Hi, I’m Kim Fielding and I am a research geek. As an academic, I do a lot of research for a living. But that’s not enough for me, and when I’m writing fiction I enjoy the research parts very much. I’m especially a sucker for history. So even though my first novel, Stasis, was a fantasy set in an alternate universe, I did a lot of real-life digging around to back it up.
The background of my Stasis world isn’t necessarily all that important to the tale, so I didn’t include a lot of details in the novel itself. But those details are very alive in my head, where I know that the story is set in a world in which magic exists, and in which the Romans made their way to the Americas. The action takes place in the city-state of Praesidium—geographically, it’s our San Francisco—and the time setting is late gold rush.
The fun thing about this time period is that some of our more modern technologies were beginning to appear, such as indoor plumbing and railroads. But travel was still a great adventure and the Golden Age of Sail was at its peak.
In preparation for this book (and its sequels, Flux and Equipoise) I spent a lot of happy hours poking around San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, where visitors can climb aboard the Balclutha and other old ships. I hope that the books have created a world that accurately represents life in the latter half of the 19th century—if the people had spoken bastardized Latin, if tyrants ruled, and if there were wizards about.
But although the magic and history are great fun, I wanted the story to resonate with modern readers of our own world. What is it like to be faced with very difficult choices and a repressive government? Can love conquer all, even when the love is forbidden and the erstwhile lovers face internal and external demons? How can we meet challenges—even deadly ones—and come out stronger instead of being destroyed? Those are the themes that Stasis explores—and to me, the history is icing on the cake.
PS—Stasis is only 99 cents for Kindle and I donate all my royalties from this trilogy to Doctors Without Borders.
Praesidium is the most prosperous city-state in the world, due not only to its location at the mouth of a great bay, but also to its strict laws, stringently enforced. Ordinary criminals become bond-slaves, but the Wizard places traitors in Stasis, a dreamless frozen state. Ennek is the Chief’s younger son. He has grown up without much of a purpose, a man who cannot fulfill his true desires and who skates on the edge of the law. But he is also haunted by the plight of one man, a prisoner for whom Stasis appears to be a truly horrible fate. If Ennek is to save that prisoner, he must explore Praesidium’s deepest secrets as well as his own.