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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Was it fate? Of course!

Hi there! I’m Kim Fielding. I just plucked this book off my younger daughter’s bed (which could double as a children’s lending library):

You’ll notice it’s rather well-used. That’s because it was originally mine, given to me by a family friend when I was 6 or 7. I remember rereading this book many times (and also admiring the gorgeous Rakham illustrations). I moved on to other books as I got older, but my taste for speculative fiction of all kinds has never dimmed. Fantasy, urban fantasy, magical realism, paranormal, fairy tales, mythology, horror, science fiction…. Whatever you want to call the specific genre, I often prefer my reading to contain at least a little magic.
My writing very often contains a little magic too. Why? Honestly, I don’t exactly know. It’s fun. It allows me to play with tropes and cross all sorts of boundaries. (Such as by creating a hipster architect werewolf or a vampire security guard.) It’s a way to escape my otherwise pretty ordinary life and yet still acknowledge the constancies of human nature. Really, who doesn’t want to play with the What If?
One of my very favorite ways to enjoy magic is when it’s sprinkled in very lightly among the mundane. Stories that do this—works by people like Neil Gaiman, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Charles de Lint, Christopher Moore—marry the everyday with the fantastic.
I’ve never really understood people who say they don’t like fantasy. Sure, not everyone gets off on elves and dragons. But this genre comes in so many shapes and flavors it seems to me that there should be something to please everyone.
The main character in my newest novel, Pilgrimage, claims not to like fantasy. (Although honestly? He seems to know a little bit too much about the genre for that to ring quite true.) He’s a fiscal analyst with a boring life in a boring part of California. Until, that is, he’s whisked away to an alternate universe and forced to undertake a pilgrimage to a death god’s shrines. Along the way, he meets Goran—who is fantastic in several senses of the word. Maybe Mike’s views are about to change.

Fiscal analyst Mike Carlson is good with spreadsheets and baseball stats. He doesn’t believe in fate, true love, or fantasy. But then a fertility goddess whisks him away to another world. A promise has been broken, and if Mike is ever to return to California—and his comfortable if lonely life—he must complete a pilgrimage to the shrines of a death goddess.

A humiliating event convinces Mike to hire a guard to accompany him, and hunky Goran is handy enough with a sword, if a little too liberal with his ale. A man with no home and no family, Goran is deeper than he first appears. As Mike learns more about Goran, his disbelief wavers and his goals become less clear. Contending with feuding gods, the challenges of the journey, and his growing attraction to Goran, Mike faces a puzzle far harder to solve than simple rows of numbers.

Pilgrimage is available in print and e-book versions from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, and all major booksellers.

Kim Fielding can be found at her blog:
On Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

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