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

 

Tia Fielding on Major Influences in Writing, Characters, and her new release and series Ten (Love by Numbers #1) (author guest blog)

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Ten (Love by Numbers #1) by Tia Fielding

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Buy link:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon  

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Tia Fielding

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

You could definitely say so. I’m Finnish, so I haven’t read a lot of the classics people read in high school in the States, for example. I had the freedom to read whatever I wanted, because my parents were and are readers.

I read a lot of fantasy, which hasn’t really carried to my own writing for some reason. I guess I’m still waiting for the inspiration for that? Creating a fantasy world of your own is tricky, and the closest I’ve really gotten are my vampire novel Technically Dead and my shifter series, Finnshifters.

I did, however, read a lot of young adult novels, horse-related stories, and definitely a lot of straight romance when I got to my teens. There’s a women’s magazine in Finland that still has a reader-submission based part where people could send their sexual fantasies. Really explicit stuff. I started to read that in secret when I was around… 12, maybe.

I wonder if that over-exposition to erotica led to my not being too keen on erotica now? Or not really writing sex for the sake of sex?

In any case, I read a lot of romance especially in my teen years. Carolyn Cookson was my hero for some reason, back then. I don’t write historicals, it’s not my genre even as a reader these days, but the romance stuck, at least!

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

My favorite book of all time is Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. That book has no extra words. The language is very exact and measured, and yes she might’ve written it in something like a decade, so definitely not something I could do, but it still left a mark.

Now, you have to remember I’m not a native English speaker, so my writing will always be different because of that. I did start to read in English more in my twenties, which has helped, but until that, my influences would’ve been different, less language based.

I was first published when I’d just turned thirty, and I have to say that the influence that got me to that point were all the awesome fan fiction writers around me in fandom spaces on the internet. I got some courage to write fan fiction and then to try being published, and somehow here I am soon eight years later, still going strong!

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

Is it cliché or fake sounding if I say the new series? Love by Numbers, of which Ten is the first book, is turning into a labor of love for me. The characters and the town I’ve  created for them has wrapped me around their little fingers extremely tightly.

The next book in the series, called Four, is going to be out sometime during the summer this year, by the way. So if you like the people of Acker, Wisconsin, as much as I do, don’t worry, there’ll be more to come soon!

Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

I chuckled when I saw this question, to be honest. I’ve literally started to write book number three today, and one of the main characters from that one is tricky to redeem, let’s put it like that. I love him to bits, he’s so complex, but it’s breaking my heart a little, writing him. Redeeming him to the reader, let alone the characters in the series, is going to be… interesting.

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

 I write to show a different-from-the-norm kind of life. That people can be different and still become happy and safe and loved. They can overcome obstacles of many kinds and still find a family to belong in, people to surround themselves with, and that forever kind of love most people dream of.

Hopefully my stories give the reader a way to escape their daily life for a little bit, and if I manage to give them something to think about, then I’ve definitely done my job well!

Blurb:

Can two broken men build one life?

Ten years.

That’s what Makai lost for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s been exonerated, but the abuse he suffered in prison isn’t so easy to leave behind. He heads to the one place he remembers being happy: Acker, Wisconsin, where he spent summers with his grandpa. Unfortunately, not everyone wants Makai there.

Ten days.

That’s how long Emil, now twenty-one, was held prisoner as a teenager. The mental and physical injuries he suffered at the hands of a drug trafficking ring still haunt him.

Nightmares, anxiety, and PTSD challenge the connection forming between Makai and Emil, though together, they might find a way to move beyond their pain and into a future—and a relationship—that both had thought impossible.

Now they just have to convince Emil’s father, the town sheriff. It won’t be easy with danger closer than they know….

 

About the Author 

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/

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/tiafielding