Saturday, March 8, 2014

Author Saturday Spotlight: Posy Roberts *Interview and Reader's Choice Giveaway*

Posy Roberts wrote one of the best series I ever read. The North Star Series, follows the lives of two men, Hugo and Kevin. Two men with so many struggles and obstacles to overcome, the only way to achieve it is together.

The brilliance in this series is hard to explain. We walk down the street and see a family so happy. But behind the skin that covers the reality there's always a story. Posy writes Kevin and Hugo's in a way you feel you've been adopted into their lives. There are three books in this series. Spark, Fusion and Flare. Then, there's a YA story called Private Display of Affection, that focuses on Hugo and Kevin in their younger years. Truly remarkable:

North Star: Book One

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.

Sequel to Spark
North Star: 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?

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.

Sequel to Fusion
North Star: Book Three

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?

Remarkable series! 

Private Display of Affection, under Winter Sandberg:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Hugo Thorson knows he’s gay, but coming out during high school is not part of his plan. His parents are open-minded, but Hugo doesn’t want to add more stress for anybody, especially his dad, who is fighting terminal cancer.

At a summer job he meets and befriends Kevin Magnus, and before long, their friendship becomes something more. Kevin knows this will anger his overbearing father, so he decides to protect his secret by dating a girl at school.

Hugo plays along, but it’s still hard to watch the two of them together just to make Kevin’s homophobic father happy. And when Hugo’s father dies, he realizes he can’t go on living the lie. He comes clean to Kevin, who decides Hugo’s true feelings are more important than his father’s expectations.

One fact remains: Kevin and Hugo’s relationship must always be hidden behind friendship, lies, girlfriends, or secret kisses. Will they find a sanctuary big enough to hold their feelings?

Adapted as a Young Adult edition of the novel Spark by Posy Roberts, published by Dreamspinner Press, 2013

Of course The North Star Series isn't all Posy Roberts has written. To find out more about Winter Sandberg you can get all that information on her Goodreads page: Winter Sandberg on Goodreads 

Fall Into You is another book that grabbed me emotionally! Posy has a gift of gripping your heart until it hurts and releasing it to appreciate life. It's amazing.


Simon Phillips always hated Thomas.

Ever since his black nail polish high school days, Thomas Schultz has seemed like a carefree, uninhibited wild child, in stark contrast to Simon’s shy, cautious nature. Now, from behind the safety of his hotel bar, Simon must watch, distracted, as Thomas becomes a shirtless rock star for every wedding reception they work. But when Thomas slips him the key to his hotel room, Simon enters a world where the fine line between hate and attraction becomes blurred, and finds more than he ever knew he wanted.

In the social upheaval of the 1980s, love is no picnic. The AIDS epidemic has reshaped the way people think about sex, and the discontent of Generation X drowns out any love songs. Despite the uncertain times, Simon finds himself falling in love. But when Thomas’s band makes it big, the simple act of keeping in touch across the silent miles becomes an obstacle all its own.

Now, it's a readers choice giveaway! That means any book Posy has written is yours if you win. To read all of her blurbs simply go to her Goodreads page and take a look: Posy Roberts on Goodreads


Posy sat in my fluffy hot seat and answered some questions I had for her. She even humored me and did some Fast Fire Questions, take a read...

1. The North Star Series, which is by far one of my top 3 series I've ever read, is full of so much emotion and realism. You get a book hangover when it's done. How do you decompress, as a writer, from something like that?
Thank you! Hopefully a book hangover isn’t nearly as painful as the other kind. ;) I certainly do need to decompress, so I often stop writing for a bit after completing a story. When I wrote North Star, I didn’t take a break between each book because the series is truly a very large story split into 3 smaller books, and I didn’t want to lose my momentum. I spent three months writing the first (very rough) drafts of Spark, Fusion, and Flare, without allowing myself time to edit a word. I got so into the zone that I had to take the next few months off before I started working on edits. Real life and the release of Fall Into You helped me step away from North Star, but when I started editing, I attacked that with just as much focus as I did the writing.
And honestly, I’m not sure I’ve actually decompressed from North Star yet. Partly because I worked on adapting the teen years from Spark for the young adult audience, which was released last December as Private Display of Affection under the pen name Winter Sandberg. Now I’m trying to finish telling their high school story. If I had my choice on decompression methods, I’d be biking the local trails, hiking at state parks, geocaching, and very possibly singing Karaoke with my best friend. Wow! I released a happy sigh just by typing that. I think I know exactly what I need to do, but first we have tons of snow that needs to melt up here in the tundra.

