Posy Roberts North Star: Flare – last chance to play!

January 13, 2014

JanuaryAd_Elisa_NorthStar

This will be my last post.

I’m sad that North Star (Spark, Fusion, and Flare) are over. Yet, somewhere along the way, I realized Hugo and Kevin’s teenage story wasn’t one to just throw away, so I reworked it.

I’ve taken their junior year in high school, revamped it, and added 66% more (yes, I’ve done the math).  This book is called Private Display of Affection and written under the pen name Winter Sandberg. Yes, components of Spark are in it but the sexual bits are toned down. If you have a gay or bisexual son or nephew or friend, this might be a book for them. I address issues in PDA that men having sex with men will never get in a traditional sex ed class. I did that so teens might have a place to go for answers. You may enjoy it even more than them, because you get a better glimpse at what’s happening in Kevin’s head in this book, unlike in Spark, where he was often left out of the equation because of how the story was structured.

And It is my hope that I can write Hugo and Kevin’s senior year in high school as well. So far, it is much more Kevin’s story than it is Hugo’s in the planning stage, but that makes sense after Hugo’s tumultuous junior year.

One thing I tend to do is keep storyboards alive on Pinterest. I try to do this for each and every story, so if you want to follow me, feel free, or if you want to follow individual stories, peek around. I play on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterst, Google+, and other places too. I love connecting with new people, but I may be a bit shy at first. I also try to keep Winter Sandberg separate from Posy Roberts for the most part, but keeping up with the various sites does get exhausting.

So for my very last question of the night, what changed between the time you were 16 and the time you were an adult in your romantic relationships? I got a lot more practical or “realistic, ” if you will. How about you? I still expect magical kisses and moments that sweep me off my feet, but not nearly as often as I did at 16 years-old. :)

Symbolism – Flare and North Star – Posy Roberts

January 13, 2014

Have you ever started out writing a story and ended up incorporating a ton of symbolism you never knew you’d truly add until later? Maybe that only works for writers or film makers. But, yeah. The North Star. That wasn’t the title of this trilogy in the beginning. In fact, there was no fancy title tying the books together. And then after North Star was chosen, I felt I had to completely retitle each books.

Yes, I’m a total dork. Let’s just get that out of the way. I live in Minnesota, North Star is set in Minnesota, and… dun, dun, dun, the nickname of Minnesota is the North Star state. It’s all over the place here. We used to have the Minnesota North Stars who were then sold and became the Dallas Stars. That’s hockey in case you didn’t know. Don’t feel bad. All I knew growing up next door in North Dakota was the Vikings (cuz they could never be counted on to win) and the Twins (for occasionally pulling it out of the bag – 1987 and 1991!).

I will now share my working titles because they are so lame. Spark was logically The Lake. Fusion was called The City. Flare was called Grounded or Suburbia, depending on what part of the process I was in. After all, I wrote all three rough drafts very quickly so being creative with the titles wasn’t really on my list of priorities. There were very few edits along the way because I wanted to get my thoughts down as fast as I could. Then I spent ages—a year—editing before I submitted all of these stories.

The North Star became very important after Kevin gave Hugo a gift in high school with an engraving on it. There’s a quote right on the front cover of Spark that shows how important those word were, even if not immediately recognized.

So you’ll always know your way.

Sometimes our characters surprise us, and Kevin certainly shocked me. I knew he was thoughtful when he gave his gift of a keychain to Hugo, but I had no idea how important this would become for years and years. And that wasn’t it. There was more with these guys. They were comfortable with each other in a way that they never felt with anybody else, even lovers or best friends they had over the years. Hugo almost felt this close with his best friend Summer, but not quite. Kevin always had something over him, even if we can never define it. And I’m totally okay without defining it.

Have you ever had that? Have you had some symbol (words, pictures, stars) that had meant more to you than you can share with most people? I think of jewelry I shared with boyfriends in high school. With my husband, I think of little notes he wrote to me, poems, haiku he wrote for me. You don’t have to share exactly what those symbols are if you’d rather not, but how did they transcend typical communication so you truly knew things were different this time?

