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message 1: by Dreamspinner (new)

Dreamspinner Press (dreamspinnerpress) | 2637 comments Mod
Meet Hank Fielder, author of When We Picked Apples Last Autumn, on Sunday, August 25 2013 from 3 to 5pm EST.


message 2: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Hi everyone, I am excited to be here for my first ever AUTHOR CHAT! Please say hello and ask anything you want, and share your thoughts on whatever’s on your mind.

I’m going to share a bunch of random thoughts about writing, romance, art, culture, life, etc.; conduct a free book give-away; and tell you about my new novella, published by Dreamspinner Press, called WHEN WE PICKED APPLES LAST AUTUMN.


message 3: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments "It is the tale, not he who tells it."

Legend engraved in the keystone of the arch over the fireplace at a secretive club, 249B East Thirty-fifth Street, in New York (from Stephen King’s “The Breathing Method.”)


message 4: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Here’s the book jacket copy/summary of my new ebook:

WHEN WE PICKED APPLES LAST AUTUMN


At twenty-eight, Josh Adams has more than a few secrets and personal demons. He’s an international traveler and doesn’t think he’ll ever be ready for the serious attention handsome and heroic airline pilot Benny Mills is ready to pay him. Their shared near-death experience seems to clarify everything for Benny, who wants nothing more than to share his stunning home in an idyllic Wisconsin apple orchard with Josh.

Benny offers commitment and a contented life of peaceful, loving comradeship far from the high-flying hazards of foreign travel. But for sexy love-’em-and-leave-’em-hot Josh, only another life-and-death adventure can convince him that the smoking heat of their mutual attraction is destined to be more than a hit-and-run entertainment.

With time running out, finding refuge from his increasingly dangerous world just might be what Josh needs after all. Especially when his and Benny’s very lives depend on it.


message 5: by James (new)

James | 6 comments I loved the unexpected twist in APPLES. Could you discuss how you came up with it?


message 6: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments I can't think of another m/m set in Wisconsin--it sounds really intriguing! How does Wisconsin inspire you?


message 7: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Hi James. Thank you for your question, about unexpected twists. I think the author who wants to surprise the reader has to first surprise him- or herself. I had the basic idea of the story for a while before I decided to twist it in a different direction when a new idea popped into my head. The “how” of it is a little bit mysterious, in the way ideas emerge (or don’t).

The twist you mentioned has to work, so I thank early readers and editors who helped me tweak it and make it work for them, too. The response has been good, and I had so much fun writing this tale.


message 8: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Hi Koozebane, thank you for your comment! I grew up in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin I write about is based partly in memory, partly pure fantasy. It's a place rich in lore and legend -- with plenty of shudder-y campfire tales to reflect back on. The combination of lakes and forest and seasonal changes seems alluring to me, and deeply romantic. It's a setting I love to return to.


message 9: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Which brings me to...Living the romantic life...ah, isn’t everything just a bit sweeter when you’re in love? One of the great attractions of romantic storytelling is a chance to step out of the humdrum of our often stressful daily lives, and find a secret sanctuary where the importance of love and its delicious expressions are exalted and celebrated. Hey, why the heck not?


message 10: by James (new)

James | 6 comments Thank you, Hank. Yes, the twist worked well. I also thoroughly enjoyed your Christmas story, CHRISTMAS IN THE JOINT. It would make a great movie. Writing any more Christmas stories? Stories set on Redhawk Mountain? I'd like to see more of your characters!


message 11: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments I love to dream of a world expressed in the sentiments of Walt Whitman, a great democratic vista of brotherly love. For me this vision is a bucolic, pastoral setting where rugged, heroic men and women fight for the dear love of comrades -- even if this idealized fantasy bumps up against the absurdities of hectic modern life. The possibilities are endless, whether the writer is going for gritty urban realism, international intrigue, comedy or even the bittersweet...it’s all good.


message 12: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments James, thanks! My Christmas story has a special place in my heart and I do plan to return to Redhawk Mountain. Maybe another Christmas story...nothing planned as yet. But maybe. I'm working on a good plot for another adventure for Josh and Benny, from WHEN WE PICKED APPLES LAST AUTUMN, too. Please wish me luck!


message 13: by James (new)

James | 6 comments Good luck, and I can't wait to read more


message 14: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Stop the Presses this instant! It's time to tell you all about the Give Away:

Everyone who chats here today is automatically entered in a contest to win a free copy of WHEN WE PICKED APPLES LAST AUTUMN. (If you already have a copy, we’ll figure out another free title for you.) Names will go in a hat, and a random drawing will be conducted after the chat. The winner will be notified via email. (Thank you Price Waterhouse for whatever it is that you do.)

