Hi, I’m Kim Fielding, and today I’m going to share with you my coming out story.
As a straight woman who is, ahem, old enough to remember leaded gasoline and rotary dial telephones, I never thought that coming out was going to be an issue for me. I am married to a (male) accountant who was my high school sweetheart and I carpool children home from school four afternoons a week. I live the most boring, ordinary, middle-class life imaginable.
And then I started writing gay romance.
Well, that’s not exactly true. First I started reading slash fanfiction (Buffy, and anything with Spike, in case you were wondering) and then I started writing it. Nobody in my real life knew this until about six months in, when my husband finally noticed I was spending an inordinate amount of time at my laptop. He took a look at exactly what I was writing, raised his eyebrows, and went back to watching football. That was my first outing and it was less dramatic than I’d imagined.
Not too much later I mentioned my fanfic writing to a couple of close friends. They weren’t familiar with the world of fanfic at all and were mildly surprised, but then I got a couple of “You go, girl!”-type comments from them and that was that.
Soon after that I wrote my first original novel, a dark fantasy involving a wizard and a slave—both male. I self-published the book, which is called Stasis. My family read it and liked it. My friends read it and liked it. My co-workers read it and liked it—except for the one guy who came to my office and said, “I hear you’ve written a very good novel. With that… homosexual stuff in it.” You’ll have to imagine the hoarse whisper he used for the h-word. Aside from him, most people just seemed pleasantly surprised that I’d written a novel at all, and amazed that I did it in thirty days (it was my first NaNoWriMo attempt).
Stasis was followed by two more novels to complete a trilogy, first Flux and then Equipoise. Still with that homosexual stuff. Very PG-rated, though, so much so that I had my older daughter do the final proofreads for me (she’s a spelling bee champ with a sharp eye). So then I was out to her too. She was a little embarrassed, but she’s a teenager and everything I do is embarrassing as far as she’s concerned. She likes to refer to the trilogy as my “gay seamen” books, and yes, she’s old enough to intend the homonym.
And now I’ve branched out a little. I’ve published a short story called “Act One,” which is included in the Dreamspinner Press Men of Steel anthology. Another of my short stories (“Violet’s Present”) will be out in June. And I have a new novel, Good Bones, which was just published by Dreamspinner. It’s about a shy hipster architect who also happens to be a werewolf. And gay. And although Good Bones has plenty of plot—as do the shorts—there are several scenes that are way too explicit for my daughter. Scenes that make me blush when I imagine my mom reading them. Scenes that would probably cause an aneurysm for that one guy at the office.
I often write in public: cafes, airplanes, waiting rooms—anywhere I can manage a few minutes or more of typing. And more than one over-the-shoulder browser has expressed surprise upon discovering exactly what I was writing. Some run away and some lean in more closely. None of them have ever fainted dead away or condemned me to Hades on the spot.
But here I am, finally out to everyone.
What have I learned? That my family and friends are pretty damn cool. My husband says he’s proud of me and happily caresses my royalty checks (he is an accountant, after all). I get to openly call myself an author, which is something I’ve always dreamed of. Even my teenager gets a kick out of looking me up on Amazon.
I look forward to a world where everyone’s coming out story ends so happily.
I’m giving away one copy of Good Bones. Comment here with your email and tomorrow I’ll choose a winner at random.
Kim Fielding’s blog: http://kfieldingwrites.blogspot.com/
Kim Fielding on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/KFieldingWrites
The trilogy with the “homosexual stuff”: http://www.amazon.com/Kim-Fielding/e/B006FN2T78/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Kim Fielding’s Dreamspinner publications: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_603