Also, for those of you who are caught up until book 3, Flare, do you think the first two working titles worked? Why? What should new readers know before delving in?

 

 

 

Posy Roberts Delves Beneath the Surface in Flare

January 13, 2014

So, how do you fit the real world into romance? Or why would you even want to? In Flare, I wanted to.

I started reading romance novels written for teens in the 1980s. I think they went under the monicker Wildfire Romances. OMG, I found a link to the spines of some. LOL! They were set in modern times, and the story almost always ended after boy and girl got together. And then I quit reading romance altogether for years. When I started again, my tastes quickly morphed.

I’ve obviously moved past boy and girl meeting and falling in love, and shifted to men going crazy for each other. But I also love a romance to go beyond the “Yes, I want to be with you” and the “I love you” moments.

I like to go deeper.

I like to see how those couples will survive outside the bubble of initial romance and lust, because that is the true test! Getting past “I love you” is hard, but it is nothing compared to dealing with real life or a chronic illness or a secret you’re positive will change everything.

Some of this comes from my personal experiences. I deal with chronic illness that has transformed me from the very energetic 18 year-old my husband met in college into someone who needed to temper herself and slow way down or I’d be bed bound for days. And then our baby was born. She was beautiful and sweet, but the poor child couldn’t swallow her own saliva without choking/aspirating, and she needed multiple operations to resolve all of her birth defects, not to mention the years of using a feeding tube before she could eat like the rest of us.

So how does a couple survive difficulties like these? Hugo and Kevin lived through the challenges they faced in Fusion. When I named book 2, I was thinking of cold fusion, even if it is still a hypothetical. But how do you survive beyond a bonding crisis like they experienced? How do you still live and love each other without the intensity of emotions you felt during the crisis? Sometimes you can cope better than you can in everyday life. When things become mundane, how do keep interested? And what do you do to keep life from getting stale?

This is what Flare is about and why the cover is green! Haha. It’s about finding life after death. Of course, Hugo and Kevin’s lives are much more interesting than my own ever could be.

That is reality for most of us at one point in our lives or another. Is it grief from the loss of a parent or partner? Is it being laid off or fired from a job? Or substance abuse to cope with? Or is it a medical crisis?

I think this is truly where the meat, the heart is in relationships. This is where it is enriching to watch and read about people growing and becoming more than they were at the beginning, especially when life is crisis free. “I love you” is easy now, but “I like you” or “I’m disappointed in you” might be harder. And how do you move past that so you can continue to grow, not just individually but as a couple?

That is what I really want to explore when I write romance. I want to explore the iceberg underneath.

What sort of depth do you enjoy in romance stories? When is too much, too much?

Have you ever related so much to a character that it’s scary?

Friendships in Posy Robert’s Flare

January 13, 2014

Hands Only PDAFriendship is at the heart of the North Star Trilogy and especially Flare. Hugo and Kevin have been friends—great friends—since they were in high school, even if there were years where they didn’t interact. When they meet again as adults in the book Spark, that friendship blossoms as if they were never apart. So does their love affair. But Hugo and Kevin both have very different experiences when it comes to friendships with other people.

Hugo

Hugo Thorson

Hugo makes friends very easily. He’s quite social, even if he does appreciate his alone time as well. He’s lived in his community of Uptown, Minneapolis socializing with many of the same people for years and his best friend is Summer, who is very outgoing. He also knows people around town by name and asks pertinent questions when he sees them. This makes him feel like he’s part of his community, which is important to him.

Kevin

Kevin Magnus

Kevin has a very different experience, in part because of how his father would pick and choose his friends when he was a kid. Kevin wasn’t ever given opportunities to make friends on his own because his dad always stuck his nose in Kevin’s business and dictated who was the most beneficial friend. In college and later in life, Kevin found it was easier to make friends though other people, like his wife, Erin or through the country club or even his job. He never truly trusted his own instincts because of the emotionally abusive things his father ended up doing to him, causing Kevin to doubt many decisions.