Good luck, y’all!


message 15: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments So far, James and Koozebane are running neck and neck towards the prize. Do I smell a photo finish?


message 16: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments Any hope for any Wisconsin hockey boys in future stories? (Sorry, my lifelong Mark Johnson fixation forced me to ask...)

Hank wrote: "Hi Koozebane, thank you for your comment! I grew up in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin I write about is based partly in memory, partly pure fantasy. It's a place rich in lore and legend -- with plenty ..."


message 17: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Ha! I love that comment, Koozebane. Wisconsin, hockey, and boys are three topics of interest -- so I'm gonna say, "highly probable." Hockey is the one with the long wooden sticks, I believe, and Hannibal Lecter masks?


message 18: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments Hank wrote: "Ha! I love that comment, Koozebane. Wisconsin, hockey, and boys are three topics of interest -- so I'm gonna say, "highly probable." Hockey is the one with the long wooden sticks, I believe, and..."

Yep, except most players (the smart ones who protect their faces, anyway) have switched to visors or cages (depending on their age and/or position). Then again, I was at some charity alumni game in San Jose last month where Ron Duguay played without a helmet...it was pretty distracting.


message 19: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Wisconsin has a rich history in ice-related sports. Remember the Heidens, Eric and Beth? Great Winter Olympians. We also have a winter sport called "curling," which I couldn't begin to explain.
Speaking of winter Olympics, I can't believe that Russia of all countries is getting so all hillbilly-stupid about the gays at the Olympics! This is a country well known in history for male love, gay sailors, blatant homoeroticism and male ballet stars like Nureyev (who wisely left). Get real, Putin.


message 20: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Yes, it's come to that...random answers to the questions sent to us telepathically...thank you, psychic community.


Daily life of a writer, you ask? I try to write every day. If I’m finishing a book and/or in the editorial phase, I’ll be at it morning, noon and night. If not, about two hours is the ideal amount of time for me to spend in a single writing session.

I usually have a full-time job, so that means finding time to write outside of the work day/work week. But my weekends and vacations are structured in a more leisurely way that I think is best for my kind of writing life. That means I do my writing first thing in the morning, then have the rest of the day for everything else. I live with a partner who is not a writer, but he’s a big reader (like me). As is true for most writers, reading is an essential part of my day and my life, one of the chief pleasures. Lollygagging around and daydreaming is also important to me. So are cooking and exercising. And doing nothing.


message 21: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments I've still never been able to follow curling, yikes. I do remember Eric Heiden, for sure. The Sharks have Joe Pavelski and Adam Burish from the U of Wisconsin (and we used to have Brad Winchester too). Yes, this Olympics thing is pretty awful--Patrick Burke of the You Can Play Project doesn't want a boycott, since he said something along the lines of "history is made by those who participate," but I wish the OCC would speak up for once...


message 22: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments I think instead of a boycott of the Olympics (which punishes our own athletes), the sane parts of the world should just shame the bigots at every opportunity. The dignity of our athletes and the world's lgbt athletes will speak volumes. Also, let's remind Russia about that one hockey game where we licked 'em -- just in case anyone has forgotten. Yes, we kicked 'em all over the ice, then mopped up the gold. Take that, Pootski.


message 23: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Keeping up with my promise to ramble on...

I love all art, especially music (all kinds) and visual art. I once met the English painters (and sculptors, as they prefer to be called) Gilbert and George. I also met some great painters when I was living in San Francisco, who have become lifelong friends. I dedicated APPLES to them.

Also...

