Today I am so pleased to welcome Christopher Koehler to Joyfully Jay. Christopher has come to talk to us about his latest release, Poz. He has also brought along a tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving Christopher a big welcome!

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What Comes Next; Or, What Happens At The Empire Hotel Most Definitely Doesn’t Stay There.

When I started writing Poz, I envisioned the story arc spread over three books. So while the story told in Poz is discrete and free-standing, the stories of Remy and Michael continue. In fact, Remy and Michael will be thirty or so by the time the trilogy concludes. In fact, I’m already at work on two follow-ups to complete the “Lives of Remy and Michael” trilogy.

Chronologically, there will be a short story the details Remy’s HIV testing and diagnosis from Michael’s point of view…just as soon as I sit down to write it. It’ll be a free download as part of The Real Story Safer Sex Project (http://brenthartinger.com/therealstory/), which aims to take a new, more entertaining approach to reminding young gay and bi men that HIV is still a concern using popular culture, particularly your favorite fictional gay and bi characters. It’s the brainchild of Brent Hartinger, author of the Russel Middlebrook Series. Remember the book, Geography Club? Hartinger offers a free download in that series, and a number of m/m authors have likewise contributed. I will, too, just as soon as I’ve written it.

Then there’ll be a direct sequel to Poz. I’m 55k words into All That Is Solid (Melts Into Air), the second book in the trilogy. I’m not sure how long it will be at this point, as there’s quite a bit left to the outline. Poz ends in April of Remy’s senior year of high school, and ATIS picks up that fall.

Despite his devotion to Michael, Remy comes to realize that he wants fundamentally different things than Michael, and that their plan to escape the confines of a northern California college town for the east coast and rowing powerhouse schools may not work. More importantly, Remy comes to understand that he and Michael may not work as a couple, at least not over the long term. This crushes him, because one of the things Remy learns is just how much he loves Michael.

It’s Michael’s idea that they see other people while they’re in school on opposite sides of the country. It’s Remy’s condition before he agrees that they have to approve each other’s prospective boyfriends. Yeah, there’s some dysfunction there, and some significant not wanting to let go. These guys love each other, remember, but they’re teenagers and lack adult perspective. Let’s be honest—how many of us end up married to our first significant high school relationship?

Right now, the third book—Finding Solid Ground—exists mostly in my imagination and the plot is still largely a mystery to me. As I’ve said other places, I make Remy and Michael have to work for their HEA, and Finding Solid Ground is their pay-off. FSG picks up approximately ten years after the end of ATIS, when Remy is thirty. Both men are older and wiser, but have also been knocked around by life.

One scene in particular has written itself. The set-up:

Michael is engaged to Zach, the boyfriend Remy approved at the end of ATIS but is unenthusiastic about it. Remy is recently widowed—Randy, the shy UC Davis rower he met at his first trip to the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston was killed in a motorcycle accident two years before the opening of FSG. Remy is best man to his brother Geoff at the latter’s wedding. Yeah, Laurel finally told him it was time.

Laurel and Geoff have decided that Remy has mourned long enough. Remy will obviously be there (along with a date), but they invited Michael “plus one,” as well, fully intending to reunite Michael and Remy.

Michael hesitates to go because Remy will be the best man. Michael is actually afraid to see Remy because he’s scared that Remy will hate him because of the way they parted. But what he doesn’t realize is that he missed ten years of personal growth, and Remy is a very different person (so’s Michael). People grow up, you know?

Michael passes some jaw-droppingly stunning man in the hall of the Empire Hotel (google Ute Lemper and “Passionate Fight”), but Michael doesn’t recognize him as Remy until they see him standing up for Geoff in his tux.

Remy didn’t recognize Michael, either, and Michael’s stunned at who Remy’s become—strong, independent, radiant with the kind of beauty that only pain, loss, and suffering can bring. Michael and Zach had planned to duck out early, but Michael can’t leave now, he’s so spellbound by the sight of Remy as a grown man.

“Who’s the best man? I thought Remy was supposed to be…” Michael trailed off, his gaze riveted to the canopy covering the principals of the wedding party.

Zach laughed, but bitterly. “Hon, he is. That’s your high-school boyfriend.”

So there we are. Now I just need to write the book.


Blurb

PozFSA Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

The Lives of Remy and Michael: Book One

Remy Babcock and Mikey Castelreigh are stalwart members of the Capital City Rowing Club’s junior crew, pulling their hardest to earn scholarships to rowing powerhouses like California Pacific. Just a couple of all-American boys, they face the usual pressures of life in an academic hothouse and playing a varsity sport. Add to that the stifling confines of the closet, and sometimes life isn’t always easy, even in the golden bubble of their accepting community. Because Remy and Mikey have a secret: they’re both gay. While Mikey has never hidden it, Remy is a parka and a pair of mittens away from Narnia.

Mikey has always been open about wanting more than friendship, but Remy is as uncomfortable in his own skin as he is a demon on the water. After their signals cross, and a man mistakes Remy for a college student, Remy takes the plunge and hooks up with him. After a furious Mikey cuts Remy off, Remy falls to the pressure of teenage life, wanting to be more and needing it now. In his innocence and naiveté, Remy makes mistakes that have life-long consequences. When Remy falls in the midst of the most important regatta of his life, he can only hope Mikey will be there to catch him when he needs it most.


Bio

Christopher Koehler learned to read late (or so his teachers thought) but never looked back. It was not, however, until he was nearly done with grad school in the history of science that he realized that he needed to spend his life writing and not on the publish-or-perish treadmill. At risk of being thought frivolous, he found that academic writing sucked all the fun out of putting pen to paper.

Christopher is also something of a hothouse flower. Inside of almost unreal conditions he thrives to set the results of his imagination free, and for most of his life he has been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who encouraged both that tendency and the writing. Chief among them is his long-suffering husband of twenty-two years and counting.

When it comes to writing, Christopher follows Anne Lamott’s advice: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” So while he writes fiction, at times he ruthlessly mines his past for character traits and situations. Reality is far stranger than fiction.

Christopher loves many genres of fiction and nonfiction, but he’s especially fond of romances, because it is in them that human emotions and relations, at least most of the ones fit to be discussed publicly, are laid bare.

Writing is his passion and his life, but when Christopher is not doing that, he’s an at-home dad and oarsman with a slightly disturbing interest in manners and other ways people behave badly.

Visit him at http://christopherkoehler.net/blog or follow him on Twitter @christopherink.


Giveaway

Christopher has brought a tour-wide giveaway. Just leave follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter. 

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