Yet, in Flare, Hugo and Kevin need to put down roots and make a stable home for Kevin’s kids, Brooke and Finn. That means nurturing or making new friendships for both men, but they run into the problems in Flare because of their differences.

It’s always been my suspicion that Kevin could more easily be friends with Hugo because he was his lover too. Somehow his dad’s “programming” didn’t get to those parts of his thinking, and he’s more able to let go and open up with Hugo than anyone else. He’s also more able to trust his own instincts with the more intense relationship of a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Friendships are amazing, but of course, we can’t have rich friendships with everyone. What does it take for you to go deeper with a friend? Do you find it scary when you go deeper? I sure do. I emailed a friend a very long note the other day, and five minutes after I hit Send, I wanted the email back. But I’m very glad my friend read it in the end. It made us just a little bit closer, but it was a risk.

I’ve also lost friends I’ve been very close to, and that’s never fun, even if I’m glad I had those people in my life for the short time they were there. I grew from knowing them or from what we endured together. What makes it worth loving and losing for you?

I’m also an ambivert like Hugo, which mostly manifests itself in me being terrified to meet people and leery to share the “real me” with them. What’s the hardest part about meeting new people for you?

Release Party: Posy Roberts & Flare are Here Today!

January 13, 2014

Good morning! This is Posy Roberts here ready to chat with you lovely people throughout the day. My latest novel, Flare, was released today, January 13! Flare is the final book in my North Star Trilogy, and I’m excited to finally be able to share all the books with you.

For those of you new to North Star, all three books revolve around the lives of Hugo Thorson and Kevin Magnus.

Hugo and Kevin knew they should be together all the way back in high school, but life took them in very different directions. When they have a chance to continue their relationship, life’s circumstances have other plans for them. But they know they are meant to be, so they fight for each other, and they will fight for the family they want to nurture together, even if the world around them doesn’t quite understand their “alternative” family and tries their best to keep them apart.

Spark is book one in the trilogy.

In their small-town high school, Hugo and Kevin became closeted lovers who kept their secret even from parents. Hugo didn’t want to disappoint his terminally ill father, and Kevin’s controlling father would never tolerate a bisexual son. When college took them in different directions, they promised to reunite, but that didn’t happen for seventeen years.

By the time they meet again, Hugo has become an out-and-proud actor and director who occasionally performs in drag—a secret that has cost him in past relationships. Kevin, still closeted, has followed his father’s path and now, in the shadow of divorce, is striving to be a better father to his own children.

When Hugo and Kevin meet by chance at a party, the spark of attraction reignites, as does their genuine friendship. Rekindling a romance may mean Hugo must compromise the openness he values, but Kevin will need a patient partner as he adapts to living outside the closet. With such different lifestyles, the odds seem stacked against them, and Hugo fears that if his secret comes to light, it may drive Kevin away completely.

 

Fusion is book two.

How do you tell your friends and family you’ve fallen in love with a man when they’ve only ever known you as straight? How do you explain to your kids that you loved their mother very much, but your new partner is your best friend from high school and a man?

Kevin Magnus must figure it out while trying to build a relationship with Hugo Thorson, whose bigger than life, out-and-proud drag queen persona is simply too big to be contained in a closet—even for the time it takes Kevin to come up with an explanation for his kids and Erin, his soon-to-be ex-wife.

But Erin faces an even bigger obstacle—one that shakes the entire family to the core. When she unexpectedly turns to Hugo, they form a connection that forces Hugo to grow up and offers Kevin the chance to become the kind of father he wants to be. Despite the coming complications, they’ll all benefit from a fortunate side effect: it becomes clear that Hugo is very much a part of this unconventional family.

 

And now Flare, book three is ready for you!

Hugo Thorson and Kevin Magnus are learning to live again after the death of Kevin’s wife, Erin. They’re doing everything they can to make a stable home for Kevin’s kids, but that stability is threatened when Kevin is served legal documents: Erin’s parents want custody of Brooke and Finn.

