and I learned to love them and their faimily year after year a little more.

Plus I love stories with children.

I saw Dusty the first time he laid eyes on the shy Blake, when both of them were forced to accompain one his best friend Holly, the other his wonderful mum Julia, to an Incubus concert.

The same day they took a hike together and discovered they had the same fierce passion for nature. That same day they discovered they were made for each other.

I saw Julia being forced to throw out of her home his own son, begging him among the tears to leave her, just to save Blake from the homophobic town they were living in. I saw Blake found a new home in Dusty arms with a simplicity lovely to watch.

And then I saw Dusty and Blake slowly working on building a future together, a real one, because there wasn’t a moment when they just for an instant doubted of having a future together. And later the idea of having a child became reality in the little and too smart Molly.

To me Where We Belong was a huge success, it’s exactly what I like to read, there was no drama, no mistakes to amend, everything went smoothly and I’d like to believe sometimes life can be easy and beautiful  like that.

The cover art by Garrett Leigh is perfect, adorable and cute as the book.

Sales Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 77 pages

Publication Date: November 30th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1634777972 (ISBN13: 9781634777971)

Edition Language English

An Alisa Release Day Review: One Step Forward by Tia Fielding

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

One Step ForwardSam Becker, a horse whisperer, agrees to take one last job before retiring to his Texas ranch. It’s clear as soon as he meets the Taylor family in Kentucky that he’s in for a challenge. What he doesn’t expect is the way his own wounds reopen. He’s never really dealt with the suicide of his mentally ill wife, and he won’t be able to ignore that hurt forever.

Joshua Taylor and his horse, Calla, were a force to be reckoned with on the eventing circuit until an accident ended their careers. Most of the pain is on the inside, however, and Sam knows those injuries are the slowest to mend. Sam’s unique methods help Calla and, surprisingly, Josh, but he’s still lost without riding. Their feelings for each other come hard and fast, and Josh starts his first steps of recovery, but Sam needs to return to Texas eventually. Even if Josh is able to move past the accident, they’ll still have a long and difficult journey to make before they can be together.

 

This was a nice story.  Sam knows he is in for a challenge when he meets Calla and Josh.  They are both lost without the other, so in order to help one he must work with both.

 

Sam and Josh are both pulled to each other when they meet, but hold themselves apart until an injured dog causes them to live together.  As they grow closer to each other they discover they both have more healing to do before they can move forward together.  Their time apart will tell if they are meant to be.

 

This story is told from both Sam and Josh’s point of view, which helps to know what they characters are feeling.  This story is well written, but I had a hard time connecting with the characters.  Most of this story Sam and Josh were apart from each other and had the belief that if it is meant to be it will happen.  That is a mindset I have a hard time to connect to, but it seems to work with these characters.  I still enjoyed the story and ending, it’s just not what I usually go for.

 

Cover art by AngstyG is nice and works well for this story.

 

Sales Links

        

 

 

Book Details:

ebook, 236 pages
Published: August 8, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN-13: 9781634776011
Edition Language: English