A warm welcome to author Hank Fielding joining us today to talk about new release “Make Someone Happy”.
Welcome Hank 🙂
Here’s To Our Public Libraries
Hello, I’m Hank Fielder, author of a new MM romance, novella published by Dreamspinner Press. Thanks for having me here at Love Bytes.
“Make Someone Happy,” my new book, is an urban fantasy, and I hope you’ll take a look and try a free sample chapter. Having said this, I thought I’d muse a little about the fine art of book browsing — or maybe we could even call it “hunting” for your next great read.
There are lots of places to do this these days. Some are best for new titles and hit titles — the books we can’t wait for. Other sources of book browsing are special in their own way; places to seek out hard-to-find books or authors.
Like you, I do a lot of my book browsing and shopping online. And I couldn’t live without brick and mortar bookstores. But if I think back to when and where I first fell in love with stories and book browsing, I think of my local public library.
The focus of my guest post today is all about how much I love public libraries. Not just as a reader, though mostly that; but also as a writer.
As a young reader (and possibly a budding writer), the library was where I first found enjoyment in browsing through stacks of new and old titles. I grew up in Wisconsin. Our public library was a community focal point, welcoming and generous.
Were you a child, like me, who liked to gaze for hours at book covers and pile up a good-sized pile of books to check out with your new library card?
I remember lugging my books home and curling up to read in a corner of a screen porch on rainy summer afternoons. I can almost hear the crackle of distant thunder and smell the scent of rain striking the grass and muddy puddles on our modest leafy block.
And I recall finding a cozy hiding place to read behind a heavy stuffed chair beneath a bright window on snowy Saturdays. This was my little fortress against storms, and a place where I could grow in adventures far beyond my glittering ice-bound town; even beyond space and time.
Maybe I was escaping into sanctuary — a fine thing! But I was also learning, expanding my mind and my heart. When the characters I loved fell in love, so did I.
Did you read your library books, like I did, under the covers at night with a little flashlight? Oh, how I loved to bring these books home from the library and get lost in stories in every season.
What a privilege! And it was free (or, at least to a child it seemed like it was free).
The concept of a public library, open to anyone and everyone, goes back centuries. And it really is an enlightened concept. Fundamentally, it meant that no matter how poor you were, you had access to great ideas, great books.
A library could get anyone started on an education that can last a lifetime. And the dreams library books inspire also have no limits.
Public libraries help new authors build an audience. Sure, we authors love it when readers can’t wait to purchase our books. And publishers and authors can’t exist without the financial support of paying customers. But not everyone can afford every single title that strikes their fancy.
The public library is a great resource for discovery. Your next favorite binge-read author might just be hidden in the shelves, possibly overlooked by the vast majority of readers.
And for an author, the library offers another chance — one more way of communicating his or her vision to that indispensable person who makes a story come alive: you, the reader.
The library is a great place to find not only new books, but also old ones. And not only the classics, but also titles that have gone out of print or never made a big splash. And that’s the fate of many (possibly most?) books.
Some people only want new books. I get it, because I want them, too. But isn’t it nice to know that for the really hungry reader, stacks of older and classic titles also await your perusal?
As a reader I always seem to be buying books (perhaps you know this benevolent impulse), but I also use my neighborhood public library on a regular basis, too.
I guess you could say, my relationship with the public library has been a lasting love affair.
In the city where I grew up, I also had access to a large university library. This meant that the collection included many foreign books that never made it to our local bookstores.
Many popular titles published only in England, including romance titles, were shelved in the library’s seemingly endless stacks. Lots of paperback originals were there, too.
I discovered early MM romance at the library, too. Maybe they weren’t called that when they were published, but books by James Baldwin (“Giovanni’s Room”), Gore Vidal (“The City and the Pillar”) and titles by Paul Monette, Mary Renault and Patricia Nell Warren told MM romance stories that hold up well today.
Another gift I discovered at the public library was in the bound periodicals room. For example, old copies of the Paris Review contain “Writers at Work” interviews with authors going back decades. This is like striking gold for aspiring authors.
So here’s to our public libraries! And here’s to the many ways books and book-loving communities are sustained.
Hank Fielder , MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY
Release Date: October 27, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Massage therapist Joe Wells is in a little over his head with his first job at the posh Magic Touch Sports Spa. He’s also secretly falling for his friendly, sexy coworker, the top-notch masseur Andre Swift. All the clients clamor for Andre, and so far none have taken to Joe.
On the verge of being fired, Joe saves the life of a mysterious kitten belonging to a white witch, who grants him a wish: a magic touch that could save his job and maybe even win him Andre’s love and respect. As Joe’s stock at the spa rises to crazy and barely manageable levels of success, demand for Andre’s services drops off. Will Joe lose Andre to an out-of-control spell? Or worse—Andre’s love might prove to be only a result of the magic, just like Joe’s sudden talent.
All you need is love…and a great story.
Hank Fielder is from Wisconsin and has lived in London and California, in big cities, and in the rural countryside. A passionate devotee of soulful romantic music, art, baseball, and (especially) good stories, he loves long walks, swimming, cooking and watching old movies. He counts his blessings every night before bed.
Hank Fielder: http://www.authorhankfielder.blogspot.com