Meanwhile, Hugo is offered several acting jobs; to encourage him to take them, Kevin hires a nanny who is very hands-on with the kids. But Hugo feels distanced from his new family, so he makes the decision to leave his eclectic neighborhood and moves in with Kevin. He quickly finds he has a hard time fitting in with the suburbanites, and Kevin’s passive-aggressive “friends” make Hugo feel anything but welcome. Yet he keeps his concerns a secret and tries to take it all in stride.

When Brooke is bullied about having two dads, Hugo realizes his mere presence might be doing more harm than good. The stress will force him to make a choice: does he stay and fight for the family he loves, or does he walk away to let them live in peace?

 

Now let’s interact!

When you hear the word “trilogy,” what comes to mind? I knew I was taking a risk writing one. What gets you excited about a trilogy or any sort of series with the same characters? Are you a “wait until they all come out” reader or a “read them as they come out” reader? Why?

Please leave comments. I’d love to hear from you, and I’ll reply as soon as I can. I have to go teach a class this morning, but I’ll be back as soon as I help solve all the parenting problems in my town. Haha.  Have a cup of coffee or tea while you think about your answers. No need to rush. And who knows what crazy things I’ll write about this afternoon.

If there are any questions you have about the trilogy, about Kevin and Hugo, about any of the secondary characters (who so many of you seem to love – yay!), or even about me or surviving in Minnesota during the winter, ask them. I’ll try to answer everything. Let’s make this blog as interactive as we can today!

 

Harmony Ink New Release: January 9, 2014

January 9, 2014

Freeing Stella (Being True: Book Two) by Zoe Lynne

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

When Stella’s sister admits to liking a girl, it’s hard for Stella to keep up her own charade hiding behind Steven, the boy she was born as. Freeing Stella (Being True: Book Two) by Zoe Lynne, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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Being True: Book Two

Stella Marshall feels invisible to everyone but her sister Jessica and best friend Jenna. Thanks to their Friday night LGBTQ youth group meetings, she can be true to herself and cast aside the boy she was born as, Steven. The rest of the time, she locks herself away, because if her super conservative, Christian parents ever found out….

When her little sister admits to liking a girl as more than a friend, it becomes ten times harder for Stella to keep up the charade. She wants to stand by Jess and take some of the heat away, and that means coming out of the closet—even if it costs Stella her family and the girl of her dreams, Lillian Nelson. Unfortunately, it’s too frightening to give up the security of hiding behind Steven. But Stella knows she has to be brave, for herself and her sister.

Length: Novella (112p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Transgender, Lesbian | Release Date: January 9, 2014

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-716-5)

Harmony Ink New Release: January 2, 2014

January 2, 2014

Cold Moon (Insolita Luna: Book Three) by M.J. O’Shea

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Xan follows Charlie to Romania, where Charlie is almost killed. If the two can survive a political mess, they might find love together. Cold Moon (Insolita Luna: Book Three) by M.J. O’Shea, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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2nd Edition

Insolita Luna: Book Three
Sequel to Hunter’s Moon

Charlie Fitzgerald is sick of being the kid nobody takes seriously. His older brother Colin is fighting vampires and other troublemakers in New York City, and Charlie wants in on the action—but no one will listen. Then he overhears the lycan council is looking for a human emissary to take a message of peace to a werewolf in the forests of Romania, and Charlie decides he’s the man for the job.

Xan is furious: his best friend, Charlie, one of the Fitzgeralds he’s vowed to protect, is walking into danger, and Xan chases him all the way to the freezing Romanian forest to save his stubborn butt. When Charlie is almost killed, Xan realizes he feels much more than friendship for his charge, and emotions that have been bubbling under the surface of his calm façade threaten to boil over and flood them both.

They end up in the middle of a political mess involving lycans, werewolves, and nosy vampires, and if they make it out alive, the friendship between the headstrong hunter and his bullheaded protector might turn into a love neither can live without.

1st edition published by M.J. O’Shea, April 2012

Length: Novel (180p.) | Genre: Paranormal-Other, Paranormal-Vampires, Paranormal-Werewoves, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: January 2, 2014

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-458-4) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-459-1)