Hi guys! We have the upcoming anthology Gothika 05: Contact popping in today with one of it’s authors Kim Fielding, we have a fantastic guest post and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
Since ancient times, humankind has looked into the night sky and wondered: Are we alone? Are there other civilizations beyond the stars? Will we ever encounter these beings? Who are they, what are they like, and what might they want with us?
These questions are about to be answered, but those who discover the truth might wish they had never asked. On the other hand, some might find salvation in visitors from other planets. For while some aliens are hostile, others are benevolent. Some have little in common with humans, but for others, the need for love and acceptance is universal. Lives will intersect and otherworldly passions will ignite as four acclaimed authors of gay romance explore first contact—and where it can lead.
Hi! I’m Kim Fielding, one of the four authors in the upcoming anthology, Contact. This is the fifth in the Gothika series, and this volume includes extraterrestrial-themed novellas by F.E. Feeley, Jamie Fessenden, B.G. Thomas, and me.
I’m going to tell you a tale about the need for doing careful research when writing in historical settings. The tale has a happy ending.
My novella, “Refugee,” takes place on the Oregon coast in 1950. I chose that particular place because it’s one of my favorites; when I was growing up in Portland, I loved our family trips to Lincoln City or Newport. My dad loves the coast too, and when he was a kid—in the 1950s—he spent a lot of time there with his aunt and uncle, who owned a gas station in a town called Yachats (pronounced Yah-hots). I made up a town for my story, Kiteeshaa.
Although I know the coast fairly well, I had to look up quite a few specific things about the 1950s. Did the Oregon Coast Highway exist yet? Yep, since 1926. How about the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport? Also a yes—opened in 1936. Before that, you had to take a ferry if you were traveling on the Coast Highway. I decided on the type of car my protagonist, Walter Clark, would be driving and confirmed that he could be drinking decaf coffee (available since the 1920s). However, he could not eat marionberry pie because marionberries weren’t commercially available until 1956. Walter is a WWII vet who served as a medic during D-Day, so I delved into research about that as well.
The story even mentions the Ester Lee Motel in Lincoln City, which I knew had existed since at least the 1940s. My dad stayed there as a kid, I stayed there in the 1980s, and it’s still there. I passed it on a drive last year.
So I was all set. I finished writing the story and, with help from my lovely beta, polished it up. I submitted it to Dreamspinner, which accepted it (yay!). I began the several rounds of edits each story goes through.
And somewhere in the middle, I remembered something. Today the Ester Lee is in Lincoln City. And the motel itself has never moved. But! In 1950, that area was a little community called Taft. It remained Taft until 1965, when it was one of a half-dozen towns that merged to form the larger Lincoln City. I knew this. My dad had mentioned it many times. But until midway through the edits, it had completely slipped my mind. And since none of my wonderful editorial team are Oregonians, they weren’t aware of this little factoid either.
If I hadn’t fixed it, a reader somewhere would be reading through my story, see the bit about the Ester Lee in Lincoln City, and snort with disgust. “That Kim Fielding doesn’t bother to do her research!”
But I do! And fortunately I fixed that mistake before the story went to print, so now it’s correct and we have a happy ending. Hopefully, poor Walter gets a happy ending too.
A rounded boulder hulked invitingly, so Walter ambled over and scrambled to the top. It was less than five feet high and covered in moss, and it made a pleasant perch. He sat for what felt like a long time, simply breathing.
This area was quieter than the woods near the road. He didn’t see or hear any birds, and the only insects were a few gnats and several wandering ants. It was as if even forest creatures were hesitant to disturb the stillness of the space. And God, it was peaceful. Deeply so, like a long drink of water on a hot summer day or a thick mattress after a hard day of toil. He thought that if he dropped dead right here, right now, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. He’d seen firsthand what became of corpses when they returned to dust, and if his flesh became a part of this tranquil place, he wouldn’t very much mind.
It was a good thing he didn’t have his revolver with him, although he probably wouldn’t have wanted to disturb the silence with a gunshot. Probably.
