Hi, this is Kim Fielding. I’m here to share the top 5 things I loved about writing my new book, Redesigning Landry Bishop.
- Researching Hollywood Hills houses. I began my work for this book researching houses in the Hollywood Hills, which is where Landry Bishop lives. I wanted to make his home as realistic as possible. My own living arrangements are decidedly more modest, but it was great fun to see how the other half lives. In case you are wondering, Landry has a lovely midcentury modern home with a pool house and a view.
- Research Martha Stewarty stuff. Landry is sort of a Martha Stewart type. He writes and appears on TV shows with advice on crafts, décor, clothing, and food. As I was working on the book, I spent a lot of time thinking about what kinds of projects Landry might work on and what recommendations he’d make to his fans. This meant spending a lot of time on lifestyle blogs. Just as I don’t live in an LA mansion, I’m not exactly renowned for my fashion sense or innovative ideas on decorating. But it sure is a lot of fun to dream.
- The ridiculous meal. One of the scenes takes place in a (fictional) pretentious restaurant—the kind that serves beautifully plated weird foods in minuscule portions. It’s the kind of place Landry is used to, but not his new personal assistant, Jordan. And Jordan isn’t the type to remain silent when he finds something funny. I had great fun writing this scene.
- Watching Landry loosen up. When the book begins, Landry is a workaholic who keeps himself on a pretty tight leash. Although he knows how uptight he can be, he’s not sure what to do about it. Jordan, however, is a good influence, helping Landry gradually loosen up and become more comfortable with his true self. My characters feel very real to me, so I enjoyed seeing Landry go through this process.
- Elaine and Aunt Trudy. I really love writing secondary characters, and these two are among my favorites. Elaine is Landry’s PA, a blunt-talking, forceful woman—now about to retire—who’s been steering Landry on the right path for years. Speaking of steering, I especially love Elaine when she’s navigating Los Angeles traffic. Trudy is Landry’s aunt, the matriarch of a family that’s been in a small Nebraska town for generations. She’s a hard woman to say no to—and she has some secret plans that involve Landry. That means he’s going to have to return to his hometown for the first time in years, where he’ll face some truths about himself and his future.
Love never goes out of style.
Landry Bishop fled his tiny hometown and never looked back. Now his expertise in food, fashion, and décor has earned him all of Hollywood’s glittering perks. But with his husband deceased and his personal assistant retired, Landry has nobody to rely on—and no one to help him indulge his secret cravings.
Casual, plainspoken Jordan Stryker seems a dubious choice of a PA for someone as formal and self-controlled as Landry. Jordan’s questionable fashion sense and limited kitchen skills don’t exactly enhance his résumé. But as Landry soon realizes, Jordan has many attractive qualities too.
With a strong pull toward Jordan, new career opportunities on the horizon, and a persistent tug from family back home, Landry is in a quandary. He can advise others on how to make their lives special, but what should he do about his own?
Half an hour later, while Landry was puttering around with an experimental tabbouleh recipe, Jordan and Elaine joined him in the kitchen. “Try this,” he ordered, handing them each a spoonful.
Jordan made approving noises, but Elaine frowned. “That’s not a grain.”
“For the love of God, why?”
“For people who want to eat grain-free.”
“If you don’t want to eat grains, you shouldn’t be eating tabbouleh.” She took Jordan’s spoon along with her own and washed them in the sink.
“I like it,” Jordan announced. “It’s kind of crunchyish.” He seemed sincere.
“Thank you,” Landry said.
“Hey, um, you didn’t really have an important phone call, did you?”
“No. That was Elaine rescuing me.”
“I kinda figured. Except… I hope this doesn’t sound rude, but why did you need rescuing? Those guys were hot. That whole thing was like the opening of a pretty good porno, you know? If they’d been all over me like that, I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted rescuing.”
Landry pushed aside the interesting information that Jordan was attracted to men. His PA’s sexual orientation was irrelevant. He also pushed aside a stupid and inexplicable jab of jealousy. If Jordan wanted to fantasize about group sex with hunky furniture deliverymen, that was none of Landry’s business. So he focused on the question itself.
“Why do you think those extremely attractive men were so interested in me?”
“Um, because they were throwing themselves all over you.”
“Yes, I suppose they were. But why? Why me?”
“’Cause you’re damned hot too.”
Even as Landry’s face heated at the unexpected compliment, Jordan’s cheeks turned a charming shade of pink. Interesting. Their gazes locked so tightly that Landry wondered if either of them would ever look away. Or if he wanted them to.
Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
Having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls California home. She lives there with her family and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.