Are you ready to be one of the first to get an exclusive look at Kim Fielding’s next romance? Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love follows two workplace rivals who must work together on a major new project. We Are Bookish has an exclusive reveal of the cover, but first, read our mini-interview with the author.
Tell us about your book cover! What was the cover design process like for you?
The cover design process is one of my favorite parts of being an author. It’s so much fun to see an artist take my (sometimes very vague or weird) ideas and turn them into something amazing.
In this case, I described the characters—especially the way they dress, because that’s an important part of the story. Teddy has a passion for vintage clothes he finds in resale shops, whereas Romeo, well, Romeo has opted for safe and a little boring. Until now. I also mentioned a couple of elements I’d love to see. Flowers were one of those elements because the guys work for a tech startup that’s creating smart vases. What’s a smart vase, you ask? Oh, the latest thing! Everyone needs one. The final point is that the cover needed to convey the tone of the book, which in this case is funny and romantic. Bright colors and a contemporary look were perfect.
The hardest part of the design process is that I get to see the cover long before I can share it, and that kills me. When I received the draft of this cover, I may have squealed a little before forcing my family to look and admire at length.
What inspired you to write Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love?
I had several inspirations for this book. For one, I was playing with the idea of how sometimes our first impressions of someone can be totally wrong. We might think they’re standoffish when really they’re shy, for instance. I was thinking about how circumstances might cause us to dig deeper and learn more about who the person truly is.
Another inspiration is that I have some favorite romance tropes I love to use. Forced proximity (Oh no! There’s only one bed!) can be so much fun, especially when combined with enemies-to-lovers. And if you have a couple of characters who aren’t especially good at smooth moves, all the better.
Setting is almost always a strong influence for me. This story takes place in two of my favorite cities, Chicago and Seattle. It’s not set during flirty spring or warm, dreamy summer, but instead in February, a time of year that can feel pretty bleak in both cities. Isn’t that the perfect time, though, for romance to find its way to someone who thinks he doesn’t want it?
In three words, what can readers expect from Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love?
Humor, tests, discovery.
Do you judge books by their covers? What’s your favorite cover of all-time?
I wouldn’t say I judge books by their covers, but a really good cover definitely catches my eyes. I like one that stands out and that gives me some idea of the story inside.
It’s impossible for me to pick one favorite, so I’m going to cheat and mention two I love very much. One is the cover of Where the Wild Things Are. Maurice Sendak was amazing as both an author and an artist, and that cover so perfectly captures the mood of a wonderful story. It’s a cover you can stare at forever and keep seeing new details.
Another cover I admire is for The Sisters Brothers. The story itself is a quirky black comedy western, and the cover is very clever. It shows the outlines of two gunmen in black with a full moon behind them, so that overall the image looks like a skull. The colors are striking too—red, cream, and black.
What books do you recommend we pick up while we wait for Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love to hit shelves on December 29, 2020?
My entire backlist, of course! But I write in a lot of genres, so if readers are looking for something similar to Teddy, I’d especially recommend The Little Library, my Stars from Peril series, or A Full Plate. Those are all contemporary m/m romances without a ton of angst but with, I hope, realistic-feeling heroes. The Little Library is especially fun because it’s about a guy who installs a Little Free Library in his front yard. I was so taken with the idea that I ended up putting one in front of my house. It’s like a little adventure every day when I see which books people have taken and left.
I also read in a lot of genres. Some of my very recently read favorites include KJ Charles’ Sins of the Cities series (I’ve been enjoying those on audio), T. Kingfisher’s The Raven and the Reindeer, and—for something completely different!—Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon.
Now, let’s get our first peek at Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love!
Here’s the official summary for Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love:
Some people search their whole lives to find love. He just wants to avoid it.
Teddy Spenser spends his days selling design ideas to higher-ups, living or dying on each new pitch. Stodgy engineer types like Romeo Blue, his nemesis—if you can call someone who barely talks to you a nemesis—are a necessary evil. A cute necessary evil.
Working together is bad enough, but when their boss puts them both on a new high-stakes project, “working together” suddenly means:
- sitting uncomfortably close on the same plane,
- staying in the same hotel room—with only one bed—and
- spending every waking minute together.
Turns out Mr. Starched Shirt has some hidden depths, and it’s getting harder to ignore the spark Teddy feels with every brush of their hands, with every knowing look. He might not have been looking for this connection with Romeo, but will he ever be ready to let him go?
Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning author of over 60 novels and novellas. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, horror, 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, her cat, 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.