The touchstone poets for me are the aforementioned Mr. Whitman, and then Cavafy, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Blake, Poe, Yeats...


message 24: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Thank you, Good Reads, for the public forum that has eluded me all these years. And now, here are some more nuggets, in no particular order...

I think BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is a transcendent romance, by the great Annie Proulx. The movie is one of my faves, too. It’s funny-odd, but the tragedy in the story is actually kind of a cliché -- somebody has to die. But because it works, rules don’t apply. Rules shouldn't apply, ever, other than the rule about not being boring.

In my romance writing, I go for the happy ending (so far, anyway). I’m attempting entertainment with a specific aim, good storytelling in a way that’s both traditional and maybe outside the expected territory. I love a plot that twists with surprises. I try not to analyze too much. I just go for what interests me, but I admit that entertaining and pleasing the reader is something that interests me a lot.


message 25: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments The writer and traveling: this is a topic that really interests me, because I’m conflicted about it. I think in my heart I’m a homebody and always have been. I’m like a monk or a hermit, but maybe only in my fantasies. If I had my way, I’d never get on a plane and would only step into my garden if I felt like taking some sun.

Yet my life is a different picture. I’ve lived all over the place. I travel far and wide, fairly often, usually with my partner. Every time I get on a plane, I think “what am I doing on this thing again?” I get nervous before trips, not necessarily thrilled with anticipation. I say I’m a nervous flyer but I always fall asleep on planes, never doing all the reading I planned in those confining hours.


message 26: by James (new)

James | 6 comments I was intrigued by your list of favorite authors. What do you think of Tolstoy, Goethe?


message 27: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments I always have fun when I’m in a new city, and I get energy to stay up till 3 AM that I never have at home when I want to be in bed reading around 10 or 11 PM. When I get home, I relish my travel experience. And I relish being home.

I’m like a kid, I guess. Being in a hotel pool remains for me one of the essential summer pleasures.

I would rather “play hooky” (not hockey, Koozebane ) in the middle of the week and attend a daytime baseball game then do just about anything else.

Patricia Highsmith wrote about how important it is for a writer to change the scene and take a lot of trips, especially little ones. Or even to take a walk if funds or circumstances limit you. I love long walks. I understand what she meant, too, about shaking things up with a trip -- even a little cheap trip.


message 28: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments Sigh, San Francisco! That would make a fun setting, too...


message 29: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Hello James -- Tolstoy is my all time favorite writer, though I quickly add that I love Stephen King and a whole bunch of contemporary authors, including many in the M/M Romance field (too many to name without serious risks of missing one).

Goethe wrote a different kind of romance, if memory serves. I've gotten through much of FAUST. I have to save something for old age. Saving Proust for that, too, and Gide.


message 30: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments I lived in the Castro for a year and half. A long way from the wild woods of Wisconsin, and even the brick lanes of London, England (setting of my my first novel published by Dreamspinner press -- EMERALD IDOL. Thanks Dreamspinner!)


message 31: by James (new)

James | 6 comments Thanks -- me, too! Lots of time to read in my future... :)
I enjoyed the chat -- it was fun "meeting" you! Gotta dash now.


message 32: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Magazines: A bunch of miles were expiring on some frequent flyer program I pay little attention to, and so suddenly I am getting truckloads of free mags. This is a blessing and a curse. On the curse side: GQ and DETAILS are my least favorite magazines, though TOWN AND COUNTRY also (REALLY REALLY) stinks. On the other hand, I love NEW YORK MAG, despite that it arrives weekly, like the guilt-inducing ECONOMIST.

My favorite mag of all is HARPER’S. Wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I do. This month, if you want your blood to boil, read William T. Vollman’s excellent piece on the government’s secret files on him. Outrageous. Then read a long review of the letters of J.F. Powers, whose great novel WHEAT THAT SPRINGETH GREEN, is damned with faint praise in the same (interesting) review. Then read Nicholson Baker’s essay about how algebra II sucks. Few would disagree.


message 33: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments I also get ATLANTIC, VANITY FAIR, NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS (I like that one a lot, usually), PEOPLE IN ESPANOL (Ummm, got it for my partner and he thinks it stinks, except for occasional photos of William Levy), HEALTH (I can’t remember why), and several others...Lord help us. I will be so happy when these subscriptions lapse.


message 34: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments We are seriously running out of time here...only a few more rambling random thoughts to go....