Walter had stopped thinking—was just letting the stillness seep into his pores—when he heard the quiet fall of footsteps. He hadn’t even realized he’d closed his eyes, but now he opened them, blinked a few times, and saw Martin walking toward him. Martin moved slowly and carefully, less like an animal stalking its prey than a parent wanting to avoid disturbing a sleeping child. He wore khaki trousers again with a light blue shirt and tan jacket, and his lips were set in a hesitant smile.
“I’m sorry to interrupt you,” he said quietly when he reached the rock.
Walter slid to the ground. “It’s all right. I was just sitting here.”
Martin nodded. “It’s a good place, isn’t it? I come here sometimes when I need….” He let his voice trail off, then gave a small shrug. He continued to smile, but his eyes were sad. “Were you comfortable in unit three?”
“It was great.” Walter couldn’t explain the sense of ease he’d felt last night.
“I’m glad,” Martin replied, looking relieved. “Will you stay longer?”
“A few days.” Walter hadn’t even realized he’d made a decision until the words left his mouth, and he didn’t regret it. If he could actually afford it. “Um, you haven’t told me the rate.”
“Four dollars a night. But I can give you a discount, seeing as you’re staying more than one night.” He seemed to consider for a few seconds. “Two fifty?”
Walter did some quick calculations in his head. If he ate at the café for breakfast only and fixed the rest of his meals in the cabin’s little kitchenette, he could safely afford a week before his funds became too thin. “That’s fair,” he said.
Martin held out his hand for a shake, and Walter took it. But instead of letting go when the shake was over, Martin tugged with surprising strength, pulling Walter flush against him. Shocked but also instantly aroused, Walter stared into those astonishing blue eyes. And then Martin touched his lips to Walter’s.
Kim Fielding is very pleased every time someone calls her eclectic. Her books have won Rainbow Awards and span a variety of genres. She has migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States and currently lives in California, where she long ago ran out of bookshelf space. She’s a university professor who dreams of being able to travel and write full time. She also dreams of having two perfectly behaved children, a husband who isn’t obsessed with football, and a house that cleans itself. Some dreams are more easily obtained than others.
Hello there, I am F.E. Feeley Jr, author of The Haunting of Timber Manor and Objects in the Rearview Mirror. Thank you for coming to view my page. I was born and raised in the city of Detroit where I graduated from high school. Afterward, I joined the military and now am a published author here at Dreamspinner Press. Married to the love of my life (John) who lets me write horror novels. I write about ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Well, the other things that go bump in the night. So, if you’re not too scared of the dark, check out my books, I’m sure you’ll like ’em.
Jamie Fessenden is an author of gay fiction in many genres. Most involve romance, because he believes everyone deserves to find love, but after that anything goes: contemporary, science fiction, historical, paranormal, mystery, or whatever else strikes his fantasy. Jamie Fessenden set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple short pieces in his high school’s literary magazine and had another story place in the top 100 in a national contest, but it wasn’t until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie wrote several screenplays and directed a few of them as micro-budget independent films. He then began writing novels and published his first novella in 2010. After nine years together, Jamie and Erich have married and purchased a house together in the wilds of Raymond, New Hampshire, where there are no street lights, turkeys and deer wander through their yard, and coyotes serenade them on a nightly basis. Jamie recently left his “day job” as a tech support analyst to be a full-time writer.
B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade and half, and that marriage has been legal since 2014! They share their home with their fabulous dogs, Sarah Jane and Oliver. He is lucky enough to have a lovely daughter as well as many extraordinary friends.
B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. Since he’s gone conventions since he was fourteen years old, he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers, many of whom inspired him to pursue his own writing dreams.
Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he decided to begin writing for the first time in years. Gay men are what he knows best, after all. He submitted his first story in years and was thrilled when it was accepted in only four days, and since then has had over thirty short stories, novellas and novels published.
“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message to all. “It is never too late,” he states. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”
Visit his website and blog at http://bthomaswriter.wordpress.com/.