Please join us in welcoming author Tia Fielding to The Novel Approach today, on the tour for One Step Forward.
Age and How We Perceive It
Age is just numbers, right? Well yes. And no. Sometimes it’s definitely nothing but numbers, sometimes it’s this huge chasm between two people. Sometimes two years is a massive difference, and on other occasion, two decades feel like nothing at all.
For single people who use dating sites, this is interesting. Yes, I’m speaking of my own experience here, in case you were wondering. For example, I’m thirty-five, and I keep changing my “preferred age” settings a lot based on the people who contact me. I’ve gone as low as 25 and as high as 50, and then I’ve adjusted them both on separate occasions. It’s… weird, and doesn’t really matter, because online dating rarely works anyway.
Age is a strange thing. The numbers guarantee very little, other than on the lower end the legal age of consent and all that. It doesn’t mean someone young is inexperienced or naïve. It doesn’t mean someone older has their life together or generally knows anything more than the young person. Life just doesn’t work that way.
I’ve written stories where the main characters are about the same age, or the age difference isn’t big enough to be considered May/December, at least in my opinion. Of course it’s different when it’s a human and a vampire love story, like Technically Dead, where there’s literally centuries between the two men. In contemporary stories it’s something I’d like to play with more. Maybe in the context of writing a BDSM story where the Dom is younger and the sub is older. I sort of did that in Falling Into Place, but it wasn’t a “true” BDSM story from my point of view.
I have a sister who is seventeen years younger than me. She’s eighteen now, and sometimes it feels like I can’t even remember what it felt like to be that age. Sure, I remember things I did and events that happened around that time, but the feeling of the age escapes me. Being a new adult is interesting. It’s not belonging to either childhood or adulthood, and it takes adjusting. Or so you think. Life does most of that adjusting for you, because in the end you pretty much just go on with your life and get older on the way.
I do remember one thing from when I was about sixteen or so. I had a group of friends I spent time with, and we had this sort of “code” when we talked about celebrities’ ages. Since I’m Finnish, it doesn’t translate perfectly, but it went something like this. One of us would ask how old this or that actor or musician was, and someone would answer “oh, he’s a dude” or “he’s an old dude.” I think there might’ve been “really old dude” in addition, but I’m not sure.
A “dude” meant they were not over thirty yet. “Old dude” was forty and over, and yeah, you get the idea now. Now, at thirty-five, it seems hilarious to think we saw people my age old. Because let’s face it, we thought people under twenty were the “right age” for us to fangirl over. Anyone over thirty was already special category and felt a bit weird with the age difference, but “dude” was still fine because it wasn’t “old dude.”
Yeah, these days I look at my favorite actors and wonder where time went. For example I’ve always been a big fan of Jeremy Irons, and he’s now a really, really old dude (at sixty-seven.) I used to have a poster of Johnny Depp on my wall back then, and now he’s fifty-three.
Another way age of my favorites makes me a bit dizzy is when I look at a younger celebrity and realize they’re not much older than my sister is. For example, I adore Dylan O’Brien and it makes me feel like a dirty old person to realize he’s over a decade younger than me, yet I drool with my sister whenever we see him somewhere. (Makes for an excellent sibling bonding experience, though….)
Or let’s look at one of my favorite franchises, Marvel. To think that I’ve grown old enough that my favorites there are around my own age blows my mind! Sebastian Stan is thirty-three, Scarlet Johansson is thirty-one, and Captain America himself (Chris Evans) is quite literally two weeks younger than me. Again, where did time go? When did my favorites become my own age?
In One Step Forward, Sam looks at Joshua and sees him as too young. Their age difference is less than a decade, yet it seems so huge to Sam, at least at first. One of the main things that makes the gap seem so wide is their life experiences; Sam’s been married and lost his wife, Joshua has been riding and hasn’t had relationships, and he hardly had time to stay educated along with his peers.
From the start, Sam sees the things that Joshua still needs to do to become an adult, an equal to Sam. Not because Sam himself sees him as anything less, but for Joshua’s own sake. In the end, age has nothing to do with it, it’s all perspective and experience, and how we view ourselves. Because age might or might not be just numbers, but we still get older every second that ticks by.
About the Book
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 236 Pages
Release Date: August 8, 2016
Purchase Link: DSP eBook || Paperback
Blurb: Sam Becker, a horse whisperer, agrees to take one last job before retiring to his Texas ranch. It’s clear as soon as he meets the Taylor family in Kentucky that he’s in for a challenge. What he doesn’t expect is the way his own wounds reopen. He’s never really dealt with the suicide of his mentally ill wife, and he won’t be able to ignore that hurt forever.
Joshua Taylor and his horse, Calla, were a force to be reckoned with on the eventing circuit until an accident ended their careers. Most of the pain is on the inside, however, and Sam knows those injuries are the slowest to mend. Sam’s unique methods help Calla and, surprisingly, Josh, but he’s still lost without riding. Their feelings for each other come hard and fast, and Josh starts his first steps of recovery, but Sam needs to return to Texas eventually. Even if Josh is able to move past the accident, they’ll still have a long and difficult journey to make before they can be together.
About the Author
Tia Fielding is a thirtysomething Scandinavian who is a lover of witty people, words, cats, sarcasm, autumn, and the tiny beautiful things in life. Tia struggles with stubborn muses and depression, but both are things she has learned to live with.
After losing the thread of her writing in her teens, Tia rediscovered the joy of writing stories through fanfiction, which later kick-started her publishing career. Tia is not ashamed of her past of borrowing other people’s characters, but has found creating her own much more satisfying.
Tia identifies as genderqueer, but isn’t strict about pronouns. Why? Because luckily, in her native language there aren’t gender-specific pronouns. Being a reclusive author living with her fur-babies is another fact of life for Tia, among the need to write that seems to be a part of her psyche by now.
In the fall of 2014, Tia took a huge leap for most authors and kicked her coffee habit. Do not fret, though, she switched to tea, so her life isn’t completely lacking caffeine.
In 2013 Tia’s one of Tia’s novels was recognized by the industry’s Rainbow Awards in the Best LGBT Erotic Romance (Bobby Michaels Award) category.