For example, Movies: I remember once Mario Puzo, author of THE GODFATHER, said in an interview that a writer’s life should be calm and peaceful, with lots of reading and seeing movies. (And eating: he liked in particular a late night snack, spaghetti with a sauce of melted butter.) I couldn’t agree more. A simpler life, less noise and stress, with occasional returns to what Saul Bellow called “a humanity bath.” That’s when you come up from the Subway at Times Square in NYC and take it all in.

I like to watch movies on TV, and I like silly movies as much as the classics, which I will watch over and over and over...

I used to go to movie theaters constantly. One of my happiest memories of living in San Francisco was going to a 10:30 AM weekday showing of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA on a big gorgeous screen with that beautiful Maurice Jarre score flowing over about six audience members.

On TCM, I saw for the first time Fellini’s JULIET OF THE SPIRITS, and it was like falling in love.

Yes, I have good taste and love CITIZEN KANE and the MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, and (especially) OTHELLO(all by Orson Welles). But I also like John Hughes movies and pulpy older horror films, and sweet romantic comedies. And Hitchcock movies.


message 35: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments My best friend lived in the UK for several years (Reading in the beginning, London at the end), and I visited a couple of times. I miss it, even though my favorite record store there closed a couple of years ago. I think I will become good friends with your backlist!

Hank wrote: "I lived in the Castro for a year and half. A long way from the wild woods of Wisconsin, and even the brick lanes of London, England (setting of my my first novel published by Dreamspinner press --..."


message 36: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments TV: please don’t hate me because I love watching DANCING WITH THE STARS. I also love the sophisticated MAD MEN and the witty brilliant COLBERT REPORT (though I don’t watch anything religiously). And a zillion other things.


message 37: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments READING Lately:

MY LUNCHES WITH ORSON BY Peter Biskind
CS Lewis
GOD NEVER BLINKS by Regina Brett
JOYLAND by Stephen King
LIBERATION (diaries) by Christopher Isherwood
ESSAYS by Ralph Waldo Emerson


message 38: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Music:

I love Frank Ocean, Adele, Amy Winehouse, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, disco, soul, funk, pop...


message 39: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments Thank you each and everyone, enjoy the last of summer -- with love, Hank


message 40: by Hank (new)

Hank Fielder | 33 comments “When a writer calls his work a romance, it need hardly be observed that he wishes to claim a certain latitude, both as to its fashion and material, which he would not have felt himself entitled to assume had he professed to be writing a novel.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne, on his romance THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES.


message 41: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments For me, it's MIRACLE (well, of course! but from a tech standpoint it's pretty impressive, and look at all the cute college hockey boys!), THE GIRL ON THE BRIDGE (French movie about a suicidal girl and the knife-thrower who rescues her--manages to be quirky and sentimental, my favorite modern romance), INFERNAL AFFAIRS (gotta love Tony Leung! see this, and you'll demand that Scorsese return his Oscar for THE DEPARTED)...oh, there are others. I even prefer XANADU to GREASE in the Olivia Newton-John pantheon, even though it's terribly flawed. That roller-rink production number at the end is really, really impressive even now--no one can TALK to me while it's on. I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch more...


Hank wrote: "We are seriously running out of time here...only a few more rambling random thoughts to go....

For example, Movies: I remember once Mario Puzo, author of THE GODFATHER, said in an interview that..."


Have you ever seen the

Hank wrote: "We are seriously running out of time here...only a few more rambling random thoughts to go....

For example, Movies: I remember once Mario Puzo, author of THE GODFATHER, said in an interview that..."



message 42: by Mel (new)

Mel (chewy26) | 4 comments Hank wrote: "TV: please don’t hate me because I love watching DANCING WITH THE STARS. I also love the sophisticated MAD MEN and the witty brilliant COLBERT REPORT (though I don’t watch anything religiously). ..."
I have to say that this comment made me like Hank even MORE.

Kudos


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