2. Do you have writers, artists or someone who has inspired you in your writings?

More than anything, people in real life inspire me to write, or life experiences they (or I) have had. My best friend getting a horrendous diagnosis from her doctor that had her questioning the future of her children’s lives inspired North Star. The other thing that is guaranteed to inspire me is nature. I can sit on the dock at the lake and stare into the water for ten minutes and a story will come to me. Also inspiring is really good photography where I can see a story in a single image.

3. What made you choose the M/M Genre?

I don’t know that I chose M/M as much as it chose me. The first romances I read were Wildfire Romances, which were marketed toward young adults in the 1980s. When I read adult romance, I got angry at the way women were portrayed. Then I was practically forced to read the Twilight series during a very rainy week at the lake with only those four books in hand that my friend had foisted on me with the demand, “Read these and tell me what you think.”
I was pissed at how easily Bella gave up her life and her dreams for a man, which was exactly why I had hated all the other romances I’d ever read. I hunted down Fan Fiction to try to find a strong Bella, which I found, but I also found Slash. I literally read my first Edward/Jasper story through my fingers, as if I were reading something forbidden. All the elements of romance that I enjoyed were there, but I didn’t have to deal with authors treating women as prizes who should be saved or stuck on a shelf being pretty. Instead, I got to see two hot guys fucking like hungry men.

When I didn’t find the types of stories I wanted to read, I decided to start writing them. I wanted stories about gay and bisexual men that went deeper than sex. I wanted to explore complex social issues, mental illness, physical health problems, parenting, all in the context of these loving relationships.

4. How do characters come to be in your books? Do you put yourself into them, or do you mold them from people you've met and stories you've heard?

I’ve never written a character based solely on one person, but I’ve certainly been inspired by real life. Erin, Kevin’s wife in North Star, was inspired by my best friend, but she is nothing like the Erin who showed up on the page, aside from her self-sacrifice. However, Erin sure does look a lot like the first woman I truly crushed on in college. ;)  She was a beautiful redhead who was captivating, and to me, she seemed like the perfect person for Kevin to have fallen in love with in college. Perhaps I was living unfulfilled fantasizes through Kevin there. Haha.
I occasionally put bits of myself into my characters as well. It’s hard not to. While I can easily put myself in someone else’s shoes to imagine their reaction to various situations, I’m still looking through Posy colored glasses.

5. Fall Into You is a roller coaster. Thomas had my head spinning and Simon really stole my heart. You touched on serious realities in this book. Love and loss, but physical and mental points as well. How do you prepare to write that? Is it research, or do you write about experiences you've gone through?

Fall Into You was a personal story for me, but I’ve also written about realities I have no experience with whatsoever. I tend to write about parental loss because of my own experience of losing my dad when I was young. That loss changes a person. I also write about chronic illness and the struggle to find a balanced way to live after a doctor tells you, “You will have this condition for the rest of your life.” That is very much from personal experience. I have several chronic illnesses that I struggle with nearly everyday. One of those happens to be the same thing Thomas was diagnosed with in Fall Into You. I didn’t have to do research for that storyline, but I had to do a ton for the diagnosis Erin faced in North Star. I’m positive I will be writing more stories where medical, mental health, and social issues are a part of a character’s life, because romance doesn’t happen in a bubble. Or at least, I don’t want it to. I want romance to occur in the middle of a fucked up and crazy life, because that is the reality of my readers. Life is messy, but romance shouldn’t be set on the backburner

6. Fans can be crazy, lol. Can you share a nutty encounter or email story? If you've been lucky and haven't, how about a story about how one of your books helped one of your readers?

I’ve had really good experiences thus far and have gotten several messages from readers thanking me for opening their eyes to the struggles gay and bisexual men face when building a life together. I’ve heard from readers who have identified with the caretaking and grief portrayed in North Star and how realistic that was to their own personal experiences. It’s humbling to be told stories about readers’ lost loved ones.

Fast Fire Questions:

1. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla (with chocolate topping)
2. Coffee or tea? Coffee!
3. Indoors or outdoors? Outdoors
4. Favorite color? Green
5. Favorite movie? American Beauty
6. Read or watch your favorite show? Read, most of the time
7. Winter or Summer? Summer
8. Music or silence? Silence
9. Phone call or text message? Text message
10. Early bird, or night owl? Night owl

Check out Posy's website here > Posy Roberts Wordpress 

Now it's GIVEAWAY TIME! Make sure you enter for your chance to win a Posy Roberts Ebook of your choice! Contest ends the 14th! Winner will be contacted. Thank you!!

Also thank you Posy for writing books that grip us and make us feel ALL THE FEELS!



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